Preparing to go to college can be such a daunting experience. Not only will you have just had the stress and busy times of finishing up high school and exams, but you will be preparing to leave home. It can feel pretty overwhelming. It can also be pretty expensive when you think of all of the things that you need to get ready for. That is even before we start talking about the cost of living or tuition. So it is a good idea to get prepared well in advance and gather the bits that you need over time. But what are the essentials that you need?
Here are a few bits to
Having a fixed desktop computer can be great when you are at home. But having an easily movable laptop computer is the best idea. You can take it around with you to lectures and tutorials, as well as taking it to the library and out to the coffee shop. Mac or PC is probably an opinion you already have. So just make sure that you choose one that will be suitable for all you need it to do. It is good to get one that is the right size for you too. Many people choose a 13 inch one. But some will prefer a larger screen, or perhaps, even a more compact one. Just shop around and choose one that will look good, but also is functional.
You will be carrying large books, pens, notepaper and your laptop when you head in for lectures and meetings. So you need to have a bag that will fit everything in. Many college backpacks aren’t sturdy enough and then you just end up buying several. So look out for one that is well made and ergonomically designed. If it can spread the weight between both shoulders, as well as around the waist, then it will help a lot. Some people prefer to get a laptop bag that you just carry with your hand. But you need to bear in mind that you could be walking or cycling to school. So you want it to be functional for you.
When you are a college student, your life in on your laptop. Imagine trying to save an essay or document, but there isn’t any space? Pretty much a nightmare. You might store photos and movies on your laptop too, and they all take-up space. So it is a good idea to get an external hard drive. Not only does it help you create space and save your work, but it also acts as a backup in case your laptop gets stolen or gets a virus. Always backup your work!
If you want certain bedding, desk chair, lamps, or accessories, then they all need to be stored and collected. It might be good to buy things that are on sale now so that you can put them to one side and use them in the future.
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Your parents splitting up is usually a huge moment in your life. Whether you still live at home or you're already an independent adult, it can rock your world. In some cases, you might have seen it coming, while other times it's a complete surprise. But even if you suspected something, it can still be hard to process it when it actually happens. Your parents' separation or divorce doesn't just affect them but you, and any siblings you have too. It can be a confusing and upsetting time and it feels completely out of your control much of the time.
It can help to understand a bit about what will happen and how you can handle it.
The Divorce Process
When your parents decide to get divorced, they might first separate. This usually means living separately, or at least ending their romantic relationship, while remaining legally married. This is sometimes required before a couple can get divorced. Although marriage is a quick process, divorce is often a much longer and messier one. This is because your parents have mixed up their finances and property. Some couples will come to a divorce agreement on their own. However, they may choose to use a divorce mediator, who helps them to work out a fair arrangement. In some cases, their divorce might go to court if they aren't able to come to agreement without it.
Another big issue during a divorce is child custody. If you aren't still a minor, you might have siblings who are. Child custody can be a very complicated thing to work out. Some parents come up with parenting agreements on their own or with the help of a mediator. Others need to sort it out in court, where a judge will decide what is best for any children. If you're still a minor, you will usually get to voice your opinion as a teenager. However, you won't necessarily get the final say. Even if you don't want to see one of your parents, the judge could decide that it's what's best for you.
Photo: By The Blue Diamond Gallery
Living a Double Life
When your parents split, it can feel like you have to start living two lives, even if you no longer live at home. Who should you go to for the holidays? Can you invite your dad to an event where your mom will be bringing her new partner? If you're under 18, you might be splitting your time between two houses. These issues can all be very stressful. However, it's important to remember that many other people deal with the same thing. You can talk to others about how they handle similar issues, as well as speaking to a professional counselor if you want to.
The Effect of Divorce on Your Own Relationships
Your parents divorcing can sometimes have an impact on your relationships. It might make it difficult for you to trust partners or you might be scared that a divorce is in your future. It can help to speak to someone about these feelings so that you can process them in a healthy way.
It's not easy to handle your parents' divorce, but it can be easier if you know what's happening. Try to make sure they don't keep you in the dark too much.
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Exams are always an incredibly stressful time, with so much pressure to do well it’s no wonder that so many students feel nervous and anxious during exam season. No one likes doing exams, that’s a given, but there are things you can do to make the whole process a little easier.
Here’s how to survive your exams and keep stress levels
Take Good Notes Throughout The Year
It goes without saying that if you pay attention in class, taking good notes and keeping up to date with the work- once exam season rolls around it will be a lot less stressful. Make notes that are easy to read and digest, and when you come back to at a later date, you will be able to understand. If you need to have time off for any reason, be sure you’re catching up with the work or when it comes to exam time or there are going to be huge gaps in your knowledge
Get Extra Help If You Need It
If you find yourself struggling or falling behind on your work, don’t just keep quiet about it. Speak to your tutor and ask if they can explain it again, they will be happy to. Do some of your own research online so you can understand the idea better. If exam season rolls around and you know you’ve had trouble understanding the work then it’s going to make everything so much more stressful.
Leaving everything until the last minute and cramming will do nothing to improve your stress levels. The feeling of upcoming exams is always going to be unpleasant, but revising is something that’s in your control and doing so will allow you to stay on top of things. Draw up a revision planner, so you know exactly what you need to study and when to have it all done in time for the tests.
Plan a Stress-Free Day on Exam Days
Have an early night, and get all of your clothes ready that you’re going to wear. Eat breakfast in the morning, and plan enough time to relax so that you’re not rushing around. You can find useful tips on how to prepare for exam day from experts like Groza Learning Center. Starting the day off right will mean you can go in and do your best without worrying about anything other than your exam.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Meditation and yoga are both great ways to help you to relax and clear your mind when things start feeling a little stressful. Develop healthy coping techniques; this isn’t just useful for exam season but something that will serve you well throughout your adult life. Maybe exercise will help, or taking a hot bath. Stress is unavoidable in life, but we can work on the ways that we can cope with it.
Exam season might seem like a long way off right now but it will be here again before you know it! So spending some time now working out a revision plan and how to cope with stress is beneficial.