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Six Ways That Students Can Go Bankrupt Dropshipping

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A laptop placed on a wooden floor displaying a screen saying, "Online Shopping," along with a miniature cart with presents on it.
Source: Oberlo

Quite often college students feel as though they need more money. This is because many have expenses that they need to pay for such as food, rent, and debt. So much money already goes into paying for school itself that it often feels like there isn’t enough money to spend on other things.

Therefore, many college students will try to look for ways to make some money and one of the easier and more popular ways of doing so is dropshipping. However, this could be a very dangerous path for the typical unaware college student looking to make a quick buck, and here’s why.

Firstly, what exactly is dropshipping? Well, the concept of dropshipping is actually quite simple. Basically, someone will create their own online store and list various items on their store for other people to shop from. For example, if I find a hoodie on another website for $20, I can list that same hoodie for $40 in my store.

When someone places an order for the hoodie from my store, I will place an order on the original website, and have the hoodie delivered to the person who ordered it from my store. The original store will then ship the hoodie to the buyer, and I will have made $20 profit off this sale.

Now, one would probably ask “Why wouldn’t the buyer just buy from the original store and save $20?” The main reason is simply that the internet is just too big. One of the most popular retailer sites for dropshippers is called AliExpress.

On that website alone, there are over a hundred million items being sold. So, for example, if you are looking for one particular shirt, you can imagine how difficult it is to find that particular shirt. Therefore, in order to save time, people will just order from the dropshipper’s website and that is how they make money.

As easy and as simple as this sounds, there are also a lot of potential risks attached to dropshipping. Here are a few potential risks that come with it.

A diagram in blue background demonstrating the steps of dropshipping and how they connect to one another with white dotted arrows.
Source: Pixabay

1. Deceitful Suppliers

There are many suppliers out there that take advantage of college students looking to start a dropshipping business. They recognize that college students are young and inexperienced in the business world. They then use this to their advantage by taking the money from the students themselves but not supplying the goods to the buyer.

Look out for suppliers who:

a) ask for subscription fees

b) are slow to communicate 

c) run their own retail establishment alongside dropshipping and

d) require bulk orders in advance

If a supplier hits any one of these red flags, it’s probably a good idea to back out and look for a new one.

2. Unsatisfied Customers

Sometimes, customers may be unhappy with their purchase. For example, the shipping might take too long, or the product isn’t what they thought it would be. In those cases, they may leave bad reviews on the dropshipper’s website which will in turn cause him or her to lose customers as they see other people deem that website untrustworthy.

After all, you must remember that if a customer is unsatisfied with the product they will take it out on the dropshipper and not the supplier. They don’t know who the supplier is. The only contact they have is the dropshipper so if something goes wrong it is the dropshipper who gets blamed and not the supplier.

3. Thin Profit Margins

Because this is such a popular way to make money, there are a lot of people involved in the dropshipping industry. And more people means more competition. Dropshipping is convenient because it’s fairly easy to get started with and doesn’t take a lot of money to keep running.

However, because the competition is so high, it is really difficult to make a decent amount of money out of dropshipping. In order to rise above the competition, it is very important to have a recognizable “brand” along with a good history that shows you are trustworthy enough to work with.

It’s important to remember that dropshipping is not a get rich quick kind of business. It takes ages to build your site and attract customers before you really start to see the profit roll in. And in that time, it is also very possible for dropshippers to lose a lot of money and never reach a point where they can call their dropshipping business a success.

Therefore, this is quite a “high risk high reward” situation. However, the chance of actually receiving that high reward is not very high so it’s probably a good idea to not start one in the first place unless you are absolutely sure of the direction you want to take your business in. You must know exactly what you are doing otherwise you are more than likely to end up disappointed.

4. Choosing a Platform

The next problem with dropshipping is the platform. There are a couple of options that one can choose from when starting a dropshipping site.

Firstly, they can make a seller account on popular sites like Amazon or Ebay. However, the issue with this is that there are thousands of accounts like that out there and you will just be one amongst the sea of sellers.

The second option is to make your own website. This is probably the better option but it still leaves the issue of how people are going to find your site.

Either way, you basically have to hope that people “fall” upon your site. If that sounds hard enough, not only do they have to fall upon your site but they also have to be interested enough to buy something from the site! This again just shows how difficult it truly is to be successful in the dropshipping industry.

5. Returns

Sometimes, if the customer is unhappy with the product they will return it to get a refund. However, because the dropshipper is the seller, the product will be returned to them. Because the retailers sell the products to them as a seller, they won’t accept returns or refunds.

So basically, not only do the dropshippers lose the money which they were supposed to have made but they also don’t get the money back for buying the product from the retailer.

After this happens a few times, it will be pretty easy to see why bankruptcy is a genuine concern when dealing with dropshipping.

6. Competition with other dropshipping sites

The struggle to find the right price for a product is one that all dropshippers go through. On one hand, they want to ensure that the price is high enough where they make a decent profit. This means that the whole process is worth continuing on with.

However, they also can’t make it too high because buyers will just go on another dropshipper’s website and buy the exact same product for a lower price. That means dropshippers have to find a balance between those two extremes. It is quite often very difficult to get that balance right.

Whilst I understand the need to make money as a college student, there are many better ways other than dropshipping. Dropshipping may sound easy and convenient to do but there is also so much that can go wrong as mentioned earlier.

That being said, I’m not saying you shouldn’t become a dropshipper at all. Rather, make sure you understand the risks first and also make sure you are fully aware of the whole business plan. Plan ahead and don’t get fooled by people who will look to take advantage of your inexperience.

Although it is a very tough business to become successful in, it is not impossible. However, as I said earlier, you need to know exactly what you are doing or you will be in financial trouble before you know it.

College Voices

5 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2022

With 2021 finally over, and many making plans for a better year, these are some easy ways to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions.



Fireworks above a city on New Year's.

The year 2021 is finally over, and we have a new year to look forward to! 

If you’re anything like the majority of the world’s population, you’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past—and broken them within a month.

But you keep making them, because you enjoy the optimism: beginning a new year on the right foot, promising to be a better, more fit and a more skilled version of yourself. 

Here are ways you can stick to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2022

  1. Tell people about your resolution

Usually, we’re told that peer pressure is a bad thing. But in the case of a New Years’ Resolution, it might be just what you need. Positive reinforcement (encouragement and support) from your friends and family can push you to learn the guitar, lose the beer belly, or whatever it is you want to do in this new year.

Disappointment (or the fear of it) can also push you to work harder toward your goal. If the cost of failing on your resolution is a whole bunch of awkward and sad conversations, maybe that’ll keep you on the straight and narrow.

  1. Break it down into manageable chunks

This is something essentially everybody tells you about anything, but it’s true. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—and continues, step by step.

A New Years’ Resolution isn’t accomplished all at once, but rather gradually. Don’t push yourself too hard, and don’t get down on yourself if your goal is still a long way off.

Set realistic markers along the way, and at each one check in with yourself. That way, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment as you go, and you’ll see your progress stack up.

  1. Care for yourself

Treat your New Year’s Resolution as what it is: a gift. When you accomplish it, not only will you get the benefit of whatever your goal is, but you’ll feel more confidence and pride in yourself.

This feeling of accomplishment is full of benefits: it makes you better poised to chase down the next opportunity, better prepared to be a positive influence in the lives of others, and can even make you live longer.

In making a New Years’ Resolution, and caring about yourself, you’re giving the best present you can give yourself, so don’t think of it as correcting something that’s wrong about you, but giving yourself another thing that’s right about you.

  1. Forgive yourself, don’t define yourself 

When a friend who’s made a mistake comes to you for help, do you immediately tell them that they’re worthless, that everybody knows it, and that they should just give up already?

No, but this treatment is something of the norm when it comes to yourself. Unfortunately, many of us treat ourselves this way; we are quick to criticize and slow to forgive.

Strangely enough, this negative self-talk often gives us permission to betray our resolutions. 

If you resolve, in 2022, to cut down on carbs and one night you give in to the urge to order a bunch of pasta on Postmates, don’t beat yourself up for it the next morning.

Accept the mistake and continue working toward your goal the next day. Don’t decide you’re undisciplined, gluttonous, and have failed.

Everyone messes up a few times and forgiveness is the best way to move forward. 

Penne pasta in a pot.
  1. Use your resolution as a chance to explore new horizons 

We all have ideas about who we’d like to be, and we all face the realities of who we are.

While a person who wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. and works out in order to get a clean, fresh start to the day is certainly admirable, that person might not be you. In making resolutions, pick goals that flow organically from who you are.

If you don’t know who you are (because who really does?) then go into a resolution with flexibility. 

If, for example, your resolution is to get fit, don’t force yourself into a box with it. Instead, try different exercises, intensities, and intervals.

Don’t stick yourself in the gym for a 45-minute routine with weights when what you’d really enjoy doing is going to a yoga class or going for a run.

Realize that everybody is different, and rather than changing yourself into somebody new, your resolution can be a way of discovering who you might already be.

Think of it as an exploration. Let things develop, and commit to remaining open and focused.

A list of Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions on a lined notebook.
Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions — a good role model

The year, 2022 will likely be another challenging year. You already know why, so there’s no reason to repeat it here.

But remember that you got through 2021, and if your resolution for 2022 is to just survive it sane, healthy, and maybe a little wiser—that’s totally fine.

It’ll take some doing, but you’re definitely further along than you think you are. 



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College Voices

The Overwhelming Mental Health Impact of Climate Change

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People across the globe are being affected by climate change. Global warming and climate change are having detrimental effects on the Earth such as increased flooding, hotter temperatures, wildfires, and droughts. Wildlife and ecosystems are being destroyed. Sea levels are rising. The list goes on and it can be overwhelming to take in the effects of climate change. This is why mental health is being greatly affected by climate change, particularly in teenagers and college students.

Climate Anxiety

Anxiety related to the global climate and fear of environmental doom is often referred to as eco-anxiety or climate anxiety. This anxiety is a legitimate reaction to a serious problem. A large population of Generation Z is burdened by climate anxiety. This is because they are concerned about their futures considering the state of the Earth and the fatal implications of climate change. 

A contributing factor to climate anxiety is the lack of action currently being taken by political leaders. Many leaders in positions of power are avoiding climate issues rather than solving them. This has prompted members of younger generations to step up and fight for change. Young activists like Greta Thunberg have taken the lead in protesting climate injustices. But watching older generations sit back while climate change is destroying the planet can lead to feelings of frustration and anger, which are common symptoms of climate anxiety.

The mental health effect of climate change

Climate change can be a controversial topic and there is a fair amount of conflict surrounding it. Everyone reacts differently to the topic: many people shut down when climate change is brought up and they avoid the subject altogether. Others are fearful of the effects of climate change and want to help but feel powerless. And some people are eager to take action and do their part in combating climate change. 

Many teenagers and college students have made efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by making lifestyle changes. Going vegan, carpooling, and shopping sustainably are some of the many ways to cut down on carbon emissions. But unfortunately, big corporations are some of the main contributors to climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions––a major contributor to climate change––are the highest they’ve ever been. This leaves young generations as they have difficulty believing that they can make a difference. 

How Climate Change Affects Mental Health

Every continent on the Earth is now affected by climate change. Meaning, climate anxiety is a global issue and can affect anyone, regardless of location, wealth, or privilege.

A polar bear walking.

Many people are mentally affected by climate change because they have been faced with natural disasters, such as wildfires, serious storms, or flooding. While everyone reacts and copes differently, many survivors of these environmental disasters have some sort of lasting psychological trauma. PTSD, anxiety, depression, and grief are some of the many mental health issues that people who have lived through natural disasters struggle with. 

But you don’t need to be directly faced with a natural disaster to feel climate anxiety or despair over the state of the Earth. Just witnessing and learning about climate change is enough to cause mental health issues. There’s a sense of impending doom or existential dread that can wash over you when reflecting on climate change and its effects. 

Why Climate Anxiety is Often Overlooked

Climate anxiety is often overlooked or brushed off. This is because it can be difficult to discuss mental health concerns because there are still stigmas surrounding mental health. Climate anxiety is also typically not taken as seriously as other anxieties or mental health issues. This is because many people do not understand the serious, detrimental impacts of climate change. 

What to do About Climate Anxiety

  1. Talk to friends and family about climate change. 

Listen to their thoughts on the matter and discuss your own thoughts. Talk about the negative impacts and grieve with them. It can be healing and helpful to share your concerns with others.  

  1. Become a part of the solution

It is important to stay informed on environmental topics and to use your knowledge for good. Join a climate justice organization at your school or in your community. Connecting with others who also care about climate change can ease your worries and fears about the Earth’s future. Climate organizations are making a difference in your community and educating others on climate change. 

An oil plant dispersing white smoke into the air.
  1. Join protests. 

If there are protests near you, make a sign and join in. Marching with other people who care about climate injustices is empowering. Protests help spark change by informing others and raising awareness. 

  1. Do what you can to help the environment. 

It is important to do what you can to reduce your own carbon footprint, but don’t become overly consumed with it. Eat a more plant-based diet, bike or carpool when you can, and use reusable bags. But try not to worry about how each of your actions will impact the environment. Those who experience climate anxiety often feel guilty about taking part in activities that affect the environment, like driving. Just do what you can and that will be enough.

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College Voices

How Social Unrest America Mirrors Social Unrest Abroad

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A closeup of a man with a mask on next to virus cells.

With all of America’s recent and pressing events, it is easy to inadvertently ignore major happenings abroad. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest are not limited to American soil. 

When the coronavirus began spreading across the globe earlier this year, world leaders reacted to the virus as they saw fit. Fast forward to today, and the virus continues to ravage many parts of the world, increasing the number of total cases to over 50 million people. With the addition of social unrest due to racial injustice, the world seems to have a daunting amount of crises. 

Throughout this difficult time, countries imposed restrictions and limitations on their citizens in order to curb the contagion. In certain places, these limitations persist today. Subsequently, people are growing increasingly impatient as the pandemic remains as present and dangerous as it was in March. Indeed, many experts claim that the feared next wave of the virus is now in effect.

The prevailing threat and restrictions put in place have led citizens in some countries to protest. In Spain, for example, citizens have flooded city streets touting messages such as “Stop the dictatorship” or “Madrid says enough.” Unfortunately, certain rabble-rousers have taken it upon themselves to escalate these protests into less peaceful demonstrations of social unrest.

A man holding his hands in the air while being approached by SWAT officers.

In Madrid, rioters turned unnecessarily violent, setting fires in the city, smashing windows of local shops, and assaulting police officers. These riots do not appear to be the result of spontaneous action but rather a coordinated effort planned through social media.

If the story of peaceful protests being undermined by violent extremists sounds familiar, you may be remembering the various riots that took place in America. The George Floyd protests, unfortunately, broke down into senseless social unrest, resulting in property damage and theft to numerous cities throughout America.

Just as the coronavirus pandemic is not isolated to this country, public assemblies due to racial injustice have also formed globally. As protests advocating for social justice started in American cities, foreign citizens heard the rallying cries. Demonstrations from South America to Europe, to Africa, have echoed the message of the Black Lives Matter movement, demanding justice and equality for all citizens, regardless of skin color. A spokesperson for the Belgian Network for Black Lives, Stephanie Collingwoode-Williams reflected, “people think about how it was relevant where we are.” 

A march for diversity in Washington.

Although American protesters set positive trends to confront one crisis, its leaders have not been as successful in combatting the coronavirus. Out of the roughly 1.27 million deaths suffered worldwide, 239,000 of them were American.

This is by far the largest death toll of any country; in addition, America also holds the record for the most cases, by well over one million. These eye-opening statistics naturally lead to critics pointing to this nation’s shortcomings in dealing with the virus. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, worldwide perceptions of America have been in decline. Recent violent outbursts from police officers, coupled with the mismanagement of the pandemic, have exacerbated this fall.

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