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Need Some Cash? Use these 6 Insanely Easy Apps to Earn Money as a College Student

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Several dollar bills laying messily on top one another, with a one dollar bill on top

Being a college student often means spending money. Whether it be food, nights out with friends, or a shopping spree, students need to earn cash to keep their bank accounts from dropping. These 6 apps offer unique ways to help students keep money in their wallets. 

College students rarely feel financially stable. Taking out thousands of dollars in loans to pay tuition leaves them feeling sick to the stomach and wanting to save as much money as possible. 

But who could resist stopping at Dunkin’ for a quick coffee? How can students not go out when it’s $5 Margarita Mondays at the local bar? Purchases that seem minor slowly chip away at bank accounts. Even with part-time jobs, college students find themselves running out of cash

With a little effort, there are many apps that can help earn enough money to pay for that daily coffee or well-deserved Margarita. Signing up for these 6 apps can help students feel better about spending money.

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Declutter that Closet!

Mercari and Poshmark are two sellings apps that are best for college students who want to get rid of their unused stuff. Whether it be a shirt from American Eagle that they never wore or an old video game they’re done playing, these apps can help them get rid of their clutter. 

Mercari

Key Features:

  • App Name: Mercari 
  • Main Features: Follow other users and gain followers to get more eyes on your products. Offer lower prices to likers of the listed item to sell faster. Earn good ratings through quick shipping, neat packaging, and friendly communication. 
  • Unique Features: Users can set goals, learn selling tips, and track the progress of their goals. A price slide bar is available when listing items to tell users if the item is going to be a speedy sale, just right, or a slow sale. Smart pricing can be enabled, which adjusts listings automatically based on demand. 
  • Shipping: Shipping labels are paid for through the sale and emailed to you after an item is sold. You can offer free shipping which the cost will be deducted from your earnings. Print the label, package the item, and mail it within three business days!
  • Selling fee: 10% of listed price.
  • Withdrawal Minimum: $10. Transfer money to a bank account through Instant Pay with a $2 fee or through Direct Deposit; free of charge. 
  • Referral Program: Share a unique link with friends; they will get $10 off first order after signing up and an extra $20 when they make their first $100 selling. You’ll get $10 when they make their first purchase and $40 when they make their first $100.

Poshmark 

Key Features:

  • App Name: Poshmark 
  • Main Features: Follow, like, and share other Poshers and their items to get more eyes on your products. Offer lower prices to likers of the listed item to sell faster. Earn good ratings by shipping quickly, neat packaging, and friendly communication. 
  • Unique Features: The app has a guide to Poshmark and proper Poshmark etiquette. Buyers can bundle items together and get a discount on them as well as save money on shipping. 
  • Shipping: Shipping labels are paid for through the sale and emailed to you after an item is sold. You have 2-3 days to ship the item. Print the label, package the item, and mail it!
  • Selling fee: They take a flat rate of $2.95 from items listed under $15 and 20% of the price if over $15
  • Withdrawal Minimum: None. Redeem balance through direct deposit or request a check. 
  • Referral Program: Friends get $10 when they sign up with your invite code and you earn $10 after they receive their first purchase.

Cashback When Shopping! 

Everyone is inevitably going to spend money. Whether college students are making weekly trips to the grocery store or updating their wardrobe through online shopping, the apps Ibotta and Rakuten give users cashback for their purchases. 

Ibotta 

Ibotta printed in red on a white background

Key Features:

  • App Name: Ibotta 
  • Main Features: Before you go shopping, find the store on the app and add items to your virtual shopping list that you intend to buy. Go shopping, come home, and take a picture of your receipt on the app to earn cashback from your selected items. 
  • Unique Features: Link your rewards cards to automatically earn cash back without the fuss of taking pictures of the receipt. Can also go online shopping through Ibotta portal, earn cashback for restaurant meals or shopping in-person for clothes. Add your favorite stores to a list for quicker shopping.
  • Withdrawal Minimum: $20. Transfer money to your bank or PayPal account. 
  • Referral Program: Earn $5 when referring friends with your referral code.

Rakuten 

Rakuten printed with an underline, all in red on a white background

Key Features:

  • App Name: Rakuten 
  • Main Features: Tap on a store you intend to buy from and the app will take you to their website. Shop as you normally would and Rakuten will automatically give you the cash back reward to your account. 
  • Unique Features: Add your favorite stores to a list for easy browsing. Link your debit card to the account for in store and restaurant cash back rewards. There are also offers for cashback for booking hotels, vacation packages, airfare, cruises, and car rentals. 
  • Withdrawal Minimum: $5.00. Get paid quarterly through PayPal or receive a check in the mail.
  • Referral Program: Earn $25 for each friend that joins and spends $25. They will also receive $10. 

Nothing To Do But Make Cash!

When there’s nothing to do but watch Netflix or listen to music, Survey Junkie and Google Opinion Rewards can help college students waste a little time while earning a few bucks. These apps give users random surveys to help companies gain valuable feedback on consumers.

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If a college student is uncomfortable giving out specific information simply skip the survey! These apps usually take time to accrue decent cash, but it’s worth it if you got nothing better to do. 

Survey Junkie

Survey junkie printed in white on a black background, with their logo above as a green check mark and a black circle around it

Key Features:

  • App Name: Survey Junkie
  • Main Features: Take random surveys to earn points. 500 points is equivalent to $5. Not every survey will be successful meaning it may fill up too fast or you won’t qualify for it. 
  • Unique Features: Fill out profile surveys to gain access to higher rewarding surveys. Provides an approximate duration of surveys and how many points you will earn if you complete the survey. 
  • Withdrawal Minimum: $5. Redeem through e-gift cards, PayPal or transfer to your bank.

Google Opinion Rewards

Google opinion rewards written in yellow, with a white trophy on top of a blue background above it.

Key Features:

  • App Name: Google Opinion Rewards. 
  • Main Features: The app notifies you when there is a survey to take and allots you 24 hours to take it. Each completed survey earns between $0.10 and $1.00. You do not have to take every survey you receive. 
  • Unique Features: Surveys are given out randomly. Those who don’t answer truthfully will not receive as many surveys. You do not have to go in the app unless they notify you!
  • Withdrawal Minimum: $2. Automatically is redeemed through PayPal. Make sure both accounts have the same email address. 

There are plenty of other apps out there that can help college students earn a little extra cash. Whether they are legit or not is up to you to decide. In the end, the amount you earn depends on how much time and effort you put into these kinds of apps. You’ve got nothing to lose by earning some extra cash!

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College Life

Learning Styles: How To Recognize Yours & Maximize Your College Studies

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We’ve all heard the phrase “I’m a visual learner” or “I’m an auditory learner” before, but what does that actually mean? These statements refer to the theory of “learning styles.” This is essentially stating that we all have a predisposition towards taking in information a certain way. This theory goes as far back as Aristotle in 300 BCE, but has gone through a few evolutions since then. One of the prevailing models of learning styles currently is the VARK model, created by Neil Fleming in 1987, which stands for visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic learning. 

This is a breakdown of the types of learning styles, how you can recognize if you belong to them, what that actually means, and ways to improve your learning utilizing that knowledge.

VISUAL LEARNER

How to Recognize It: 

Visual learners are, shockingly, focused heavily on images and visualizations. Do you feel as though you only really remember something if you see it? Do you think as much in images as you do in words or feelings? Do you rely heavily on visual cues when interacting with other people? If these are true, you may have a visual learning style.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Visual learners thrive off of graphical information. Being presented with a chart or diagram makes sense and you’re great at decoding images. When asked to explain something, you’re pulled to visualize it in some way, maybe with gestures or a drawing, and you are great at making that leap between what’s in your head and what exists in the real world. However, when that visual element isn’t at play, you may find it harder to remember information or conceptualize something new to you.

“Visual learners learn best by seeing. Graphic displays such as charts, diagrams, illustrations, handouts, and videos are all helpful learning tools for visual learners.”

Tips for Learning with this Style:

Since visual learning is your wheelhouse, play to that strength. Use study tools like flashcards, concept and thought maps. Try to find videos or images describing concepts you’re trying to understand.

“Since sight is key, visual learners need materials in front of them to help get the information fully committed to memory.”

Simple things as well, like color-coding notes or highlighters may help you retain and file information more efficiently. Try out a few of these ideas and see how it works!

AUDITORY LEARNER

How to Recognize It: 

Do you feel at your best during lectures? Do you prefer podcasts over just about anything else? Do you have a habit of talking aloud to yourself to keep on task? You might be an auditory learner. 

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Auditory learners thrive off of sound. When they’re left solely with reading or still images they may find it difficult or impossible to focus, whereas they feel perfectly at home listening to a teacher talk about the very same topic. To many people, lectures and podcasts might be understimulating, but to you, they’re perfect. Auditory information sticks in your memory and you remember whatever you’ve heard really well. Additionally, verbalizing your ideas is something you’re good at, and you are great at getting your point across with words. Conversely, if you have to learn something another way you might have some difficulty. Schools focus heavily on visual assignments like reading and graphics, so you might find it difficult a lot of the time to thrive in modern classroom environments.

Tips for Learning with this Style:

Listening and speaking help you learn, therefore do them as much as possible! Ask to record lectures so you can replay them for yourself later. Raise your hand and talk in class, as verbalizing your ideas will help you remember them later.

“Talking about your ideas and voicing your questions will increase your understanding of the material.”

Additionally, as simple as it is, reading assignments aloud can also help you retain the information. Just hearing the information out laud might be all it takes for it to click.

READ/WRITE LEARNERS

How to Recognize It: 

Are reading assignments your favorite? Do you feel completely comfortable with essays and writing assignments? Maybe you like to write on your own time, or never leave home without a book? You might learn best through reading and writing. 

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Reading/Writing learners work best with the written word. Text is easy to recall for you and putting your thoughts down as words is a simple task. Essays and other papers are not the source of stress you might’ve seen many other people experience and a long reading assignment is something you can really sink your teeth into. However, graphical depictions, lectures, and other methods of instruction might slip past your hearing altogether. You really need to have the words in front of you before they make sense or are retainable.

Tips for Learning with this Style:

Words work best for you, so use them! Write out study lists, take extensive notes and reread them to review. Take any term or information that’s important, and rewrite it. The act of putting it down in your own words will help you retain it, and so will simply rereading it. Phrase whatever you can into words and you’ll really be able to master the information.

KINESTHETIC LEARNER

How to Recognize It: 

Have you been told since you were a kid that you have too much energy? Do lectures and long assignments leave you fidgety and desperate to move? Did you buy a fidget spinner during the craze a few years back? You might have a kinesthetic learning style.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Kinesthetic learners learn best when their bodies are being engaged during the learning process. That means muscle memory is something that forms incredibly quickly for you, maybe after only one or two tries. You might also have a fast reaction time and feel constantly energetic. However, all those traits may detract from traditional classroom learning. Staying still for long periods of time may stagnate your brain and cause information to go in one ear and out the other.

Tips for Learning with this Style:

The most important thing to remember with a kinesthetic learning style is that your body needs to be involved in some way. Walk around your room while looking at notes, use a fidget-toy during class to help you focus on lectures, make notations and marks on whatever you’re studying. The act of tying the information to movement will help it stick.

“Often, those with a kinesthetic learning style have a hard time learning through traditional lecture-based schooling, because the body does not make the connection that they are doing something when they’re listening without movement.”

Learning styles are a great tool for your educational journey, even into college. Hopefully, these tips will help you maximize your learning by playing to your strengths with your learning style.

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College Life

5 Ways to Tell if You are a Workaholic

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been working from home as students and employees. Many have fallen into the cycle of overworking without taking time for themselves. Here are a few ways to tell if you are becoming a workaholic, as well as ways to have a healthier work routine. 

1. Working countless hours a day 

One of the easiest ways to identify workaholism is when you lose track of how long you have been working. Getting up from your desk and not knowing the time, missing meals, or realizing that you have worked into the early morning hours are all signs of this phenomenon. The solution to this is simple: create a daily work schedule that allows your brain and body to relax, allocating time for meals, sleep, and other leisurely interests you may have. This will not only be beneficial to your mental health, but also to the content of your work, as many studies have shown a correlation between being well-rested and creating quality work.

2. Losing contact with friends and family due to overworking

The isolation caused by the pandemic makes it extremely hard to feel connected to the people in our life, especially if we do not regularly see them. For people who are naturally introverted and work-driven, quarantining makes it easy to use work as a coping mechanism for loneliness and other negative emotions that may be exacerbated due to the pandemic. Luckily, in our age of social media, we can stay in contact without physical presence. 

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If you feel like you have been losing touch with family and friends, make a goal to reach out to them on a weekly basis. Even something small like checking on a loved one will keep you “in the loop” with those that you cannot regularly see in-person. It is important to remember that we will eventually go back to regular contact with these people, and that in the meantime, it means a lot to just reach out and let them know we are thinking of them. 

3. Deprioritizing your mental health due to overwork 

We have witnessed an astounding drop in the general public’s mental health due to COVID-19, and burying oneself in work is a common coping mechanism that people justify as “quarantine productivity”. Without regularly seeing the people who make sure we are doing okay, the pandemic has forced us to be much more accountable for our own mental health, which is extremely challenging if all our time is consumed by work. 

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Like the other solutions on this list, keeping track of your mental health comes down to maintaining healthy routines and checking in on yourself, since contact with others may be difficult. Making sure you do enjoyable activities everyday is integral to keeping your mind healthy. While working may be an easy distraction from dark thoughts or feelings, it is not a solution. Maintaining habits that make you feel relaxed or happy will be much better for your overall mental health. 

4. Dropping hobbies due to an obsessive focus on work

This sign of being a workaholic is as easy to identify as it is to fix. Ask yourself, “are the things I do for fun still a part of my daily or weekly routine?” If the answer is “no”, then most likely you are replacing your hobbies with additional work, which produces anxiety and sadness, as you are more stressed and spending less time doing things you truly enjoy. Simply prioritizing your interests and hobbies, one or two days a week, is a great way of counterbalancing a heavy workload.

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5. Missing out on sunlight or fresh air on a daily basis

One of the easiest ways to make sure you don’t overwork is to get outside, at least once a day, and take a walk or run around your neighborhood. While this may seem easy enough, it can be extremely difficult to motivate yourself to leave the house once you have already started working for the day. Therefore, it’s great to go on a morning walk or jog before you start working. It will leave you feeling more content and energized, so you can start your day on the right foot.

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College Life

How People are Connecting Online During COVID-19

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Connectivity has become more important than ever in our ever-changing society. Amid the many horrors of this year, many people are finding social interaction to be crucial to their daily life, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has complicated that. As a result, friends and strangers alike have gotten creative with how they connect with each other online.

Friends and family have certainly had no problem staying in touch. Between texting and apps like Snapchat, it’s no trouble for individuals to keep in touch with their loved ones. Even a traditional phone call and the popular Zoom have allowed for friends and family to see each other when catching up, creating an experience as close to in-person as it can be right now.

The real trick this year has been meeting new people. While this might only be a problem for some, many people, especially college students, have struggled to make new friends amid social distancing guidelines. It has given many the chance to try out independence, but the loss of social interaction can be upsetting for some, and even unhealthy for others.

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Humans are very social beings, and to lose that aspect of our day-to-day lives can be detrimental to our mental health. However, there are still several opportunities every day to meet new people as a part of various communities, and those relationships have all the potential of any real-life friendship.

This summer, with the increase in stories being shared by members of marginalized communities in accordance with the Black Lives Matter movement, thousands of people discovered these shared experiences through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The interconnectivity this created granted many their first opportunity to see the world from another perspective.

Minority communities from every corner of the world came together this summer in response to police brutality and other social injustices. Twitter in particular offered many an outlet to give live updates on protests, activism, and individual stories. This helped to create awareness everywhere, and even celebrities joined the mix to connect with protestors and minority communities demanding justice

One of the most astounding examples of the power of these connections has come through the enduring relationships founded on social media websites. Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, online connections between individuals were not uncommon, especially among young people who were adept at developing relationships through the Internet. However, with recent events limiting our access and opportunities, others have had to get creative with how they interact, spiraling into a mass connection of individuals all over the world..

Once, these friendships might have been concerning, even unhealthy. Social interaction is meant to be a personal, and emotional dependency on another person and does not always thrive via text, email, tweets, or any other form of online communication. However, many people have no choice now but to cultivate these relationships online. Whether it be for their own health or the health of others, an online connection is one of the few safe ways we have to maintain social interaction.

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This, of course, raises many concerns regarding universal access to the Internet. Within the last decade alone, the Internet has become such a vital part of our everyday lives, and many people, especially students, might find it difficult to navigate their daily lives without it. In a world that now relies almost entirely on the Internet, there are obvious feelings of distress when it comes to how some people will stay connected.

As we continue to adapt to a post-COVID world, this is only one of many issues that will need to be addressed. Beyond safety, public health, access to resources, and more, we are seeing a build-up of social issues that will need correcting, in addition to the ongoing threats of police brutality and institutionalized racism. Already, there have been responses to this as protestors demand change in major cities globally. Their fight is ongoing, and they have made note to recognize the plight of people battling the COVID-19 pandemic and these other social injustices.

There has always been a feeling of distrust toward the Internet. It comes with so many unknowns, especially as data revealed in recent years has proven that our information is not as secure as we once thought it was. However, it has given us access to a surplus of information, educating countless people on topics that they do not experience themselves.

The social connections formed online has allowed individuals to share their stories, serving only to deepen others’ understanding of the world. In the coming years, it is likely we will continue to see this reliance on social media and the Internet rise, and, if the day ever comes where we can safely interact in person again, we will have been bettered by the connections that began behind a screen.

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