5 Fantastic Ways to Spend Time Outside This Fall

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Autumn is a fantastic time to get outside for a variety of fun activities. The weather is cooler and there are endless activities you can do outside. You’ll still have warmer days from the tail end of summer and many places open over the summer are still running. You get the added bonus of beautiful leaves changing color and the chance to go hiking to get a better look. Here are some ways to spend time outside this fall.

Visit an apple orchard

If someone wants to have a bushel of fresh apples, then they should visit an apple-picking orchard with their family or friends on a gorgeous Saturday morning. It is a good idea to layer clothing for the day because everyone will need to climb ladders to pick the apples from trees, which can be a fairly big workout! Whether you want to eat the apples or use them to make other food, you’ll definitely find a use for them.

Celebrate football games

Football is the most popular sport during autumn and one of the best ways to celebrate the sport is to have a party with your friends to watch a big game. You can also tailgate a game in person; whatever works best for you. Prepare food ahead of time and delegate responsibilities to everyone who’s coming. Have paper plates and plastic utensils to serve everyone after the football game ends.

Go on a hayride

Look for a farm that offers hayrides on wagons pulled by horses. This autumn activity requires riding on the loose hay or hay bales that are in the wagon, so make sure to wear rugged clothing for the excursion. The hayride may include seeing the other animals on a farm such as the cows, chickens, or pigs, making it a learning experience for children. You can also find plenty of Halloween attractions with haunted hayrides!

Enjoy a camping trip

Autumn is the perfect time for a camping trip in the woods to enjoy the changing color of the leaves. Make sure to have high-quality sleeping bags and tents to cope with the cooler weather conditions. Bring along a camping stove so that it is easy to cook tasty foods such as roasted hot dogs and grilled hamburgers. If you want to go camping for a few days, make sure that you have all the supplies necessary.

Visit a pumpkin patch

Visiting a pumpkin patch in the autumn is one of the best family activities so that children (and adults) can make unique jack-o’-lanterns. Make sure that everyone bundles up in flannel shirts and sturdy jeans to walk through the patch while looking for a bright orange pumpkin that’s perfect to carve or simply set out for decoration.

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4 Benefits of Taking a Fitness Class

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No matter your level of interest in fitness, there are plenty of reasons to take a fitness class. There is going to be a class out there that fits your fitness level and what you’re interested in, so take time to look at some of your options and find what works for you. It’s also not a bad idea to try out different classes before settling on one that works the best for you. Here are some of the many benefits of taking a fitness class.

Learn new exercise methods

If you want to learn more about a particular type of exercise, joining a fitness class is a great way to learn about yoga, lifting weights, or boxing. In addition to learning from the teacher, a fitness class gives you the chance to learn from other people. The instructor walks around the classroom to help students use the correct positions or movements for a particular type of exercise and is useful for learning the correct way to do a specific exercise.

Stick to a scheduled time

If you find it difficult to stick to a regular exercise routine, paying for a fitness class is usually a better incentive to make sure you regularly exercise and arrive on time so you don’t waste your money. Joining fitness classes that occur two or three times a week can help you meet your fitness goals, such as losing weight and gaining muscle tone. Look at various exercise classes and the times they’re offered to find what best fits your individual schedule.

Better structure for fitness

Trainers structure their exercise classes carefully so that that the students engage in a warmup routine before beginning the major portion of the class. As the class is ending, the teacher also has a cool-down so that the students don’t experience risk fitness injuries. This type of class structuring can help you understand how to create your own exercise routine once you’re done with the class.

Make new connections

Socializing during a fitness class offers benefits for your mental and physical health. You’ll have friendly competitions with each other in your fitness class to determine who does the best in reaching their goals. This type of camaraderie can lead to having lifelong friendships with other individuals who want to remain physically fit. These connections can also provide perfect companions for when you want to do a regular workout outside of class. Find people to hold you accountable and you can work out with in addition to your fitness class.

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How to Learn as Much as Possible While in Grad School

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Grad school can easily be the most intense experience most students face. A far cry from the course load of undergrad, graduate school often takes current students and prospective students by surprise with its challenges. Even if you went to a rigorous undergraduate college, grad school is completely different and very focused on your specific area of study.

Some grad students are often too overwhelmed to take full advantage of their grad school experience. However, students with the right mindset and study strategies will find grad school to be more rewarding than they ever thought possible. Read on for four ways to learn as much as possible as a grad student and make this time in your life just a bit less stressful.

Know your strengths

The first step to getting more done when in grad school is to know your strengths when it comes to productivity. Students that are well aware of their studying habits and schedules are better prepared to succeed in grad school. By identifying a schedule and pattern for when you’re at your most productive, you’ll be able to stay on top of your school work as easily as possible.

Focus on reading smarter

While many students in grad school attempt to read as much as possible, this method isn’t always an efficient way to study. Instead, students should try to read smarter by focusing on reading with a purpose in mind. This goal requires students to actively internalize the material they are reading rather than simply speeding through it. Moreover, when reading for a specific reason, such as for a research for a paper, if the material is irrelevant, it is inefficient to keep reading.

Make grad school about learning

Grades are important but aren’t a significant factor in the long run. While grades are what help a student get accepted into a particular program, once they are in grad school, they must shift their thinking to focus on learning. When pursuing your profession outside of grad school, the knowledge you have learned is what truly matters.

Choose opportunities wisely

Many grad students find themselves overwhelmed because they load their schedule with too much. Instead of trying to do everything, focus on specializing in a specific area. In grad school, it is especially important for students to truly zero-in on one thing that they want to focus on in their professional lives.

Getting through grad school requires a well thought out strategy. Take these suggestions into consideration when searching for balance while navigating grad school.

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4 Tips for Paying Off Student Loans as Quickly as Possible

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Student loans are the bane of every college grad’s existence. Whether they amount to a little or a lot, these loans often haunt former students well into their careers and can prevent people from making major life decisions because they feel burdened by debt. If you’re ready to get rid of your college debt as quickly as possible, read on and follow these tips.

See college debt like a mortgage

Viewing student loans as a type of mortgage is a good way to cut through the debt as fast as possible. Like a mortgage, if you make larger payments, you’ll be able to pay off your loans more quickly and save on interest. A method many people opt to use is sending in payments every two weeks instead of once a month; it allows you to save more on interest and pay the loan off more quickly.

Make a longterm plan

3 to 5 year plan for student loans is one of the best ways to create an endgame for paying off this debt. By budgeting for this longterm plan, individuals hoping to cut through student debt will be motivated to get as much done as soon as possible. With a goal and deadline in mind, it is easier to focus on meeting monthly goals and payments.

Create a college repayment fund

Believe it or not, creating an account that’s solely for paying off your student loans can help a lot. When your money isn’t readily available within your regular bank account, it’s easier to save. Moreover, be sure to use an account that has a higher yield in order to make the most of savings. Choose a consistent date each month to move money into this account; a great day would be the day you’re paid so you don’t even have time to notice the money is being pulled out.

Start earning during college

While many students prefer to focus solely on their studies during college, getting a part-time job is an excellent way to start earning money to pay off student loan debt. Ideally, students with part-time jobs during college can put away a substantial amount of savings each month. All the money saved from this part-time job can eventually offset the student loan debt.

The best jobs in college offer students flexible hours and experiences that students can use in their future careers. Many students find that positions like sales associate, receptionist, or teaching assistant are the best options for them. There are also a lot of campus jobs that allow you to study while you’re working, so you can opt for those as well, though they might pay less than off-campus jobs.

Cutting through student debt can be challenging but it is possible. Save as much as you can and pay off student loans sooner by using these four tips as a debt-busting guide.

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5 Ways to Get Involved in a New City

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Whether you’re moving to a new city for work or school, it’s important to get involved in your new home. You might think you’ll be okay and are planning on focusing on your job or academics and believe you can meet people organically, but you’ll enjoy the experience much more if you put your best foot forward as soon as you move and take steps to get involved in the city as much as possible. Connecting with other people, joining organizations, and starting new hobbies makes your transition much less stressful.

Find online communities

One of the easiest ways to get involved in a new city is finding an online community you can join. Whether it’s a forum for new people in the city, a local discussion board, or a Facebook group, there are plenty of ways to find out more about the social aspects of where you’ll be living and begin to make some friends. Even if you simply want to ask some questions about living in the new city, online communities are a great place to start.

Join a networking organization

Most cities have some kind of networking organization you can join, especially if you’re a young professional or college student. These organizations are a wonderful way to meet other people, get involved in local events, and simply learn some new skills or information. You can find these groups using Facebook or simply Google the name of your city and “young professional organization.”

Volunteer

If you’re looking for ways to give back or are passionate about a specific cause, there are plenty of opportunities in any city to volunteer. Look up local philanthropies and then contact them about volunteer opportunities and how you can get more involved. You’ll meet other passionate people who want to give back to the community.

Participate in community events

You can volunteer for community events or you can simply attend them. Just going to community events helps give you a feel for what your new home is like and it provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with locals. At most local community events, you’ll also find plenty of organizations and businesses from the area handing out information about what they do and how you can get involved. Take advantage of what’s happening in your new city and get involved as soon as possible.

Start a new hobby
Starting a new hobby can be incredibly beneficial; you’ll learn new skills and have something to focus on that’s productive. You can also search out local groups that share this hobby, which is something you can do for a hobby you’re already familiar with as well. You’ll meet people you have at least one interest in common with and you can attend meetings or events related to your hobby.

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4 Tips to Prepare for Attending College in Another Country

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Lots of people study abroad in other countries, but a lot fewer people actually attend college and receive their degree in a foreign country. For college students from the United States, whether you’re looking to gain an undergraduate degree or are researching grad schools, there are many great options outside of the country. Sometimes, foreign schools even cost less (or are free) when compared to schools in the United States. If you’re planning on attending college in a different country, here are some tips to make this journey as easy as possible.

Choose your school carefully

The first step to take once you decide you’d like to look at colleges abroad is to carefully research the schools you’re looking at. Do not simply choose a school because it’s in a county you’d like to visit and you have a high chance of getting accepted. Much like schools in the United States, where you decide to earn your degree is important and can affect your employability in the future. Research the schools and learn as much as possible, such as how current students like the school, what it’s reputation is, and what your specific department would be like. Consider reaching out to current professors and students and asking any questions you may have.

Research the area

No matter where you’re thinking of attending school, even if you’ve already visited that country or city, research the area. You’ll be living there for at least a year, so you’re going to become immersed in the area and culture. Work on learning the native language beforehand, discover the history of the area, and check out the pop culture of that country. The more you understand when you start school, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Remember to take time to sightsee and travel the local area once you’re in school so you don’t miss out on anything.

Connect with locals

Once you get to your new home, and even before, find time to connect with the locals. Join groups or clubs or simply find an online forum where you can get to know some people and what life is like in the area. Remember to connect with other students as well because many of them will probably be from the country the school is located in.

Plan out what you’re taking

While you’ll be in a foreign country for a significant amount of time, it’s important to not overpack. Strategically plan out what you’ll be taking with you and research what people have found most useful when studying abroad in this country. Remember that you can always buy toiletries once you settle in, so avoid taking up space with something you can simply get once you arrive.

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3 Reasons to Save for Retirement as Soon as Possible

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You’ve probably heard people reiterate the importance of saving for retirement over and over again. You know it’s something you’ll eventually have to do and a milestone in your life. However, when you’re young, it can seem so far away that it isn’t worth worrying about at this point in your career and life. You know you have decades before you’ll retire and you would rather have that money now instead of putting it into a retirement account. However, the sooner you begin saving, the more financially stable you’ll be once retirement comes around. Avoid putting off saving for retirement and start putting money away today.

Lots of options

There are plenty of options for how to invest your money. To start, you can choose from many different accounts. You could choose some kind of IRA, either a traditional or Roth. An IRA is particularly useful if you’re younger and just starting out in your career. If you work for a company that offers a retirement plan, this plan will typically be a 401(k); sometimes they’ll even match your contribution. You can choose to put money toward various accounts or just stick with one that best fits your goals.

Too many people avoid saving

If you take time to look up information on what people are saving for retirement, you’ll find that an overwhelmingly high number of people have no to little money saved up for retirement, even though they’re in their 40s or 50s. These people put themselves in dire situations where they either have to work many years longer than they intended or live only on social security once they retire. Saving money for retirement as soon as possible is the best solution to this issue. Start saving while you can because situations could arise that lead to you not being able to save as much.

Time to build

Time is the most important factor when it comes to saving for retirement and how much your accounts will grow. No matter what kind of account you end up choosing, the more money you contribute while you’re starting out in your career, the larger it’ll grow. You want that money to start growing as soon as possible, because further wealth will build off of any interest you gain on your initial investment. There are going to be times when you see fluctuations in your accounts, especially depending on the types of stocks or funds you invest that money in and what your risk tolerance is, but ultimately you’ll see that money grow since the market always bounces back.

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