How To Host An Outdoor Holiday Event

Are you ramping up for holiday gatherings? In many communities, people are hopeful that the holiday season will include times of gathering, socializing, and celebrating. Many people are opting to cook outside as a way to once again celebrate together, as there are distinct advantages to hosting an outdoor holiday event

For instance, you won’t have to change venues if external circumstances shift at the last moment. You may be able to serve people while maintaining social distancing and meeting safety guidelines. And, you can promote safe celebrating, with a sense of calm relaxation. Let’s examine the top recommendations for success in this new hot trend of outdoor dining.

Preparing For Safe Cooking

Depending on your kitchen, building, or restaurant layout, consider the kitchen layout. Many kitchens were originally built to work for indoor cooking. If you’re setting up an outdoor kitchen, be sure to keep grills and cooking areas safe from fire. Keep flammable materials such as straw bales, paper, gas, or propane canisters at a safe distance.

Checking For Safe Management

While your master chef may be skilled in grilling, consider all the guests who are attending. Do some people need extra assistance with seating and mobility? Do children have a place to play at a safe distance from the cooking arena? By setting up your outdoor kitchen with your attendees in mind, you can easily prevent disasters from occurring.

Organizing For Food Safety

In addition to keeping food safe and clean, outdoor cooking creates some new organizational challenges. Check to make sure that foods are kept at proper cool temperatures. Check refrigeration areas to keep meats cold. Keep insects, small animals, cats, and dogs away from food storage and prep areas. With a little attention to your outdoor kitchen layout, you will help keep foods safe and ready to eat.

Preparing For Peace of Mind

Having a gathering at your home, office, or building requires your full attention and care. If you have other concerns on your mind, be proactive about your health and wellness. For instance, you can discreetly take an at home std test, rapid covid test, or an allergy test before hosting an event. 

With new convenient options, it’s now possible to get answers from the privacy of your home. You’ll get a confidential report to help guide your next steps, which may include contacting an independent physician network to discuss options or treatment.

Mastering The Elements

These days, many people are experiencing unprecedented climate situations. It may seem daunting to have a comprehensive plan to master the elements. However, with a little planning and teamwork, you can aim to be “ready for anything.” Here’s a quick way to become a master of al fresco holiday cooking and dining: 

  • Appoint a master point person. In many groups, there is a single person who is adept in project planning. Who comes to mind in your group? Give this person full authority to be the captain and commander of ceremonies. 
  • Create a plan of action. Use a single point of contact and a single plan to help your holiday gathering go off without a hitch. Before creating the plan of action, ask friends and family to brainstorm solutions. This may include a backup meeting location, a rainy day plan, and a place to meet up in the event of emergencies.
  • Organize crews for each section. Set up a cooking crew, a prep crew, and a set-the-table crew. Ask people to choose what crew they want to be part of, to avoid any misunderstandings. By making the crews optional, people will select the activity they most want to be part of.
  • Offer safety resources. Make sure that anyone who wants to do a health-test, has free access to testing resources. Have backup boxes of masks, gloves, and hairnets for food safety. Set up fire extinguishers in handy locations around your gathering area. 
  • Create signs with clear instructions. Many people will contribute to creating a safe and fun gathering. Yet, some people will come as guests or after the party has begun. Clear signage helps people orient and follow safety guidelines. Make sure that signs are easy to read and understand.

With careful planning and smart safety protocols, you can enjoy a delightful outdoor holiday gathering — ensuring your get-together is a fun, safe, and overall enjoyable experience for all. 

Where to Seek Medical Care as a College Student

As a college student, it’s safe to assume that you’re interested in two things above all else: getting your education and having a good time. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you won’t be able to do either unless you have your health. It’s easy to take that for granted when you’re young and relatively healthy, but you never know what the future will bring.

For example, you could get hit with the flu bug or a common cold during the winter months. Or perhaps you break a bone (or suffer some other type of sports injury) one night when a football game breaks out. All of these things happen. It’s part of life, especially when you are a college student.

If you require medical care as a college student, there are a variety of options to consider. Of course, it’s important to know where you can turn before you actually need help. This way, should the time come, you can take immediate action. 

After all, the last thing you need is to be searching Google for “cash doctors near me” or “how to treat a broken bone” when you’re in pain. With that in mind, here are several places to seek medical care as a college student.

  1. Student Health Center

This is often the fastest way to receive care, but of course, that depends on the time of the day. If you’re injured during daylight hours, you can stop by the student health center to be examined and treated. However, should your injury come about after hours, you’ll need to look into another option.

Regardless, it doesn’t hurt to have the contact information for your student health center nearby. This way, you can give them a call or quickly visit in person should the time come.

  1. Emergency Room

You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and rush to the emergency room for a minor injury, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you have any reason to believe that your injury or illness requires immediate medical attention, the emergency room is the best place to go. 

However, you may find that your condition is less serious than you thought, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just the same as your student health center, know where to find the local hospital. This allows you to act quickly in an emergency. 

  1. Urgent Care Facility

Urgent care facilities are more common today than ever before. These are great for those times when you need immediate medical help but don’t require emergency room attention. For instance, if you have a laceration or reason to believe that you’ve broken a bone, an urgent care facility can help. 

They may not be able to do everything on-site, but at the very least they can point you in the right direction. Then, if you have to seek additional treatment, such as at a local hospital or by seeing a specialist, you can do so. 

  1. Local Doctor

It’s good practice to have a doctor who is local to your college. You don’t have to see this person often, if at all, but you may need to make an appointment should you have questions or concerns about the way you’re feeling. A local doctor can examine you, diagnose basic illnesses, and provide medication if necessary. 

This is much better than having to pay for an emergency room visit or travel home to see a doctor. Try to establish a relationship with a doctor upon arriving at college the first year so you’re not trying to find one at the last minute.

Note: There’s nothing wrong with calling 911 if you need immediate help and cannot transport yourself to a local medical facility. In fact, this is preferred, as the responding paramedics can provide treatment at the scene. 

They can then transfer you to a local hospital where a medical team can take over your care. Don’t be shy about calling for help. It could be the difference between a permanent injury and one with which you can make a full recovery. 

Final Thoughts

From a dorm room fire to a party-related concussion, you never know what could go wrong when you’re in college. Since your safety and well-being is more important than anything else, you must know where to seek medical care should the time come.

Translate Your Scientific and Academic Submission With Ease

“Scientific knowledge has long been shared through translation. For example, Émilie de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet, an 18th-century physicist, was the first person to translate Isaac Newton’s law of universal gravitation into French,” according to Nos Langues, a Canadian language research website. 

Have a paper that you’d like to submit but are too afraid your English isn’t up to par? That’s where technical translation comes in. Today, we’ll talk about what technical translation is, the importance of technical translators and the benefits of technical translation services. We’ll see what they can do to help you with your scientific and academic research.

Technical translation has long been the go-to for being able to translate scientific papers and other academic papers into different languages for many people to understand. 

Today, let’s find out just how vital it is for technical translators to translate your research papers and other documents.

What is technical translation?

Technical translation is the process of translating rigorous technical documents, such as academic papers, scientific research, and even engineering projects. It is a special type of translation because of its specialized subject matter. 

The role of translation in the academic and scientific fields has had its history. Many academic papers before or after submission to a journal have undergone translation, in order to be disseminated to the public, worldwide. 

Technical translations allow for the scientific paper to be understood by all, in however many languages you need to translate it in. It allows for the scientific paper to be accurately represented in the translation of your work.

Trusting technical translators rather than automatic translations to translate your work is old news. Automatic translation does not have the scientific and technical backgrounds of automatic translation, which will just provide a word-for-word translation, rather than a translation that is translated with the concepts that you want to show in different languages. 

Technical translations are equipped with the current terminology of the specialized field they are handling. That means that all your translations will be standardized with the glossaries of scientific terms, with the background of scientific translators. How? Let’s find out now. 

What is the importance of technical translators?

Technical translators are extremely important to the field of academic research. They are versed in the field of technical translation, with a handle of your source language (the language you’re translating from) and the target language (the language you’re translating into).

Technical translation is different from any other translation because it relies not just on the source languages and the target languages, but on background skills that technical translators have. That’s why these translations are so technical, because they are done by only the most skilled linguists. Technical translators for scientific papers to be submitted in academic journals are versed in scientific and academic fields themselves. They’re the most skilled linguists that can be found with translation services providers. 

If you provide your technical terminology, with scientific and academic glossaries, the technical translators can use your own glossaries for the technical translation. Allowing the technical translator to work with your own terminologies is standard practice with technical translation, which we’ll find out in the next section.

Why Are Technical Translators Ideal for Specialized Translations?

Technical translation services are where you can find technical translators who know how to keep terminologies consistent. One hallmark of scientific texts is its particularity with terminologies, so keeping them consistent throughout is ideal for technical translations. Technical translators have the qualifications to translate your scientific texts, making sure that they’re consistent throughout.

I chose experts True Language and Tomedes for their global technical translation services that deal with science and engineering. They both have the backing of the American Translator’s Association, which states the importance of hiring qualified technical translators, because “only the experts can convey the intended meaning.” 

True Language, in particular, has the expertise of science and engineering, with terminology management. True Language has won an award for the top B2B provider in Atlanta, GA, USA. According to True Language, “terminology helps to ensure transparency and consistency in all documentation, and enhances linguistic correctness.”

Meanwhile, Tomedes’ technical translation services are all-encompassing, but done only by expert linguistics trained in the field of science, engineering, or academia. Their translators have many languages at their fingertips, allowing you to achieve your objectives in any language of the world. According to CEO Ofer Tirosh, Tomedes translators are more than just translators, they’re creators, academicians, and more. 

True Language and Tomedes have perfected the art form of technical translation, so only highly qualified translators will handle your technical documents. 

As stated in “Translating Technical Texts,” a paper published by the University of Manchester and previously published in the Cambridge Handbook of Translation, “Technical translators are expected to recognise and understand the terminological references…This requires translators to deal with numerous challenges that inevitably arise through contextual variations in terminological usage. This competence or know-how is among the elements that constitute the practice of technical translation; it extends beyond familiarity with bilingual or multilingual terminology and also encompasses conceptual understanding.”

Familiarity with the terminology in the scientific field is necessary in technical translation, but not only that. It requires more, more than simple translation.

How to find the right technical translation services?

The right technical translation services can be found online. If you’ve ever Googled technical translation services, you’ll find it’s not as effective as looking at translation review websites. Looking at the technical translation services’ reviews is equivalent to knowing how they’re going to treat you based on how they’ve treated clients in the past. 

Go with service providers that have a high client satisfaction rate. For example, Tomedes has a 97% client satisfaction rate because they believe that the client is at the heart of their philosophy. As you will see from review sites, those services with a higher client satisfaction rate have a high number of satisfied clients after the work is done. That’s how you can tell that these clients themselves have recommended the service provider.

Next, look at the translator’s portfolios, and request them from the service providers. As we’ve said previously in the article, the translator’s skill is of importance. By looking at their portfolios, you can see their translation accuracy and quality, and see whether they’ll be able to perform the same way with you. The translators you need are skilled translators, so go with a translation service that’s more than just translation.

In Closing

How can a technical translator help you publish in a journal? Well, if you have limited English proficiency, for example, you can look to technical translation services to translate your paper into English. That way, it has a better chance of being published in the academic journal of your choice. 

A study from Taylor & Francis Online says “The technical translator has to take into account the audience to a more marked extent.” This is because the audience, especially of an academic journal, is usually composed of those in that particular field. 

The scientific field is filled with terminologies that may not be understood by an untrained translator. And yet, it can be wholly understood and transformed into another language/s by a technical translator. That’s the beauty of technical translation: your concepts will be understood by the world.

How To Pass Salesforce Admin Certification

Salesforce administration is one of the most lucrative roles in the world of business today. Many companies rely on the platform to build and manage relationships with their clients. Therefore, as an experienced admin in this area, your experience and skills are in high demand. But like any other job, you can only be regarded as a qualified candidate when you have the right credentials.

Keep in mind that more than half of the people working in this or related capacity hold at least one salesforce certification. It does, after all, hold the largest market share in the industry. Additionally, some of them state that their salaries increased significantly after adding the extra credentials. Have you taken the Salesforce admin test? (1)(6)

Salesforce certification quantifies and measures the skills of cloud specialists. Whether you’re an administrator who ensures that the system runs smoothly, a developer who creates new apps, or a Salesforce architect who ensures that your business’ infrastructure is stable even amidst receiving high volumes of data. (3)(4)

If you haven’t, here are a few tips to consider when preparing for it:

  • Go through the exam guide

For you to pass your Salesforce Admin certification, you need to understand what the exam entails. This way, you will know what to study and which resources to use during the preparation process. Salesforce customization, platform configuration, user management, and other skills related to Salesforce are among the things you’ll need to gain knowledge on before sitting for the test. 

Going through the exam guide will give all the information you need to prepare for the certification. You’ll also have an idea of what to expect regarding the number of questions and how to answer them. In addition, the exam guide covers everything about the weighting process, including those topics that you should prioritize in your studies. (2)

  • Schedule the exam in advance

Of course, this is an obvious step, but you’ll be surprised how many people keep on delaying it. For one, scheduling your exam early enough gives you time to focus on your preparation. It also motivates you to work towards the certification. As such, you will have the much-needed push to read and understand all the required information regardless of how hard it might appear. 

On the flip side, late scheduling will always leave you unprepared no matter how much you study. In most cases, you will be worried about the deadline more than what you should be reading. Such ‘chaos’ in your mind will have a ripple effect on your performance during the examination. In the long run, you might find it challenging to pass the test.

  • Learn from Salesforce Trailhead

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced admin, tutorials will always come in handy. There are many resources online, but the best place to start your learning journey is Trailhead. It’s a series of tutorials created by Salesforce to train beginners and intermediate users of the Salesforce products. 

The best thing about Salesforce Trailhead training is the fact that the learning lessons are arranged in a given sequence. As such, you get a predefined path to follow. 

For instance, commencing the whole journey with a basic introduction will ensure that you have a good idea of the entire subject before going into intricate details. This guided experience makes it easier for you to assess your performance and know where to strengthen before sitting for the certification exam.

  • Get hands-on experience

The best way to master a skill is to practice it. Salesforce administration requires the same spirit for you to have a better chance of passing the certification exam. After all, you will need to gain expertise on the subject to get more than the passing score of 65% and complete the exam in 105 minutes. (5)

Of course, reading and exhausting all theoretical resources is a good thing, but this can’t compare to the benefits you’ll get through hands-on experience. The best way to start this is by going through the beginner tutorials on Trailhead. Once you’ve understood what it’s all about, you can go on start practicing some of the skills. 

For one, you can build an app to track your interests like TV episodes, movie collections, or recipes. This way, you’ll gain the experience of building an app from scratch and managing it, which is something that most employers today look for in their Salesforce administrators.


Every entrepreneur is looking to improve various business sections as they grow their brand, and Salesforce administration is one of those areas. In fact, there is a growing demand for experienced people in this area. Therefore, going for a Salesforce admin certification exam will improve your chances of getting a job that matches your skills. 

To prepare for this test, you will need to go through the exam guide and understand what’s required of you before even commencing your studies. Once you are ready to begin the reading and training sessions, 

Salesforce Trailhead is the best place to coach yourself and nurture the skills you already have. With hands-on experience, you stand an even better chance of passing this test.


  1. “Top 5 Reasons Why Now Is The Time To Get Salesforce-Certified”, Source:
  2. “Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide”, Source:
  3. “Salesforce Made Simple”, Source:
  4. “Salesforce Architect”, Source:
  5. “Salesforce Certified Administrator”, Source:
  6. “Is Salesforce Overpriced?”, Source: 


Testing for Mold in HVAC Systems

With continuous use, heating and cooling systems often breed moisture in their ductwork, especially if HVAC ducts are not sealed properly. The air inside the ducts varies from the air outside, leading to condensation, one of the favorable conditions for mold growth. Unlike the basement and other wet parts of your home, HVAC units remain the most overlooked source of mycotoxins, specifically mold. They are also very dangerous as they distribute mold spores throughout, predisposing your family to serious health conditions.

Outlined below are some signs that your HVAC system may be mold-infested and tips on confirming its presence.

Signs of Mold in HVAC Units

Even if you diligently maintain your HVAC systems, you can easily overlook moldy air ducts. Some signs of mold infestation in your home include;

  • Musty Odor

Large amounts of mold in your air ducts often leave a distinctive earthy or musty smell. While this smell is unpleasant, it makes it easy to detect mold growth in your systems. The presence of mold in your ducts often presents a strong smell, especially when the HVAC systems are running.

  • Allergic and Respiratory Distress Symptoms

Health effects are probably the most serious issue of mold growth in your HVAC systems. Inhaling mold spores leads to allergic symptoms and can exacerbate respiratory problems. Allergic symptoms include coughing, sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, and breathing difficulties.

  • Visible Molds in the Units

Visible black and white spots in your HVAC vents and ducts are by far the most obvious sign of mold growth. Mold settling on vents appears either as black, white, or green spots.

Mold Inspection Tips

If your home has any of the signs mentioned above, you should consider doing a thorough inspection of your HVAC systems. Below are tips and advice to leverage when inspecting your heating and cooling systems for mold.

  1. Walk Around and Do a Visible Mold Inspection

As the phrase suggests, simply walk around and search for visible signs of the presence of mold, such as discoloration in vents. For a thorough inspection, carry along a screwdriver and a step stool. Remove some accessible supply vents for close inspection. Make sure to wear a face mask, gloves, and other protective equipment when doing this to avoid exposure.

While at it, inspect all the exterior parts of the HVAC system, including the joint, overflow pan, filters, fiberglass, and connections. As you inspect for the presence of mold, ensure that there is no condensation forming outside the unit when turned on. Condensation outside the unit means that the parts are not sealed tightly and thus have a high chance of mold growth.

  1. Inspect if HVAC Unit has Been Attached to a Humidification System

Some homeowners make the mistake of attaching a humidification system to their HVAC units to remedy indoor allergies purportedly caused by air dryness. According to them, humidifiers provide moisture that combines with heated air, especially during winter. Unknown to them, this excessive moisture promotes the growth of mold and other bacteria. If you have such a system, turn it off and remove it immediately.

Testing for Presence of Mold

Based on the findings of your inspection, you may want to do a confirmatory test for the presence of mold in your HVAC systems. To do this;

  • Buy a mold test kit locally or order one online. The test kit contains a petri dish and a culture medium.

  • Open the petri dish and empty the culture medium. Leave it for at least one hour for the culture medium to solidify.

  • Close all the HVAC vents except one, which is preferably the one that you spotted signs of mold growth or has a strong, musty odor.

  • Suspend the petri dish on the open vent using tape. Leave the dish in this position for at least 10 minutes.

  • After 10 minutes, close the dish, place it on a flat surface and allow it to sit for between 48 and 96 hours.

  • Open the dish after this time frame elapses. Suspect the presence of mold if there are dark spots or signs of discoloration at the bottom of the petri dish.

You can forward your findings to advanced labs for further tests. The lab can pick on the specific type of mold that has infested your HVAC units. Some types are dangerous and should be eliminated immediately.


Mold growth is a serious health risk that should be remediated immediately. Depending on the size of mold infestation, you may prefer handling the issue on your own, if you are a DIY expert, or hire expert mold removal service providers. Regardless of your choice, keep in mind that the EPA recommends professional mold removal services if the mold covers more than 10 sq ft. If mold growth in your HVAC units is mild, you can try removing them using various home remedies and other advanced techniques.

How to Deal with Financial Difficulties as a Student

Financial difficulties can be extremely worrying as a student. They may affect your ability to focus on your studies and continue your time at the university or college of your choice. In order to prevent financial difficulties from overwhelming you halfway into your studies, here are some of the steps that you can take toward dealing with and overcoming them in the 2021 academic year. 

Look Into Hardship Funds

However, most universities and colleges have financial advisors and finance departments that can help you organize your finances and give you a variety of options that can help you stay at the university regardless of your financial situation. For instance, many universities offer students facing financial difficulties a hardship fund. This fund can help to keep you going when you are far into your overdraft and will allow you to keep your finances afloat for longer. To get this fund, you should schedule an appointment with the finance team at your university as soon as possible. If you predict that you will find yourself in financial difficulty before you go to university or college, you may be able to apply for certain grants before you even leave home. 

Get a Part-Time Job

If you need some extra cash to help you pay your bills and fund your nights out, you should consider applying for part-time jobs in your area. As you progress through your studies, it is unlikely that you will have more than a few contact hours per week, especially if your course is currently focused on your dissertation or independent study. This gives you plenty of time between your lectures and seminars to head to a part-time job, where you can earn the money that you need to support yourself. SavetheStudent has collated some of the best part-time jobs that students can find at the start of the new term. However, you should make sure that this job does not distract you from your studies and that you still have enough time to complete all of your assignments. Some courses may even recommend that you avoid taking on a part-time job, where possible. 

Apply for Grants

You might be able to apply for grants, even if you are halfway through your studies. Grants are given by the university itself and give extra funding to people who meet certain criteria. These criteria could be anything, from coming from a low-income background, having a parent who works in a certain field, being a mature student, or taking a certain course, such as healthcare or teaching. 

Speak to Your Landlord

One of the main issues when you run out of money as a student is being able to afford your rent, especially if you are staying in private accommodation. While it may be easy to contact your university’s accommodation provider about any late payments, and these usually come out of your student loan directly, it can be harder to speak to your landlord about any problems you are having in getting the money you need together. However, in most cases, student landlords will be lenient or will allow you to pay your rent when you receive your next loan installment. This is not always the case, though. So, before you speak to your landlord, you should plan exactly what you are going to say and make sure that you know your rights while renting out their property. 

Short Term Loans

If you are struggling with financial difficulties as a student, you might consider taking out a short-term loan. This is a possibility as long as you have some sort of income (e.g. from a part time job) but this should be a last resort and you would need to be confident you can and will meet all of the loan repayments, as failure to repay a loan can lead to further financial difficulties. If you do decide to go down this route, it may be a good idea to use an FCA regulated loan broker to try and get the best APR available to you and your personal financial circumstances.

Cut Your Costs

As a student, although it is unlikely that you will be making a large income, you will not have as many fixed costs as other people living independently. For instance, you will be splitting your bills between multiple people and will usually not have a vehicle to run. So, once you have paid your rent and your student loan, the majority of your costs may be spent on fun and luxuries. It can be difficult to manage your money in the first years of being a student, especially if you have never had to do so before. So, you should find ways to better manage your money and cut your unnecessary expenditure. For instance, you should cook at home more often, attend free events or societies, and consider walking or taking the transport put on by your university rather than public transport or taxis. If you are struggling to cut down on your costs, you should consider downloading a finance tracking app that will allow you to see and manage what you are spending at all times. 

Many students deal with money problems before they leave university or college, especially if your student loan covers less than you imagined. You may encounter these issues even if you previously believe that you were financially savvy. However, these issues do not mean that you will have to return back to your hometown and abandon your degree. Although being in financial difficulty can be stressful for students, it is not usually the end of the world, and there are plenty of steps that you can take to get you back on your feet and which can ensure that you stay financially afloat enough to pour most of your energy into your studies and achieve academic success, and with that success carve a great career for yourself. 

5 Tips For A First-Generation IT College Student

As a first-gen student, you face expectations unlike any other. You’re trying to figure out how to make your parents proud, how to make new friends, how to live on your own for the first time. There’s no denying it’s tough, so we want to make it a little easier. 

Get ready for campus life by reading our five tips for being a first-generation college student below.

1. Apply for Scholarships 

If you’re a first-generation college student, you may have additional financial stressors others don’t. Thankfully, there are great scholarships out there specifically for you — and plenty are offered by former first-gen students. 

Jasdeep Singh created a scholarship in honor of his parents, who valued education and helped their son through secondary schooling. Apply to as many of these opportunities as you can to help alleviate the financial burden college places on you. 

2. Get Involved 

College isn’t just about locking yourself in your dorm and studying — it’s a time to have fun and discover yourself. 

Joining clubs, attending school events, and participating in campus activities will help you feel more at home. Fostering your social life is almost as important as handling the academic side of things (just ensure you find a nice balance). 

3. Understand Your Limits

Chances are, you’re on your own for the first time. You’re away from your routine and juggling a schedule that revolves solely around you. There’s no denying it’s difficult figuring out what and who to prioritize. 

The trick is to prioritize your physical and mental well-being. This may mean saying no, denying an extra project, or opting out of a social situation. Burnout is very, very real, and taking on too much puts you at risk. 

4. Assess Your Study Habits

Don’t base your study habits on those around you. Your roommate may be able to absorb all their info from the lecture alone, leaving him plenty of time to party. But that doesn’t mean your brain works the same way. 

In your first semester especially, take the time to determine what method of studying works best. You may have solidified certain habits in high school, but as college coursework is more involved and requires advanced understanding, your study sessions will need to keep up. 

5. Network

Some people with connections — they’re legacies, their parents were in a particular sorority or frat, etc. — and some don’t. If you’re a first-gen student, there’s a high chance you’re in the latter group. But don’t panic; college is the perfect way to make the connections you need. 

Picture-perfect academics isn’t the only way to jumpstart your career. A 2016 survey concluded 85% of jobs are filled because of networking. 

So, don’t be afraid to attending dedicated networking events. Have that elevator pitch in your back pocket. And, for the love of all things good, take advantage of your professor’s office hours! Before you know it, these foundational relationships may present you with a career path. 

Final Thoughts & A Bonus Tip

It’s time to let go of the expectations you think others have of you. College is a time to discover your interests and explore potential career fields you’ve never thought possible. So, meet new people, join fun clubs, and explore your hobbies in full. 

It’s challenging to decide what you want to do at 18, even more so when you feel the pressure to make your family proud. But chances are, they already are. Use this opportunity for yourself and see what the future holds. 

How to Choose the Right College for You

There are so many choices to make when selecting a college, it is a wonder anyone does it at all. Analysis paralysis can really be a hindrance to moving forward. You are not just looking for a good college, but the perfect college for you. This can be hard for 18 year olds with no life experience to guide them. They really don’t know what they want. When you don’t know what you want, it can be really hard to find. One should also remember that perfect is the enemy of the good. There are plenty of good colleges you might overlook because you are set on finding the perfect. That merry chase is more of a fool’s errand. Perfect doesn’t exist.

What you need is a clear understanding of your needs. Make a list of priorities in the order of importance. There are a lot of things you think you need at first. But later, you realize you can live without them. Give yourself enough time to change your mind a few times. Get input from people who have been to college and can help you know what to look for. Some priorities are obvious. The following items might not have made your first draft:

Access to Charging Stations

If you are thinking about getting an electric car, you are not going to be able to park that thing in your dorm room and charge it from an outlet. You are going to have to make sure there is at least one charging station nearby so you can juice up before heading out. There doesn’t need to be a charging station on campus. It is not like most campuses have their own gas station. But you do need one or two nearby, and in route to places you normally go. Fortunately, the charging station infrastructure is really starting to fill out. So that is much less of an issue than it was 10 years ago. 

While you’re at it, check the parking situation. Not all campuses have ample parking spots for students. Some might charge a high fee for parking. The same is true for a lot of cities. One of the biggest downsides to owning a car is parking. Many places are simply not car-friendly. Again, this is just one of those things you need to ask about and not take for granted. If you have a car, or plan to, be sure the infrastructure on and near campus is right for you.

Job Placement

You definitely have to make sure you choose the right college for your major. What you also have to know is if the college has a successful job placement program for the kind of job you want to do. Every college likes to boast about their job placement successes. But general numbers don’t mean a thing if they are not good at placing people in the type of job you want to do. 

The best business school from 2015 might not represent the best you can do today. So be sure your recommendations are current. Again, there is a difference between the best business school and the school that is best at getting their graduates into good jobs. That’s a big difference. Don’t get a degree that will not get you hired. 

Tech Ecosystem

If you are a Mac user and your school only does Windows, you are in trouble. You are going to hate every minute. And the transition is not automatic. You are also probably looking at a school that is technologically regressive if all major platforms aren’t supported. If you Use ecosystems from Microsoft, Apple, or Google and it is not supported, look elsewhere. While you’re at it, be sure that the WiFi is plentiful, fast, ubiquitous, and reliable. Your college career will depend on the internet even if you are taking all of your classes on campus. Bad internet services equals a bad college. Even if everything else is perfect, that school is a big pass. Don’t ignore technological red flags.

While it is not impossible to transfer to a different college, there is a reason it seldom happens. The place you land at first is more than likely the place you will graduate. So be sure to choose wisely. Be sure it has the right infrastructure in place for the car. Be sure the job placement program is right for your major. And check the tech before signing the dotted line.

Save Your Struggling Business With a Bar Graph Maker

Myriam Jessier / Unsplash

Businesses, in one way or another, undergo the inevitable phase of struggle. They may struggle to garner popularity and patronization over their competitors, struggle to keep up with the growing public demand, or struggle to stay in the competitive industry. 

When talking about saving a struggling business, data visualization can do so many wonders. A struggling business could boost its image to its potential clients or customers through the help of a comprehensive and meticulously done graph. Graphs and other data visuals aren’t just pretty pictures, but they actually bode well for your business.

What Is a Graph?

Time and time again, graphs prove to be one of the most effective tools for visual presentation. Graphs, along with charts, are often used to demonstrate relationships between different sets of data. It has many types: line graph, bar graph, pie graph to name a few.

If you want to avoid dealing with confusing and dreadful numbers, then graphing your idea is the way to go! It helps you better understand information that is too complex to be put into words.

Why Should Businesses Create Graphs?

Graphs aren’t just about the aesthetics of presenting information to a particular target audience. It is also about highlighting important details from a drowning pool of information gathered through the years of service that your business has been continuously contributing to society.

Here are some reasons why businesses like yours should exert effort into creating graphs.

Graphs make your data easier to digest.

Goumbik / Pixabay

Not everyone likes to look at large numbers or, worse, comprehending what those numbers mean. Data, when too broad and too complex, tend to be really overwhelming for a lot of people. Thankfully, graphs were invented to help average people comprehend information that only math wizards understand.

With easier-to-digest data presentations, the audience would be quick to understand. Engagement with the audience will transpire naturally as data was already converted into more comprehensible forms such as graphs. Audience engagement then becomes beneficial for you to achieve your established goal. This goal can be to attain suggestions, ideas, and solutions from the audience.

Graphs can identify areas for improvement.

LTD EHU / Pixabay

Day by day, the world gets more and more analytical and data-driven. With this in mind, businesses should note that understanding and knowing how to work with graphs is as essential as coming up with an excellent financial management plan or an outstanding marketing, sales, and customer service strategy.

Like a pattern, data tells a story that is too complicated to be reiterated through words. Businesses may use graphs to represent their revenues, profit margins, and practically everything numerical that is relevant to its success and, at times, the lack thereof. Through the use of data presented in graphs and in order to get rid of the obstacles hindering its success, businesses may utilize visual representations to come up with an informed and important decision on the next step that it should take.

Graphs can determine which data is relevant.

Mohamed Hassan / Pixabay

As your business grows, so does the information that your data bank holds. You may end up getting drowned with too much information, so better wear your life vest aka graphs, charts, and other diagrams to help you swim through the pool of confusing figures. Visualization techniques such as bar graphs can help you discover some hidden or unnoticeable anomalies and malicious patterns from your pool of information. And from there, you can come up with a conclusion and proceed to taking necessary steps in order to save your struggling company.

Because of the load of information that they have, businesses tend to miss some information that could be found when graph makers are used: unusual distributions of data, gaps, missing values, outliers, etc. If you can’t understand the data presented to you, then sure as hell you aren’t gonna learn anything from it too.

How Important Are Graph Makers?

Isaac Smith / Unsplash

Generally speaking, every business across sectors benefits when the information presented to them is easy to read and interpret as this helps them avoid misinterpretation. Visualization is very important especially when dealing with a large volume of information. When effectively presented through graphs or any visual technique, you will be able to grasp the meaning behind any data and you can quickly draw conclusions with the image of the graph in mind.

It is good to know that there exist websites such as Venngage that provide businesses a tool to create visually impactful graphs, reports, charts, and infographics. Bar graph makers help struggling businesses see and understand the patterns, trends, and most especially, the outliers in their existing data. They allow you to determine the meaning behind the numbers — where you went wrong, where you can improve on, etc.

Little by little, graphs continue to prove its contribution and essence to every industry one could think of. Graphs are used in the government, in marketing, in real estate, in finance, in sales, in science and technology, in consumer goods, in sports, and in education to name a few. Students use graphs to better understand their lessons, electrical engineers use graphs to better represent networks and circuits, businessmen use graphs to present their business’s revenues and outliers too. 

I could go on and on. But one thing is for sure: graphs make lives better. It’s time to bid adieu to the dull and boring world of complex data and say hello to the era of powerful insights as expressed through informative yet stunningly formatted graphs.

What Makes E-Signatures Safe and Trustworthy?

Most businesses and organizations will distribute and receive documents that must be signed or have been signed. This has been the case for at least a century, and probably longer.

However, the way in which these documents may be signed has changed in recent years. For example, it’s become increasingly common for companies to resort to and accept e-signatures instead of traditional pen-and-ink signatures.

An e-signature serves the same purpose as a traditional autograph. It’s simply a digital alternative. Though many have embraced this solution, some have remained reluctant to do so.

This is often the case because someone worries that an e-signature may not be secure. This is an understandable concern, but not a justifiable one.

E-signatures are actually highly secure, and arguably more secure to a substantial degree than ink signatures. The following points illustrate why.

E-Signatures Are Difficult to Forge

Forging a traditional ink signature isn’t terribly difficult. Someone might not have the skills necessary to forge a signature on his own, but with a little effort, he could probably find someone who does.

Or the aspiring forger could develop the necessary skill over time. In addition, a range of tech tools can make the task of forging a traditional signature much easier.

Forging an e-signature is far more challenging. It requires access to your computer. The forger must also have your signing certificate password.

It’s crucial to understand that an e-signature isn’t just an image that resembles a traditional ink signature. It’s actually more of an algorithm that creates a “digital footprint” unique to the signer.

E-Signatures Offer Greater Control Over Documents

E-signatures are also convenient for many reasons. One is the simple fact that they allow organizations and individuals to process documents much more quickly than they used to.

For example, instead of mailing a new client a contract and waiting for them to return it–again, through the postal service–with their signature before work on a lucrative project can begin, you could send the contract as an attachment to an email, obtain the e-signature, and start work in a matter of minutes.

This also increases the safety and security of critical documents. Although it may be fairly rare for the postal service to lose mail, it does happen. Sending a physical document by mail also increases the chance of it falling into the hands of someone you’d prefer would not see it.

That’s going to be far less of a concern when you send it by email. Unless you’re the target of a cyberattack at precisely the wrong time, it’s highly unlikely the wrong person would intercept an email you just sent.

This is another reason e-signatures are secure. They allow you to send and receive documents that must be signed in a manner that’s much safer than traditional mail.

E-Signatures Have Electronic Records

When transactions involve signing multiple documents, perhaps over a somewhat long span of time, disputes can arise. Luckily, e-signatures provide an electronic record of a transaction.

They establish an “audit trail” that can be used to solve disputes more readily. Because such disputes often overlap with security concerns or issues, this is one more way in which e-signatures are more secure than you might have recognized.

Having concerns about security issues when new technologies become available is entirely rational. If you’ve relied on traditional signatures for years, you might wonder why you should switch to a new solution if you don’t know it’s just as safe.

Nevertheless, it’s become increasingly accepted by industry observers that if security is a concern, using e-signatures is likely the wisest option.