Tag Archives: college

The Successful College Student’s Pyramid

Infographics seem to be the coolest thing since sliced bread. It’s easy to understand why. They provide a lot of information in a easy-to-understand and appealing way. If a picture says a 1,000 words, than infographics must say 1,000,000 words!

To expand on the topic of uncluttering your cluttered life (our last blog post), we thought this Successful College Student Pyramid infographic was perfect for our readers. No matter if you’re starting your first semester this fall or you’re looking forward to graduating soon, this guide will help you organize your priorities.

Successful College Student’s Pyramid
Presented By: Online Colleges

So you should organize your priorities from bottom to top:

  1. Learn as much as you can and get the most out of your college education
  2. Take care of your health
  3. Get social and enjoy the college experience
  4. Gain experience (and money) with jobs and internships
  5. Take a break sometimes and visit home
  6. Party sometimes, just don’t make it a bad habit

Thanks Online Colleges for bringing this infographic to our attention!

Unclutter Your Cluttered Life

In this fast paced world we live in, it is so easy to get caught up in this rat race we call life.  No one knows this better than Vonda White, President of Collegiate Risk Management and Author of Success Against the Odds.   We are all moving 100 miles per minute, and between work, school, kids, friends, email, Facebook, voicemails, housework,  etc. it is easy –and inevitable – to become cluttered and out of control.

So how do we take the clutter out of our life?  Some would say, get rid of all of your unnecessary belongings and eliminate possessions that have accumulated over the years.    However, clutter comes in two forms, physical and mental clutter.   Just as we need to organize our belongings, we also need to organize our life.    It is important to be mindful of what clutters our life and what we can do to fix it.

Getting rid of mental clutter can be accomplished the same way as getting rid of physical clutter.  You must first figure out what is important to you.  Once you have accomplished that goal, you can begin to set aside the other things that are taking up your time and energy, and focus on what is important.

How do we organize our lives, and begin to unclutter ourselves?

Make a List of Priorities

Knowing what is important to you is the first step in organizing your life.  Take the time to make a list of what is most important to you, in order of priority.   Life will be a little neater when you gather your priorities in a list that you can physically see.

Rework your Calendar

If you have too much scheduled on your calendar, it wouldn’t hurt to unclutter your Success Planner by rescheduling things that can be done at a later date.   For example, rescheduling a pedicure to free up some time for other things won’t hurt you.   Don’t stress about something you can easily change?

Take a Time-Out

Time to ourselves is sometimes the thing we need to get back on track.  A little breather can be very refreshing.   Taking a step back and a deep breath can put some sanity back in your life when things are hectic around you.

Recognize Time Wasters

Make a list of the things that waste time in your routine.   While talking on your cell phone, IM’ing with your friends, posting on Facebook or checking Facebook status’s or Tweeting are a great form of entertainment, allowing these things to take over your life can be detrimental to your calendar and wreak havoc on your state of mind.   Set aside a certain time of day to get your social media fix.  Remember your priorities on your list.  If you are checking your Facebook while you are in a work meeting or your daughters play, you may not be focused on your priorities at hand and clutter will begin to take over your life.  Set your automatic messages on your phone to alert persons IM’ing you that you will get back to them, and set aside a time of day to do so.  Don’t allow time wasters to overtake your day.

At the end of the day, there are only so many hours to accomplish all of our daily tasks.  Find out what is important to you and focus on your priorities.   Learn to say “No” to things that clutter your schedule and see how balance and serenity will enter into the world around you.

The Ugly Truth about Energy Drinks

Before you reach for another energy drink, you should know the facts.

From supermarkets to drug stores, you’ll spot students buying energy drinks to not only quench their thirst but help them survive all-nighters in the library.

Since Red Bull was introduced in 1997, energy drinks have seen a major growth, outpacing nearly every other offering in the beverage market. But do we really know what we are buying? Are these drinks safe?

What is really in energy drinks?

There are so many different kinds of energy drinks now-a-days. From Red Bull to Five Hour to Monster, students have many options when deciding their liquid source for energy. So of course recipes vary, but the common element in energy drinks is caffeine.

A standard cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine, a cup of tea 50 mg and a can of coke cola 35-55 mg. How much caffeine does energy drinks have? Well, definitely more. Try anywhere from 50 to 500 mg of caffeine in a single serving.  And the addition of guarana (a South American plant extract that contains additional caffeine) ups the caffeine dose even more. Although the FDA regulates the amount of caffeine in soft drinks (maximum of 71 mg per 12-oz serving), there is no such limit for energy drinks.

Caffeine is a stimulant. Scientific studies in adults show that caffeine can increase alertness, improve concentration and enhance mood. Modest caffeine intake (less than 400 mg per day) is safe for most adults. But too much caffeine can cause problems, including restlessness, irritability and difficulty sleeping. Massive caffeine overdoses can cause reduced blood flow to the heart and abnormal heart rhythms.

Many energy drinks also contain sugar. Sugar is “real energy.” Your body can use the sugar as fuel to do work. But don’t forget that extra sugar means excess calories. A steady consumption of sugar-filled energy drinks will lead to weight gain.

Other ingredients, including the amino acid taurine, ginseng and assorted vitamins, probably have little to no impact on a person’s perceived energy level. Although manufacturers tout the importance of these additives, their purported benefits are unproven. One note of caution-ginseng can interact with a variety of prescription medicines.

Are energy drinks safe for you?

Energy drinks have not been proven safe. In fact, because they are classified as supplements, they are not even regulated by the FDA. This means that their ingredients are not tightly controlled and their health effects are largely unstudied.

We do think that an adult who consumes an occasional energy drink (one a day) is unlikely to suffer harm. But too much can lead to caffeine overdose and health problems, and mixing energy drinks and alcohol is such a bad idea – Don’t do it for the sake of your health!

Before you reach for that magic bottle that promises enhanced alertness, concentration and physical performance, you need to remember the facts. Instead get a good night’s sleep, exercise regularly and eat well… these are the real energy magic-makers.

Use Coupons For Prescription Medications

Greater savings is available using coupons for brand name prescription medications.

Pharmaceutical companies offer coupons for discounts or rebates for two reasons:

1. To encourage you to try their medication

2. To keep you on their medication

Coupons are available through your doctor, your pharmacist or online. Try a Google search for “drug name” and “coupon.” You may even find offers in your local newspaper or favorite magazine.

Some pharmaceutical companies offer coupons for a free trial of medication, from a three-day introductory offer to an entire month’s prescription free. Others offer a discount or rebate on your out-of-pocket expense, including co-pay amounts, as high as $50 per month. Some are one-time offers, but many are renewable for a few months, or a year, or even for as long as you require the medication. The reusable for a few months or a year, or even for as long as you require the medication. The reusable coupons usually come in the form of a plastic card that you present to the pharmacy each time you need a refill. If the discount is in the form of a rebate, make sure you keep your receipts.

Some of these programs are not available to government-sponsored (Medicare and Medicaid) prescription plan beneficiaries.

A second type of coupon is offered through retail pharmacies and commonly involves new or transfer prescription. The coupon may be worth more than the price of the drug you are purchasing! Some stores will honor another retailer’s coupon as well. Potentially you could actually make a profit — transfer a $5 prescription and receive $20 in store merchandise.

Retail pharmacy coupons may appear in local publications, or show up in your personal mail. In general, they apply to either generic or brand name medications. Discounts may be offered on current or future prescriptions, other store merchandise, or even gasoline purchases. Some retailers offer gift cards rather than discounts. Large retailers offer gift cards rather than discounts. Large retailers offer coupons and discounts online as well. Go to your local pharmacy’s website for additional information.

If you’re lucky, you may able to combine a retail pharmacy coupon with that of a pharmaceutical company.

Happy coupon hunting!

Are you spending too much on prescription drugs?

If you have prescription coverage, odds are you have a formulary, which can save you a lot of money on prescription drugs.

What is a formulary?

A drug formulary is a list of prescription drugs (both generic and brand name) that are preferred by your health insurance plan. Your plan may only pay for medications that are on their “preferred” list, unless your healthcare provider talks with your health plan and gets prior approval.

Most insurance companies maintain formularies, or a list of drugs that they pay for as a plan benefit, usually using a tiered system. Less expensive drugs have the lowest co-pay (Tier 1), the most expensive drugs have the highest co-pay (Tier 3), and the remainder lie in between (Tier 2). This tier designation does not go strictly on retail price — insurance companies negotiate for discounts that sometimes may make a costlier drug preferred over a less costly one.

Formularies are organized along therapeutic classes. For example, they all contain several blood pressure pills, antibiotics and diabetic medications, though often only one mediation from each therapeutic sub-class.

How do I save money on prescription drugs with my formulary?

If your doctor chooses from your list of preferred drugs or formulary, it will save you money. How does your doctor know what to choose? In short, your doctor doesn’t… not unless they have access to your formulary or list of drugs covered by your insurance plan. Get two copies — bring one with you to every doctor visit. Have your doctor keep the other in your chart for reference.

Tier 1 drugs may not necessarily be your first choice. You may be intolerant of a certain drug, or perhaps unresponsive to it. You may be stable on a particular name brand prescription for years already and are therefore hesitant to make a change. Some medications require blood level monitoring, and levels may be more consistent with brand name medications. Switching to a generic may not save you money if you need to have your blood level checked more often.

Additional savings are available in the form of coupons or rebates from pharmaceutical companies, which may save you $20 to $50 off your co-pay, thereby lowering your out-of-pocket cost for a higher tiered drug to the same as that of a lower tiered medication.

So to sum it up… know your formulary and partner with your doctor to save money!