Keeping the Piggy Bank Full

College is getting more and more expensive as the years go by. Going to a community college does help save some money but even so, I know that I need to find ways to save some more. I did some research and found a few gems to help you keep your piggy bank full during your college experience!

Scholarships: Let’s face it, college is expensive and not everyone can afford to pay their tuition fully. That’s where scholarships come in. Scholarships are defined as a grant or payment made to support a student’s education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement. You can get a scholarship for almost anything, like being left-handed or wearing glasses. You just need to know where to look. Scholarships.com is a great website where you enter a profile and the website gives you hundreds of scholarships that you are eligible to apply for.

Rent Your Books: Buying the books you need for a college class is nice, if you are going to use them again. But if you are a nursing major taking an English class or computer class, there is no use spending the money to buy a book you’re not going to use again. There are many great websites out there where you can rent your textbooks cheaply, like chegg.com or textbook.com.

Making a Budget and Sticking to It: There are plenty of ways to make sure you aren’t spending more money than you should, and one is to make a budget. Mint.com is a great way to manage your money. It gets all of your financial information in one place so you have an idea of where your money is going and what you should be doing to reach your saving goals.

Food: Although the cafe has some pretty tasty food, it is much easier to save some money to pack your own lunch. That way you ensure you won’t spend money on food and also guarantee you will like what’s for lunch. Another thing to do while being money conscious is to not eat out. It is always cheaper (not to mention healthier) to make food at home rather than going to a restaurant or fast food chain.

These tips aren’t set in stone to save money but I do know they help me out a lot. And I hope they help all of you as well.

Samantha, student blogger

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Balancing College and Work

I knew it would be a challenge, but I knew I could do it. For my first year of college, I only scheduled my classes on Monday Wednesday, and Friday. I only had one class on Friday for two hours, so I considered it my catch-up day. I wanted to keep working because I obviously need money. I work at McDonald’s Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. That might not seem like a hard job, but believe me it is harder than what you think. I also work past my shift on most days, and I do a lot of walking while I’m there. I also take care of customer’s problems; this can be a difficult process especially when the customer is mad. I do get tired, and sometimes I do get overwhelmed. It definitely does get old not having a day off, so I usually try to request one Sunday a month off. It’s not that hard to balance college and school. I try to think about how the future will get better; in fact, one day I will make more money being a nurse, and I will only have to go to work, not school and work.

When going to work and college, you just need to make sure you have self-discipline. Make sure you get your homework and studying done on time, but never forget to give yourself time to go out with your friends or significant other. Since I only have one two-hour class on Friday, right after class, I try to do homework for at least two hours. When I have breaks between classes, I go find a quiet place to do homework or to study. I always make sure to use my spare time wisely. Working and college leaves no time to procrastinate. I am constantly writing a to-do list to make sure I don’t forget to do homework or even to do my laundry. However, I never forget to give myself free time. My free time motivates me to get my school work done so that I can relax. Balancing work and college is a challenge, but you will be able to handle it as long as you use your time wisely.

Emily, student blogger

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Staying Ahead of the Deadline

We’ve all been there. The night before class, you look on Blackboard and realize: “Oh no, I have an essay due tomorrow!” or “I totally forgot to read this chapter for Anatomy that we may have a pop quiz on” or my immediate heart attacker, “the huge test that we had three weeks to study for is TOMORROW?!”

Let’s be honest, we all like to procrastinate. We all have jobs, families, and other obligations that are vying for our time as well as our classwork. But we have to find a balance, because CCBC is just as important for our future. So, I have done some research and found some great tips on how to fight procrastination and become a better (and less stressed) student.

1. Find a space. I’m a creature of habit. I love doing homework in bed or on the couch because I love to be comfortable. But these places distract me from the work I’m doing because I am able to watch TV or maybe squeeze in a quick nap between assignments. Fight the urge by finding a specific place to do your classwork like a desk or kitchen table. No distractions and you are mentally prepared to work when you sit down.

2. To-Do List. Make a list of all things you want to get done today. It limits the amount of things you can forget and also gives you the satisfaction of crossing things off.

3. Get Help. I don’t know about you but I work better when I have a push to get something finished. If that’s the case, have a family member or friend motivate you to finish your work.

I realize that some of these tips may not help everyone but if they could work for you, TRY THEM. You won’t be disappointed.

(These tips and more can be found here.)

– Samantha, student blogger

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Transfer Fair

Last week, I helped run the transfer fair held in the LRC. There were a lot of colleges there, and I think it was a really great opportunity for students. I’d gladly help with it again. But, I saw some problems with how it was being used.

I know there are a few teachers who give extra credit to their students if they show proof that they attended the transfer fair. I think that’s a great idea – it gives you a chance to get to the fair if your classes don’t give you much time, plus it benefits your current grades. However, I don’t think it’s a good idea if you have no intention of even attempting to find out anything about any colleges. I saw a couple students sign in, grab a flyer, wander around for a moment, and then leave, happy to get their bonus points, and laughing because, “I really fooled my teacher.”

My question is this: How did that benefit you? Your teacher isn’t going to be personally offended that you didn’t actually “go” to the fair. They were being nice and giving you an opportunity, and you were abusing it.

With that being said, I would have to say about 95% of the students that went through the fair were there for the right reasons. I saw lots of people who were happy that they were able to ask questions and have them answered on the spot. People were happy that they could enter the raffle to win a t-shirt or other prize, and it was nice getting to see more of the student body and interact with them.

It can’t hurt you to find out more about different colleges, because you never know if that one you really want to go to is going to work out or not. It doesn’t hurt to be polite and gather information. You may find something that is closer to home, more affordable, or that has more to offer you. If you choose to make a mockery of people trying to help you, you are the only one who loses out.

– Rachael, student blogger

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Are Online Classes Right For You?

I debated between taking all classes on campus, or trying some online classes this semester.  With my daily commute being anywhere from a half an hour to 45 minute drive, I didn’t want to drive out to CCBC everyday, Monday through Thursday, and I also didn’t want to just be at the school for hours at a time to maintain my full-time student status.  I opted to take half of my classes online this semester just to see if I would like it, and if they would work better with my schedule.

I work full time, and am also a full time student, so balancing school and work is difficult for me anyways. It was hard to adjust to, at first, taking two classes online and balancing my other two classes and the rest of my life in general, but I’ quickly adapted. Both of my professors for my online classes only require either a chapter to be worked through in the text per week, or an assignment every Thursday, and test every Tuesday.

I will be honest though, while the classes I happen to be taking online are easy to bear considering the work load, they do still take motivation. More than once this semester, I’ve found myself cramming to finish school work before the time limit was up, or just squeezing time into my daily routine to get the work done. If you have a lot of time and consideration and are possibly tired of making the daily commute back and forth to school, I would definitely suggest online classes. It’s all up to your own personal preferences, though, and what really works best for you.

– Austin, student blogger

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