A year in New York

A Year in New York from Andrew Clancy on Vimeo.

What a great video about New York… Such a beautiful city! Maybe you could consider study there…

5 back to school tips to save money

Summer is winding down and it’s time to go back to school! Back to school shopping is very important for consumers. We have decided to give you 5 back to school tips to save money…

1. Define your priorites and make a list

Find out what are the immediate needs of your children: a backpack, shirts or shoes. Spend money on these items and they are immediate needs for your children. Your child might not need a winter coat right away so you can wait on that expense.

2. Take advantage of the sales.

Plan your expenses and buy items for you kids during next sales. That will help you save a lot of money!

3. Shop online.

You have tons of websites that can help you find the right product at the right price: amazon, google shopping, … Take advantage of it!

4. Don’t shop with the kids.

Though you want to include them in the process, they will trick you to buy more stuff and this is when you will overspend. Be careful with that as it can be very tempting!

5. Shop your junk drawers.

It’s highly likely that your junk drawers are full of common back to school items like highlighters, pencils, pens, calculators, and notebook paper. Just recycle them and you will save a lot of money!

6. Take advantage of research paper services

You can also consider research paper service if your kid has not been able to finish her/his latest paper.

Online counseling

In order to be productive and get a better understanding of who you are, counseling could be a good thing for you. More and more people are considering it seriously these days in college. What about considering counseling 2.0 aka online counseling? It sounds silly but it’s actually a really interesting option to consider. Today, it might not be that simple to find the right counsel in your home town and you might be looking for some sort of confidentiality. This is a personnal issue and you would prefer that no one knows about your own personal story. Who cares anyway?

Here are the benefits of online counseling:
– You can do it from anywhere: even if you are traveling in France or Japan because you are doing an exchange program at ESSEC or Keio University you will be able to get in touch with your counsel wherever you are
– online counseling can be beneficial: you can chose who you prefer, you can change easily and you can stop whenever you want. You can follow your own agenda
– It’s much more efficient: you don’t have to waste time for trips to meet with your counsel. At the end of day, you can waste a lot of time with that
– You can do it from home: it’s probably a more relaxing experience as you can relax and discuss with your counsel from home. Experience is probably much more confortable as you are in your confort zone
– It’s probably cheaper: considering that you don’t have to go there and meet with the counsel. It’s probably cheaper as the counsel can do it from anywhere and might consider discount pricing
– You can get access to more people and have options: online counseling gives you many more options. You can get access to counsels from all over the world: New York, Boston, London, Paris or Tokyo… Who knows the best counsels might be in Tokyo… you never know!
– You have the time to decide: You can check different counsels, look at reviews, make your own checks and shop around. It’s easier to find out the right counsel for you and it’s not that simple to find the right match.

All in all, internet revolutionizes a lot of things and couseling 2.0 aka online counseling is probably something you might want to consider if you have been disappointed by regular counseling. Give it a try and you might be satisfied this time! Enjoy!

Do not use Safeguard self storage – Worst self storage ever

Sometimes it’s important for us to get reviews from our peers for you to get the right service. Today we feel it is our duty to tell the truth about awful service.

Self storage is something you might consider at some point and you have to know that safeguard self storage is the worst self storage ever. Do not use it.

Here is why:
– Their service is the worst. They don’t care about their clients and when you ask them for something they will never reply to you. They are not responsive at all.
– They overcharge and they never inform you about it. What they do is very simple. They charge you but after you close your account so you are not aware of it. Then, you get a call from a debt collection company and they force you to pay. You have 24 hours and you have no choice.
– Again if you try to contact them to get an explanation they will just say we haven’t done anything wrong. That’s too bad.

Thankfully, the FTC is here to protect us against companies like them. This is unfortunate that such companies but hopefully internet will help us make a difference between self storage at the right price and a rip off.

Tenants Insurance – A Guide For Students

With all the excitement of going to university or college and perhaps living away from home for the first time, it’s easy to forget some of the more mundane and practical aspects of life as a student. But as you embark on this important stage of your life, it’s time to face up to the reality of what it would mean if everything you own was destroyed in a fire, or stolen. How would you begin to pay for its replacement?

Whether you are living in a hall of residence, in a bedsit or a shared rented house, you need to take out appropriate tenants insurance to cover your belongings in the event of a disaster.

Tenants insurance policies cover the cost of replacing your personal possessions, up to an amount which is agreed with the insurer at the time you take out the cover. The limit should reflect the actual value of your possessions. It may take some time for you to work out the total, but if you do this accurately you won’t end up paying for a level of cover that is more than you actually need.

Remember that you need to include the value of your clothing, your books and any equipment you use for studying, your computer, audio equipment, television and DVD player and other things such as sports equipment, your bike and anything valuable such as jewellery or watches. Usually tenants insurance policies stipulate a maximum value on the amount they will pay out to replace an individual item. So if you know you have things worth more than this minimum, you should discuss this with the insurance company in order that appropriate extra cover can be added to your policy.

Something else that may well prove to be important to you as a student is that your tenants insurance policy can cover your possessions whilst they are temporarily away from your accommodation. This would apply during those occasions when you go back home to your parents during holidays or go travelling.

As a student it’s highly likely that you will be renting furnished accommodation and whilst the landlord is responsible for taking out insurance on the actual fabric of the building, you may be held liable for any damage you cause to items the landlord has provided in the accommodation. Furniture and appliances such as a fridge or cooker would be included in this category, as well as carpets, curtains and other fixtures and fittings. Tenants insurance can cover you for this liability, up to an amount which will be agreed with the insurer when you first take out the policy. This value is likely to be much lower than that placed on your own possessions, but it’s nevertheless an important part of the cover you need.

There are a number of companies providing tenants insurance policies and you should be able to find something suitable for your own requirements. Historically, it used to be more difficult to find this type of insurance, as companies were more reluctant to cover people living in rented accommodation, especially students. However, as the size of the rental market has increased in recent years, tenants insurance is becoming easier to find and the choice and range of policies available is better than ever.

Why Choose Math Tutoring for Students

It is very common to realize that you needsspecial attention to improve your performance in school.  Math tutoring is particularly useful for many students, especially when a parent is no longer able to help with complicated math homework (dad you already forgot that?). As a parent, you may be used to being a tutor of sorts for your children.  You have likely helped with countless projects and helped your kids study for math tests, history quizzes, and social studies exams.

This is a wonderful role for a parent, but math tutoring is far more difficult for most parents.  For many of us, no matter how well we did in school, math skills are simply forgotten when they aren’t used.  The majority of Americans no longer use geometry in their daily lives, and while percentages or simple equations may be easy to remember, more complex math skills are harder to bring out of the recesses of memory.

For this reason, instead of trying to teach your child yourself, good math tutoring sessions are far more productive for students.  To find good math tutoring, first start by asking your professors if they have any recommendations.  There may be older students, for example, who can tutor free of charge as a part of an after school program.

Or, you may find great math tutoring from a local college student who is looking to make some extra money and has recently taken all the classes relevant to your math needs.  If you are particularly fortunate, you may be able to find a local college student who is studying to be a math teacher, so that the student doing the math tutoring is actually practicing his or her teaching skills as well.  That is a win-win situation for everyone!

Overall, just remember that math tutoring can really help a child who is struggling with the subject.  Math is an area that is sometimes difficult for students to grasp and they simply need more one on one time to practice and also identify what they are doing wrong.  Math tutoring can provide that extra assistance, even if you as a parent remember none of your algebra training!

5 Ways to Balance LSAT Prep with College Classes

If you have a full college courseload and social life, it’s probably hard to balance the two already. Add studying for the LSAT to the mix, and you may feel overwhelmed. This post gives you 5 ways to balance studying for the LSAT (or GRE, GMAT, MCAT, etc.) with school and life obligations. I’ll speak about the LSAT in this article, but just apply my advice to your relevant exam.

1. Start your LSAT prep early.
It’s much easier to do a little bit each week over the course of several weeks than to cram all your studying at once. It’s less stressful, and it won’t detract as much from schoolwork or your social life. Plan ahead and treat the LSAT as if it were another college class, and study for it over the course of the semester. You may also choose to take a class at an online university if you learn better with instruction.

2. Fit in studying wherever you can.
Doing an LSAT Logic Game or a couple of Logical Reasoning questions between classes can keep you in the LSAT mind-set even if you’re not studying for a few hours each day.

3. Set aside specific days and times each week to study.
This will ensure that a few weeks or months don’t go by while your LSAT prep books gather dust in the corner. Create a study schedule and stick to it.

4. Stay off AIM, Facebook, and Gmail, and close your laptop.
I know computers and Internet are ubiquitous on college campuses, especially for socializing. However, you don’t need a computer to study for the LSAT, and having one around will only serve as a distraction. Get rid of these time-suckers and stick to the books.

5. Form a study group.
If you can find people on your college campus (or in your neighborhood) who are also preparing for the LSAT, it may help to form a study group. Try to find study partners whose abilities complement your own so that you can help each other. Meeting on a regular basis will take some of the isolation out of test prep, and, like a gym buddy, a study partner will help motivate you to study.

6 Tips for Organizing Research

Intro/Hook.

  1. Download the articles you plan on using, and save them in a single folder. You don’t want to pay the penalty for someone else’s site going down, or free content being transferred to a paid archive. If the source website doesn’t allow you to save the article to your website, there are two workarounds. First, you can hit print as if you were going to print it, and then select Save As File (or something like that). This option will divert the output going to the printer and capture it in a PostScript file, which you can open on any Windows machine. My favorite way to save articles is Yahoo! MyWeb. Find out how to use MyWeb to save your articles
  2. Discover new sources using your old ones. Every journal article contains a wealth of research. Look in the bibliography.
  3. Take notes with citations.
  4. Use Google’s Cited By links to judge a paper’s influence.
  5. Read Intro/Conclusion for fast answers.
  6. For multiple papers from same author, start with most recent work

Simplification – The Key to Success

Taking notes during lectures is perhaps the most important part of retaining knowledge throughout your university semmester, but most students are simply not that good at it. They tend to focus on either writing down every word your lecturer says, and just the important points. There is a much easier method which will definetly pay off when final exams come around.

Simplification!

I have used this method for many months and it always works perfectly. The general idea is to write down the heading of the topic, and write down in the simplest way possible what it is about. Try to imagine that you are talking to a younger child. But you also have to remember to include all the complication information towards the end.

The reason this works is that the next time you look over your notes it may have been weeks since you wrote the information down, and you will not remember what you were talking about. Having a simplified description means that you will remember the basis of the notes instantly, and from there you can focus on the complex concepts, equations, or explanations.

While this may sound counter-intuitive, it really does work.

This method is based on the ever popular K.I.S.S idea (Keep it Simple, Stupid). Trying to keep all of your ideas in their simplest form allows you to really understand the principles rather than just memorize facts. It also gives you more time to learn the more difficult concepts.

Learning the basics is key for any student. Most of the knowledge that you will learn are just extensions of the basic ideas given in the first few weeks. Understanding, not only how to use them, but why is very important, and truly is the key to success.

Naturally there are hundreds of different methods of taking notes, but time and time again simplification seems to reign supreme. Although taking notes in an easy to understand manner does not mean that you skip the hard topics. The idea is that you take a hard concept, and re-interpret it in your own words. The use of images or diagrams can also be very beneficial when trying to convert a difficult problem into a series of simple ones.

The main difficulty with converting to this method of note taking is the mental difficulties. Some people will feel that they are leaving out important information, while others will be able to start with little difficulty. The only way to try out this method is to start today. While it may suit some students, others will find it too restricting.

Stop Hunting Around for Lost Articles: Use Yahoo! MyWeb

Have you ever “lost” an article?

You know what I’m talking about — you started reading something great, bookmarked it, and then when you went looking for it two months later the only thing you can find is 404 Page Not Found? Or maybe you found it, but now the website wants you to fork over some cash in order to see it?

I hate emailing myself a link, or bookmarking it, only to learn later that the material is off-limits. The biggest culprit was the New York Times. Until recently, they would charge you for access to articles that were more than 10 days old. That meant that if I read a great editorial and the topic came up during a discussion with someone two weeks later, I couldn’t send him the link (how many students pay to read archived news?).

But there were other sites too – for instance, a couple of years ago, Poynter.org ran an amazing article series called Fifty Writing Tools. It was the best writing advice I’d ever received, and I bookmarked the index page so that I could come back to read it again and again. A few months ago, I went back to Poynter to find that half of the links were broken. I wish I could have saved those articles somewhere, and shared them with some of my friends who are aspiring journalists. (Incidentally, in writing this article I went back to Poynter and was absolutely delighted to find that the writing tips are back in the form of podcasts. Check them out at http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=78&aid=103943).

Digg and del.icio.us are fantastic social bookmarking sites, but they don’t allow you to save your own copies of a web page.

Yahoo! introduced a very handy resource for bookmarking pages a couple of years ago. It’s part of Yahoo! MyWeb, which is still in Beta – I guess they were taking a page from the book of Google, no pun intended. (Alright, maybe a little.)

Head over to http://myweb.yahoo.com, and once you’ve signed up, click on My Bookmarks. Since you’re just starting out, you don’t have any bookmarks. So let’s add one. On the MyWeb banner with the search box, find the link for Add Page. When you click it, a pop-up window will open up asking you for the url of the page and some other details. I took a screenshot of my own MyWeb Bookmarks page, with the window open.

Screenshot of MyWeb

As you can see, it is possible to set both public and private access levels. However, the option we are most interested in appears all the way at the bottom, in the form of a checkbox next to “Store a copy of this page.” Fill out the form, making sure that this option is checked.

When you submit the page, you’ll see something like the display in the background of my screenshot, in the main browser window. As you can see, I have saved four articles (more, actually), and for three of those articles I have added the note “For use in blog”. I got tired of linking to articles only to have them moved to paid archives (see earlier rant about New York Times). Those dates say 2008 but they are actually 2005 (I edited something small so it updated the date). If you click the titles, you will be taken to www.nytimes.com. However, if you click the little link that says “My saved copy” that I’ve circled in red, you’ll be taken to this page. Isn’t that cool?

Some convenient toolbars for your browser are available here. And if you want to use Yahoo! MyWeb for your social bookmarking, you can share saved pages with friends and colleagues under the My Contacts tab. You’ll have to add a contact first, but after that you can share easily. Try it out — my user is sadp182.

I use MyWeb occasionally to bookmark my favorite articles, to save a link when I’m putting it up on my blog, and for saving internet-based references when I’m doing research and need to be able to come back later. I hope you’ll find it useful as well!

8 Reasons Why Re-writing Notes Is Essential

During finals week, time and time again I hear things like “you have such nice handwriting,” and “so much lecture information on so few pages,” and I am always very thankful that over a decade ago, my German teacher (props to Frau Bahr) told me that I’d learn best if I rewrote my notes for every class, condensed them as small as I could and then studied from that. For ten years now I’ve been doing just that; spending an hour longer than “normal” re-organizing and re-writing my notes for each class lecture that I attend. It may sound like a lot of “extra work,” but this re-writing process has been proven to help students cement the information they’ve just been given.

  1. without re-writing notes, students may forget vital pieces of information as well as what abbreviations and other marks mean
  2. re-writing your notes helps you memorize and understand the information you copied during the lecture, the best way to memorize a lot of information is in small pieces over a long period of time
  3. if you have questions about things you’ve heard in lecture, re-writing your notes may either help you understand what they were, or point them out clearer, encouraging you to ask about them during the next lecture
  4. while you are re-writing your notes, you are also able to re-organize them, put them in a format that works best for your learning style; visual learners can add color-coding and diagrams, auditory learners should read the notes aloud a few times, and kinesthetic learners (me!) learn by re-writing notes into outline formats
  5. a note on outline formats: each main point should be on its own line, details for the point should be indented to the right. A fantastic way to either learn or set up an outline is to use a word-processing program’s “bullets & numbering” feature; hard returns and indentations create the next appropriate character for outlines
  6. oftentimes, professors speak too quickly for a student to get all the notes written out; by re-writing your notes, you are able to fill in those blanks that you may have had to leave during lecture. The details are still fresh in your mind and you will be able to clarify them sooner. All of the abbreviations that you create during class should be spelled out and explained while re-writing your notes.
  7. re-writing your notes prepares you for your next class, reminding you of what you were to learn in previous lectures and cementing the foundations
  8. one thing I’ve found particularly helpful in many classes is writing out a short “summary” of the lecture at the end of each set of daily notes. Then, when I go back to study for the exam, I am able to paste all of these summaries together and read a page-long essay about what I was supposed to learn.

It helps best if a student can re-organize and re-copy their notes within 24 hours of the lecture, but if that cannot be done, then at least do it before the final few lectures, just in case you have any leftover questions or misunderstandings. Research shows that 80% of new material can be recalled if you review your notes within one day of presentation.

Want to bring those test grades up? Want to impress your classmates with your typed study guides? Re-write those notes daily and cement things sooner rather than later!

Time Management in the New Year

First, a quick introduction! I’m Sarah, a new writer around here at The Student Help Forum. I’m a full-time post baccalaureate student in public health education. I work over 30 hours a week, write for four blogs and try to have a social life on top of everything. I hope my words of advice within The Student Help Forum strike a chord with you and enhance your student life! I’m always open to writing suggestions and you should feel free to send me some mail if you ever have something you’d like to see me address!

Second, let’s get down to business!

If you’re anything like me, once finals week is over, your brain shuts down until about a week into the next term’s classes. However, over this winter break, I’d like to challenge you to keep thinking; start thinking about next term, and how you’re going to push yourself to do even better in it.

My first suggestion on how to improve yourself in the new year & the new term is:

USE A CALENDAR

Use a Calendar!Whether you choose to use a paper calendar, or Google’s wonderful calendar application, write things down, keep track of where you’re supposed to be and when you’re supposed to be there, and then celebrate as you cross things off your list!

I use my calendar to plan telephone calls, to make doctor’s appointments, to keep track of my work schedule, to remind myself I have a blog entry due (or blog inspirations), to write down lunch dates with friends, and even to write myself notes about how my day went.

When you have big events that you need preparation, pre-reminded yourself! I write down my finals during the first week of classes, and then one week before the final, I write “PHE 355 Final – 1 week!” and high-light it to remind myself that it’s coming up.

If it’s your thing, I’ve found that color coding my calendar is incredibly helpful. I have a colors for school, for work, for blogs, for WEGOHealth (where I am a community leader), for photography, for exercise and for personal stuff. It’s a bright looking calendar and even when there’s a lot of stuff going on, at least it’s shown in fun colors!

On paper calendars, sometimes it’s hard to write about your “to-do’s” in detail, but I recommend you write down all the details (address, contact name & information, things you may need to bring, etc) when you’re writing on your calendar. I often keep paperclips in my day planner so I can attach things to the days that they belong with as well.

Another tip that I have, which comes in handy for students is to write down all the family birthdays or anniversaries you need to remember when you first get a blank calendar. Most of us get calendars when we’re home for the holidays and since your mom is most likely to be right there, have her help you out. This will help you remember to send Grams a birthday card and remind her how great she is!

While it may seem daunting to use a daily calendar to keep track of your life, I promise you that in the long run, it will pay off and you will be incredibly pleased (not to mention organized) with the results!

Essential Software for Students

School is hard. Between papers to write, tests to study for, projects to finish, and trying to actually have a social life, there’s a lot for students to do. There’s also a lot of software out there that promises to make things easier – unfortunately, a lot of it can break a student budget. Fear not, though, there is help!

Students have a lot of needs when it comes to technology, and thankfully, there are free solutions to most of them. From security to socializing, I’m going to walk you through the essential software for students to keep their schoolwork and schedules on track.

    Security

AVG by Grisoft makes an excellent suite of anti-malware software. There are three programs in the suite: AVG Anti-Virus Free, AVG Anti-Spyware Free, and AVG Anti-Rootkit Free. They work well, update automatically, and you don’t have to worry about your subscription – and your protection – running out.

As for a firewall, ZoneAlarm is a great choice, free for personal and charitable use. When a program tries to access the internet, ZoneAlarm pops up a message requesting access – if you don’t know whether to allow it or not, ZoneAlarm will offer advice about what to do.

    Web Browsing and Email

For web browsing, you should get Mozilla Firefox. It’s free, it has thousands of extensions to do anything you could possibly want to do with a web browser, and it has security features built in. If you don’t do anything else, get rid of Internet Explorer. It’s a magnet for viruses, spyware, and just about every other kind of security problem that exists.

While you’re switching to Firefox, check out Mozilla Thunderbird for email. It does everything Outlook does, and like Firefox, has great extensions and built-in security.

    Office Applications

Eventually, you’re going to need to write something, or create a spreadsheet. Instead of paying $300 for Microsoft Office, get OpenOffice. It does everything that Microsoft Office does, and it’s completely free.

Likewise, why settle for the restricted features of Adobe’s Acrobat Reader? Get Foxit Reader instead – it’s faster, it lets you do things Acrobat doesn’t, and it’s free.

At some point, you’re probably going to want to do some image editing. You can shell out hundreds for Adobe Photoshop, or you can get The GIMP, a free, open-source alternative. GIMP can be a bit less intuitive, but once you learn to master it, there’s not much you can’t do with it.

    Calendar

If you’re going to keep your schedule together, you’ll need a calendar. Paper calendars are great, and it’s a good idea to have one for those times when you can’t get to your online one. However, there are a lot of positives to online calendars: email and text-message reminders, guest invitations and RSVPs, group sharing, and of course, being able to access it anywhere in the world. When it comes to online calendars, Google Calendar is my favorite.

If you like having a desktop calendar program, I recommend getting a Google Calendar account and downloading Mozilla Sunbird, a full-featured calendar program that integrates well with GCal. If you’re using Thunderbird for email, you can get Lightning, a great calendar extension for Thunderbird.

    Chatting

There are a lot of great services out there for chatting. MSN, AOL, Yahoo, and Google all have their own services. If you’re using them all, you should consider a multi-service client like Pidgin.

You can log into all your IM accounts through Pidgin and save the system resources used by running several different clients.If you want the ultimate in chatting, though, you should go for Skype. Not only does Skype provide user-to-user and group chats like the other programs, but it offers free user-to-user VOIP phone calls. You can even have large conference calls with groups of Skype users, anywhere in the world. Skype also offers plans that allow you to call landline phones, and to receive calls from landlines; in some cases, you can have your whole year’s phone service for less than you’d spend for two months with regular phone service.

    Online Applications

There are some great online applications out there for students as well. Google offers a whole library of services, including Google Scholar, Google Book Search, Google Earth, Google Translate, and the previously mentioned Google Calendar.

For note-taking, NoteSake is an excellent online application. NoteSake lets you take your notes online, share them with others, collaborate with groups, organize them, and even provide copies to others who weren’t in class.

If you’re learning a foreign language, Mango provides free online language courses. You can choose from eleven different languages, with more to come. Mango is a beta release, however, so don’t be surprised if you find the occasional cucaracha.

Justin Ryan is a freelance writer and technology consultant. He is the News Editor for LinuxJournal.com and a regular blogger for Wisebread.com, where he writes on technology, personal finance, and savvy living.

Sniffles, Sneezes, and Sickness

Tissue Box

When you leave home for the first time, and start going to university, there is one thing which you can never be prepared for – the number of colds and illnesses you will get in your first year. It will seem that every week you willl have another kind of flu. You will catch anything from coughs, the sniffles, sour throats, stomach bugs, and everything in between. While this obviously has the actual symptoms, it can also have a big impact on your academic results.

You cannot choose when you will catch a cold, so they could come at the worst possible times. I know that I have caught a cold during Mid-Semester exams, final exams, the day before an assignment is due, and dozens of other times throughout the year. It is for this reason that you need to have a fully stocked supply of antidotes, lozenges, and various other drugs.

This is a small list of all the things that you will use, plus some that you should use:

  • Vitamin C Tables
  • Throat Lozenges
  • Pain Killers
  • Bandages
  • Various Different Kinds of Head Cold Tablets

I hate illnesses and colds! This is definetly a scenario when the saying ‘A prevention is better than a cure’ applies. Try to eat healthy, excercise, and stay out of the cold. Hopefully if you follow all of these tips you will be able to stay healthy throughout your university life.