Author Archives: Robert Johnson

Buying and Selling Textbooks 101

As the last semester of classes is coming to an end, more and more of people are wondering what to do with college course textbooks, and rightly so.

While most people are only focused on reading it into oblivion, the real question is, what’s the best way to buy and sell textbooks? Well, the answer lies here – we outline a few tips on buying and selling college textbooks so that you’re able to get the most out of these heavy (but necessary) resources!

 

Buying Tips: College Textbooks

– Opt for Used, Always!

So many people go into a semester of college thinking that they have to buy brand new textbooks for each of their classes, but this is far from true. Most bookstores on college campuses offer both new and used textbooks.

Used textbooks may be marked up a bit with excessive highlighting but that does that really change the content? Nope! Why not save a few bucks on textbooks by opting for used ones? Despite the potential coffee stain on page 49, used textbooks are a better bang for your buck.

– Rent vs Buy

A lot of people also debate renting or buying their college textbooks, but why?! If you’re taking a general required class that you have absolutely no desire in, then why not rent your textbooks? Renting from college bookstores is ALWAYS cheaper.

However, if you’re taking a class that is for your major or minor then you may consider buying (but buy used, see Tip I).

– Go Electronic

In this day and age, practically everything can be found online. A lot of college courses now offer the ability to find the required textbook online. This can be an advantage for someone who doesn’t want to carry four 10lb books around for the day. Also, save the trees!

 

Selling Tips: College Textbooks

College textbooks can be pricey on the front end but they typically end up being worth the money. However, at the end of the semester when they’re no longer needed, figuring out what to do with them can be difficult.

– Maintain Good Condition

Throughout the semester when using textbooks, if they are kept in good condition then it is likely that bookstores on or off campus will want to buy them.

– Ask Around

One of the best ways to sell college textbooks is to other students! Colleges are full of a bunch of people doing the exact same thing. Asking around among friends, peers, or classmates is a great way to see if anyone is looking to buy a textbook.

– Used Bookstores

When the semester is up, a lot of used bookstores are looking to buy textbooks because they know that other students will be searching for them in the near future. Take last semester’s textbooks and try to sell them at a used bookstore. It’s likely that they’ll take it off your hands so long as it’s in good condition.

– Online Resources

Again, in this day and age, practically everything can be done online including selling textbooks. There are great websites such as Chegg, BookScouter, and TextBookRush which all buy back used textbooks!

 

Determining Your Needs & Wants

All in all, both buying and selling textbooks can be simple but it takes patience and determining what your needs and wants are. It’s important to first figure out whether you want used or new textbooks or hard or digital copies, then it’s easier to determine where to go in order to find them.

Secondly, keep in mind what your goal is for selling your textbooks. If you’re just trying to declutter your room then the college campus bookstore may be a good place to start, but if you’re wanting some extra cash then ask around, use the resources that exist!

Big, heavy college textbooks are definitely becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are choosing to go digital but at the same time, some people still find it helpful to have a hardcopy that they can physically make use of. Either way, consider the options that exist. Doing so will ensure that you get what you want out of both buying and selling!

Fire Safety Tips for College Students

Fire Safety Tips for College Students

Safety First: Fire Prevention Tips for On Campus Living

Living on campus is an exciting time for any college student. After all, what could be more fun than living in the same building as all of your friends?

But there are some hazards to this type of group living, particularly when it comes to fire risks. When a group of people is concentrated in one building, the risks of fire breaking out automatically increase. So, it’s worthwhile to learn about the best fire prevention tips for college students early to prevent a problem from coming up when it’s too late.

We’ve compiled a list of some basic fire safety tips for dorm room living and classrooms. Following these best practices as a group will help prevent fires and create a safer living environment for everyone.

Don’t Leave Candles Unattended

Candles can spell disaster if left unchecked and unattended. Sure, everyone loves the smell of a burning candle (especially in a smelly dorm room!), but there are ways to ensure the candle burns with less of a risk of catching something else on fire.

Don’t burn candles close to anything flammable. This includes curtains, cords, papers, books, or cans of hairspray or other flammable materials. Even if the candle is a small, single wick style, it can still pose a risk if the flame becomes tall or a breeze directs the flame to the side.

Additionally, take the time to trim the wicks of the candle after each use. Trimming the wick cuts down on the excess carbon build up, which can often lead to a higher flame and, therefore, a higher fire risk. By trimming the wick, you’re also extending the life of your candle — a win-win!

Be Wary of Cooking in a Dorm Room

Cooking at home can save money and time, but without a full kitchen this can often be more dangerous than helpful. Most dorm rooms do not allow for the use of hot plates or microwaves due to the fire and safety hazards.

When cooking in the dorm room, if this is a possibility, be sure to monitor all activity and not leave anything unattended. Cooking in a microwave is fairly safe, but be sure you are not putting anything such as aluminium foil or low-quality plastic in. These materials are not microwave-safe, meaning they can cause damage or not withstand the heat.

Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets

It can be tempting to plug in every electronic possible, but extra loose cords can be a fire risk. Use surge protectors when you need to utilize the space for multiple cords, and monitor the quality of the cords to ensure there is no fraying or damage to the wires.

In addition, be sure to keep the dorm room tidy and free of clutter. Clutter, in a bad situation, can be more kindling than anything else. This goes for cords — keep them organized and away from things such as candles or hot plates. The neater the dorm room, the less of a risk there will be for fire hazards.

Communal living provides plenty of challenges for safety, but simply living responsibly and monitoring any hazards can go a long way to prevent a disaster from happening.

Source: Firefighters Fund

Need Help with Choosing a College?

Need Help Choosing a College?

Whether you’re a freshman or transfer student, choosing the best college or university for you can be a difficult choice. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. With some proper research and digging deep to decide what’s most important to you and your future, you’ll be able to make the correct selection for your future.

Below are some great tips and ideas to help you get through the difficult part and choose the right college or university for you.

Tips to Choose the Best College or University for You:

1. Never assume that you must pay full price for college — two-thirds of students don’t.

A lot of people make choices based on price but when you realize that most students don’t actually pay full price for tuition, you may start to look at school selection differently. With grants, scholarships, and many other options available to help you reduce tuition, make the selection that’s best for your future.

2. Take college-prep classes and earn good grades. Those are the two admission factors that schools typically value the most.

If your plan is to go to school and get some help paying for tuition, then you’re going to need good grades. Put the time in during High School and go above and beyond to take some college-prep classes. This will prove to universities that you’re serious about your future and will be a great asset to their school.

3. Look for schools that have high four-year graduation rates. You don’t want to be stuck in college for five or six years.

There are a lot of factors that go into graduating on time. A big portion of that is how available and crowded the classes you need to take in order to graduate. Some schools are much better at helping their students get the necessary classes and getting their schedules setup correctly in year 1 so they stay on track for the next 4 years. This is a serious benefit that students often overlook.

4. Research potential majors before shopping for schools.

Some schools are much better in certain areas than others. Don’t overlook the majors and departments inside each school when it comes to making your selection. Some people prefer to look at overall school rankings which can be misleading and often aren’t based on the factors that actually matter about whether you’ll get a great education.

Do you research and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when choosing a college or university for you.

(Source: CBS News)

Tips for Going to Class with Braces

Getting braces after age 16 seems to be more and more popular the past few years. In fact, we see many young adults on campus with braces, both the metal braces as well as clear or invisible braces. We recently approached one of those students and asked what made them decide to get braces. At the age of 20, this student said he was feeling self conscious about some “crowding” that was going on with his teeth and felt it was the best time to get the braces because his parents insurance was able to cover some of it.

In addition to convenience and cost, he also felt it would increase his chances of finding a great job after graduated. He didn’t want his teeth, or even his self-consciousness about his teeth to ever impact his performance at an interview. First impressions matter and he wanted to put his very best foot forward.

We were enlightened by his insight and asked him if there was any tips he’d give to anyone else considering braces. His response was to be prepared to deal with the day-to-day hassle that comes with braces, including the pain, difficulty eating, and the occasional poking wires. So we did a little research of our own and found some great tips for going to school with braces.

1. Keep the Braces Care Kit in Your Backpack

Packing a braces care kit and bringing it to school is highly recommended, especially for kid’s that are new to braces. The braces care kit will help your child be prepared for the most dreaded situations that can come from wearing braces. Consider including the following items in the braces care kit:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Dental wax
  • Lip balm

The toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss will come in handy, especially after lunch. Braces have a tendency to collect food so it’s important that kid’s set aside time to brush and floss after lunch.

2. Be Careful What You Eat

Orthodontists instruct their patients to avoid certain kinds of food. For example, it’s best to stay away from hard, gooey, sticky, and crunchy foods as they can break or damage the wires and brackets of the braces.

The temptation to eat candy or chew gum is even higher in school. One common recommendation is to pack yogurt, apple sauce, or other soft-sweet foods to satisfy sugar cravings.

When going back to school with braces, it’s highly recommended that children get in the habit of packing a lunch. Packing a lunch is the best way to ensure that all food options are braces-friendly. Since it’s easier to eat and chew with braces when food is cut into bite-sized pieces. Biting into sandwiches, for example, can result in large amounts of bread, mayo, cheese, and lunchmeat getting stuck in the front braces. Cutting food into bite sized pieces will save time from brushing and flossing at school, and prepping the food before school will ensure it actually gets done.

3. Carry a Water Bottle and Stay Hydrated

Going back to school with braces? don’t forget the water bottle. Staying hydrated is great good for your child’s overall health, but drinking plenty of water will also help remove food particles from the teeth and braces. Drinking a lot of water will hopefully also help kid’s stay away from drinking soda and other sugary drinks that can stain the teeth. Getting stained teeth while wearing braces can result in white spots from the brackets when the braces are removed.

If your child does occasionally drink soda or other sugary drinks, it’s a good idea for them to use a straw in order to keep the soda as far away from their teeth as possible. Also, remind them not to swish the soda between their cheeks before swallowing. We know the carbonation can feel good against the cheeks but it’s best practice to keep these sugary liquids as far from their teeth as possible, especially with braces.

(Source: Chicago Orthodontics)

Health and Wellness Tips for NC Students

Making it through your freshman year of college without gaining the dreaded “freshman 15” is quite a feat these days. Unfortunately, poor diet and nutrition habits, coupled with stress and lack of sleep, can lead to weight gain very quickly and result in even more poor eating and lifestyle habits. We’re passionate about helping students stay healthy and optimizing their health and performance so they can do great in college. Here are 9 great health and wellness tips to keep you mind and body going in a positive direction.

nc-student-health-wellness

1. Eat breakfast. Start your day off right with a good meal when you get up. Whether you’re rolling out of bed at noon or up at the crack of dawn for class, make sure you start your day with a balanced, healthy meal.

2. Don’t skip meals. With so much to do, it’s easy to forgo eating to run off to class or the library. Don’t skip meals. Set up foods you can eat on the run so you’ll have the energy to keep going.

3. Play a sport. One way to get yourself motivated to exercise is to make it a game by playing a sport. Join an intramural team or play recreational sports through your school to get active and have fun at the same time.

4. Stick to a schedule. With different classes and work hours each day, it can be hard to stick to a schedule, but keeping sleep times similar from day to day can greatly improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

5. Wear flip flops in the shower. Dorm bathrooms are generally cleaned daily, but can become dirty quickly with so many students sharing them. Always make sure to wear sandals in the shower to avoid getting viruses and bacteria that can cause warts and athlete’s foot.

6. Understand you can’t do everything. While you might want to go to class, work, play a sport, and participate in clubs and social activities, the reality is that sooner or later you’re going to get run down by trying to do so much. Focus on doing the things you truly love and forget about the rest.

7. Relax with hobbies. Whether you like to paint or to destroy aliens with your friends in video games, making time for the things you love is an important part of keeping yourself from getting too stressed out.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help with their depression but this is unnecessary as it’s a common and treatable problem that you don’t have to deal with alone. Tap into campus resources to find help or tell a friend how you’re feeling.

9. Quit smoking. No matter how much you may love the sweet thrill of a nicotine rush, the reality is that smoking just isn’t good for you or anyone around you. Quit as soon as you can to save your lungs, heart, teeth and years of your life.

(Source: Health Services at Rutgers)