With social media platforms from LinkedIn all the way to Twitter, you can make or break your chances of performing well in college and finding a job after graduation. Used properly, these websites can help you connect with other people in your field of study. Used improperly, they’ll distract you and hurt your grades.

How can you balance your online social life with your academic life? How do you focus on studying without checking how many “likes” you got on your latest Facebook post? Check out these tips for making social media work in your favor.

Replace Multitasking with Single Tasking

Do you send text messages while you’re in class? Do you check your Twitter notifications while you’re writing a paper? If so, you’re less likely to remember important information. You may think you’re multitasking, but studies show that multitasking’s value is a myth. When you do two or more tasks at a time, what you’re really doing is task-switching. This practice decreases your concentration, which in turn affects your grades.

To increase your productivity, try focusing on one task at a time for 25 minutes to two hours. For example, you can close extra windows on your computer while you work on an essay, and then check your email afterward. Try turning your phone off during class. To let your brain recharge, you should also take a 15-minute break from both studying and social media every couple of hours.

Post Carefully

Used wisely, social media can boost your career. Some people have even been hired directly through these sites. For example, Colleen Ballinger now has a show on Netflix starring her YouTube character, Miranda Sings. However, posting the wrong photos or updates online can cost you job opportunities. According to Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey, 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered candidates based on their profiles on social media sites.

To make the most of your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, use proper grammar and avoid posting profanity, sexual content, and references to illegal drugs. You should also avoid posting any negative comments about previous jobs or employers. 

Consider Cutting Back

Unlike the U.K., the U.S. doesn’t yet recognize social media addiction as an official condition. However, you should still use social media sites in moderation. You may have a problem if you find that your usage negatively affects your grades or your relationships with other people. 

To cut back on your social media use, you can disable notifications on your phone or download apps that block the internet. Schedule a specific time to check your messages once per day. Don’t know what to do with your newly found free time? Try taking up a hobby or joining a club. Meet people in person more often. Some people opt to do a complete social media “detox” by disabling every account. If you choose to go this route, you can expect withdrawal symptoms to disappear after about 100 days. 

As with any tool, the way you use social media determines whether it helps or hinders you. Don’t let social media hold you back in your academic life. Try following at least one of these tips, and see if it makes a difference.

Much like life’s other important chapters, your college experience can slip by in a heartbeat. Once they’re gone, you can’t relive those precious moments, so making the most of it is just as important as getting good grades. College is also about personal development, which doesn’t always happen in the classroom. For the most rewarding time on campus, don’t forget to live a little, starting with this must-do college bucket list.

Speak Up and Be Heard

Universities, community colleges, and technical schools are hotbeds of intellectual reflection and expression. If you feel passionate about something while you’re going to school, get involved. Whether it’s volunteering your time for a good cause or speaking out at a demonstration, stepping up for what you believe in is part of the experience.

Travel and/or Study Abroad

We are all members of a global community, so international exposure is important to your personal and professional development. A semester exploring in another culture pays lifelong rewards, preparing you for diverse employment and expanding your worldview. Participating through a school-backed program gives you access to this once-in-a-lifetime experience for a fraction of the cost of doing it on your own. If a year or semester abroad is out of reach, check your school curriculum for shorter, immersive trips, which are sometimes offered for degree credit.

Join the Club

Participating in activities during college rounds out your work in the classroom, but it can also boost your social profile and create networking opportunities with like-minded students. Career clubs in particular can help young entrepreneurs and would-be business professionals make valuable contacts.

Get experience in your field: Take an internship

There is no substitute for on-the-job experience, so completing an internship will be helpful when you look for full-time work in your field. More importantly, some of these training positions come with a paycheck, bringing in bucks when you need them most. 

Show Your School Spirit

Attending a school sporting event or becoming a regular fan enriches your campus experience and fosters school pride. Participation in college sports is a great way to meet new people, and there’s no shortage of ways to show your spirit. 

Walk for Graduation

Talking this milestone walk is important for two reasons. First of all, congratulations, you did it! Walking at your ceremony also gives you a chance to share the occasion. You can be sure to invite your family and friends for your special day.  

As you prepare to enroll, a four-year commitment may seem like an eternity. But your college days are in the rearview mirror in a blink. Don’t miss your chance and have regrets later. Make the most of your college experience by participating in some of these campus activities.

Photograph by: JD Rome

To have a car, or not to have a car: that is the question. Classes have just begun, and you may be asking yourself if having a car will make life easier. For most of your peers, having a car on campus would be a dream come true, but there are a few disadvantages they may not have considered. But you want to be more knowledgeable and confident in knowing if having one on campus is right for you.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of car ownership to help you make a more informed decision.


Freedom to Explore

The college years are the perfect time for exploration. Discovering new places will be less challenging if you have your own set of wheels. If you want to go on a road trip with friends, the public transit system won’t get you there. However, having a car will give you the independence to discover new places on your own terms.


Asking friends for a ride, waiting at the bus stop, or walking long distances on foot can get tiresome. With your own car, you’ll be able to go wherever you want without the need to cater to anyone else’s schedule. You’ll spend less time scrounging for a ride and more time focusing on the things that really matter, like reading your textbooks

Off-Campus Work

Most colleges offer work-study programs to help students cover tuition costs, but funding isn’t always available. Government funding restrictions leave hundreds of students looking for work off campus each year. If you own a car, the number of job opportunities available to you significantly increases. You’ll be more competitive and attractive to potential employers if you have reliable transportation.



In 2014, Bankrate reported the average annual cost of owning a motor vehicle to be $2,300. The study results included costs for gasoline, insurance, and repairs. Expenses not included in the study were registration, taxes, and loan payments. As a college student, you’ll also need to pay parking fees to keep your car on campus. When factoring in the total costs, you could be responsible for over $5,000 worth of expenses each year.

Before purchasing a car on your own, talk with your parents. Discussing the financial details in advance could save you thousands of dollars down the line.

Friends Asking for Rides

Chauffeuring your friends around town could double your vehicle expenses. Acting as a volunteer taxi service for your friends isn’t smart for your sanity or your wallet. Before you know it, you’ll be shelling out much more money to cover the cost of gas and maintenance on your vehicle. Also, the constant distractions by your friends could negatively affect your productivity at school.

Car Accidents

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers have crash rates three times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven. If you happen to have a fender bender at college, your insurance premium may increase. Furthermore, the mental stress of having a car accident could derail your ability to focus on your studies.  

When you consider the costs and risks of having a car on campus, maybe a bus pass doesn’t sound too shabby after all.

With the start of school fast approaching, you might be thinking about all the plans you were going to make and all the things you wanted to do over summer break. There’s still time! If you’ve already done everything on your list, we’ve got a few suggestions of fun things to do with your last bit of freedom.

Get Outside

No matter your style of music, it’s likely there’s an outdoor concert going on. Get outside, dance to the music, and meet some new friends as you jam together. Alternatively, you can pack a picnic to take to any outdoor event or even just a park. But don’t make it complicated! Your picnic can be as simple as picking up pre-made food from the grocery store or even takeout from your favorite place. The only requirement is to get outside, enjoy the weather, and spend time with friends.

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than a swimming hole. Go find the nearest body of water and relax. Whether it’s a pool, lake, or ocean, just go enjoy a refreshing day of swimming, water sports, or sunbathing with friends.

Have an Adventure

When you plan a road trip with friends, there’s no requirement to go far. Just get in the car, drive away from home, and take a few days to escape with your friends. Be sure to create some epic playlists for lip-syncing and pack plenty of delicious snacks. Consider a glamping trip with your friends. While the weather’s still nice outside, plan a fun camping trip with your friends that doesn’t include roughing it. Pack up your cars with all the comforts you could need, find a cozy campsite, and settle in for s’mores.

If camping isn’t your thing, get tickets for a sporting event you’ve never attended. You get bonus points if it’s outdoors. Summer’s a great time for baseball, and the games often finish with fireworks. If you’re worried about the ticket price, see if there’s a minor league team nearby.

Grow Your Skills

Summer is full of possibilities, but it often slips away quickly. What was your summer dream? You can still make it a reality. Maybe you wanted to start a YouTube channel, a blog, or just become a social media maven extraordinaire. Anyone can be an entrepreneur online. Start now before you have tests to study for and class to attend.

If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, get fit. Whatever it is you like to do that’s active, go for it. Whether you’re trying to lose the freshman 15 or just look great for your new college friends, get out there and get moving. Maybe you just want to practice a new sport. Try doing yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, aerial silks, or kickboxing. There are so many options for fun things to do that are active.

No matter if you use one of these suggestions or not, just take some time to enjoy the last vestiges of summer before it’s time to buy your latest books and buckle down for the semester.