Tag Archives: college life

The American Dream?

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House For Rent: $1,000/month

I have to gripe about something that I think many of my classmates and other students and working-class adults of any age, can relate to. My goal is to address the issue of fair wages and the cost of living in the United States.

This feels a little like a “first world problem” but it is one that I believe many can relate to. As I stated, I am like many, a working adult, returning to school, hoping to buy a house in the next ten years, and trying to save money while paying astronomical rent, paying for college (again) and changing my profession because my job in the healthcare industry wasn’t paying the bills for me.

I feel that the goals of my generation differ immensely from those of my parents, but there are still similarities. I will tell you I definitely never predicted ten years ago that I would finish one degree and then have to pursue another just for a little increase in pay (or hopefully more than a little; fingers crossed!) so I can afford rent on a single income, or that I would have to change careers multiple times by the time I turned thirty in pursuit of something that makes me happy or at the very least makes me not dread getting up in the morning. At the risk of sounding like a total millennial, why does it have to be so darn hard?!

Honestly, I would be thrilled to death with a tiny house, close to the city, with a little green space for my dog. It seems like now more than ever, that is a lot to ask. The housing market is especially challenging for my generation and those that follow, as there is a serious lack of habitable homes in a price range that is affordable for the average human, as wages are not increasing at the same rate as home values, rents and the cost of living.

The minimum wage in Minnesota recently rose to $9.65/hour.  According to the Huffington Post, at this rate, the average American worker would need to log 117-hour weeks for 52 weeks per year to afford a two-bedroom apartment or rental home, in ANY state (known as the “fair market rent”).

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-much-you-need-for-rent_us_5942cc92e4b0f15cd5b9e2ee

My good friend finished her master’s degree over a year ago and makes $15/hour working for a major school district in the Twin Cities; she barely gets by with a small studio apartment that doesn’t even have a full kitchen, in St. Paul, in a slightly less-than-safe neighborhood, for a grand a month!

My hope is that more, frustrated individuals like myself, will join in the fight for fair wages, and eventually bridge the gap that exists between the poverty line, the working middle class and the (now less than) 1%.

I found it amusing, in our reading this week, Mendelson explains his belief that we don’t influence each other as much as we think we do, but more that the media influences us first and we just pass it along (Mendelson Chapter Ten, Page 62).  I would have to agree with that statement.  I think we need to speak more from personal experience in certain situations and just be truthful with ourselves and each other; cut the bullshit.  Because I, for one, am fed up with living paycheck to paycheck while I work my tail off and throw 30% or more of my hard-earned income renting some dumpy place in St. Paul.  I know I’m not alone and that is why I want more people to speak out and call it what it is.

Un-Mankind?

A student at Northern Arizona University lost a point for using mankind in his essay.
While I completely agree that we should never encourage sexism or racism, boycotting words such as ‘mankind’ and ‘man-made’ and punishing college students who use such words in their essays by taking points off their grades is ridiculous and is taking away time and attention from other pressing issues. As a woman who is an advocate for women’s rights and encourages equality for everyone, I just feel like this is too much and distasteful. This is taking gendered language too far. At the time when this word was invented it was probably geared towards a gender-neutral meaning. As a college student we all understand the importance of every point in our assignments, quizzes, and tests. Imagine getting docked for a word, even if that word has MAN in it; instead of “human” or “people”
We cannot expect all students to completely change things they’re used to all of a sudden.  Even if such words are to be banned forever, students need time to get used to the change. “Docking points” is unacceptable.  Sorry Northern Arizona University, that’s not the right way to correct “sexist” language.

Savings on a College Budget?

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I’m totally going to rant out for a moment about a blog post I read on how to save money.

First off let me warn you, I’m paying my way through college, while working a fulltime job that barely makes ends meet. So I’m sure you can imagine it’s difficult for me to look at saving money the same way as someone who can live off of 51 percent of their income. Currently a growing savings account to me is a fanciful land where fairies and dragons roam lush forests filled with rainbow waterfalls, Reality is… However, I still thought I should read the blog post and see what I could learn about saving some extra money. Here’s a snapshot from the blog: “Throughout the year, I lived on an average of 51 percent my income ($28,000), saved 31 percent ($17,000), and spent the other 18 percent on travel ($10,000). I proved that I could live on less, save more, and do more of what I loved, and learned so many other lessons throughout the process.” The author goes on to share some suggestions like cutting out spending money on nonessentials such as her $100 plus a month habit of buying coffee. Are you kidding me? That’s when I realized my monthly savings is the equivalent to someone’s bad coffee problem and I couldn’t relate to what I was reading. The author leaves out the possibility that her audience might not have the same financial means as she does. The post would have been more effective had she considered a wider audience. I, like the author of the post I disagree with are biased. Having your own perspective is an inevitable aspect of online communities and it’s not a bad thing, we just have to recognize this factor.

Link to post:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-lived-on-51-of-my-income-saved-17000_us_5a60f7bce4b0e07b3731ceea

 

 

 

Time to Sleep

When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and well rested since becoming a college student? It’s not typical when we have many classes, assignment deadlines, group projects, and class discussions that we try to cram at 11:59 pm. No one said that college was going to be easy, but who thought it was going to be this difficult getting eight hours of good sleep at night—I’m lucky if I get six!

One thing we constantly sacrifice as students is our SLEEP. There are so many negative effects of not getting enough sleep though, and it has to change… like right now. According to the University Health Center of Georgia,“On average, most college students get 6 – 6.9 hours of sleep per night, and the college years are notoriously sleep-deprived due to an overload of activities.”  It goes on to say, “Recent research on college students and sleep indicates that insufficient sleep impacts our health, our moods, our GPA and our safety.”
Sleep is crucial for everyone. Although we are constantly dodging it for more ‘significant’ priorities like catching up with friends to unwind from our drowning week of assignments, exams, and just a workload of never-ending deadlines, we need to start jotting down in our calendars to try get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. That way, we live a more productive and healthier life. After all, as Dr.  Knepler says, “Half the reason you’re at college really is to learn and not getting enough sleep can keep college students from their goals of succeeding in school.”
So, let’s get some great night time sleep and pass our classes well-rested.
If you want to get more tips and advice on how you can get more sleep at night, the articles below have some wonderful pointers.

Staying Healthy in School

It’s that time of year where everybody is hacking and sneezing all over the place. If you aren’t sick, the person sitting next to you in your Media Studies class probably is. The best way to deal with the sickness is to avoid it altogether. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself healthy while on your grind.

-Antibacterial wipes

Our cellphones are great for keeping us connected at all times, but they’re also breeding ground for the germs that will make us sick. Check out this article from CBS regarding how much…stuff…is on your phone.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-best-way-to-clean-your-grimy-bacteria-laden-cellphone/

The best way to prevent flu-causing bacteria from being transferred to other surfaces, including yourself, is to clean your phone. Bye, bye, germs!

-Drink lots of water

Yes, even if you hate the taste of it. Water is necessary for the body to function properly. It keeps everything moist and doing what it’s supposed to do. Here’s an article about how water can prevent you from getting the flu. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-203142/Why-water-ward-flu.html

There are lots of simple ways to stay healthy this time of year, and these are just a few examples. Take the time to keep yourself healthy!

Your Mental Health, You Should Care

Being a college student is stressful in itself due to deadlines, major projects, and weekly assignments. Many students work a full time job while juggling multiple courses and some students have families too that they need to take care of. Personally, I have had a terrible past year for my mental health due to a stressful job and major life events but I have recently been working on bettering my mental health by leaving that stressful job and starting a new one that is a lot less stressful with a lot of fulfillment throughout my day.

When trying to understand how to improve my mental health, I stumbled upon a study from the University of Michigan (www.uhs.umich.edu) that provides 10 ways to better your mental health and they include sub points as well. Such as, take care of your body by drinking more water, get enough sleep, or eat nutritious meals. There are so many important aspects to improving your mental health and even the littlest of steps can make a huge difference.

As a college student, I often stay up late working on homework or writing papers and then I work early in the morning so my sleep schedule gets ruined during each semester. Sleep is a very important factor in maintaining a adequate mental health routine. There are a lot of other factors associated with not getting enough sleep which are laid out in www.livingly.com

I wish you all the best of luck with improving your mental health because there is always room for improvement especially during the semester. I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully these links come in handy.

Need Help Studying?

Do you find yourself stressing when it comes to tests? Feel overly anxious when you try to sit down and study? With the help of topuniversities.com and oxfordlearning.com you can overcome your fear, and be better prepared for test day!

One of the most important concepts is to give yourself enough time to study. It’s better to study 1 hour every day for 5 days, then to study for 5 hours 1 day. By studying the same content repeatedly, your brain has an easier time remembering it.

Another key tip is to organize your work space and steer clear of distractions. By focusing solely on studying, you will be more apt to remember what you are studying, and do it in less time! If you stay off YouTube for 2 hours and study, you can go on YouTube all you want after.

Another big tip is to study using old test, if this is possible. This will allow you to see questions that are similar in nature, so you can get a food feel for what the test will look like. This way there’ll be less surprises come test day.

Organizing a study group is another great idea. By working together with your fellow peers, you will be able to better understand the material. You will create a vivid memory of the things you studied and will be better able to recall the information you learned at the time. Also, helping and teaching others will solidify the information in your brain, making it easier to recall that information for a test.

The final tip is to take regular breaks and to snack on brain food. By taking regular breaks, you allow yourself to fully process and store the new information you have just learned. By snacking on brain food, you are refueling your tired brain after it’s been working so hard trying to remember all those vocab terms!

For the full list of tips, check out the links, and good luck on your next exams!