Learning how to be a successful student is not that difficult if you know what you are doing when it comes to the subjects that you choose to study. You need to make sure that you are making the most of your time at university and learning all that you can from your classes. Try to keep the subjects that you are studying as relevant as possible, simply because you do not want to find yourself in a situation where you cannot be employed after you graduate. You will also find that if you choose subjects that are useful, you will be able to apply yourself a lot better.
It’s all in the choices you make
The first thing that you need to do, of course, is to make sure that you have chosen the right degree for the field that you want to be in. There are many things that you can study, but you need to make sure that your degree and your subjects are specific enough. Remember, however, that once you are out of university, there is always work experience, and that counts for a lot too.
One of the ways in which you can choose your subjects is by relevance. Ask yourself, how relevant is it that you delve into a certain area of learning? Make sure that you do your research into careers within that field in order to see what skills they require. The next thing that you should do is also pick subjects that interest you the most. Very often we do better when we are in situations that are interesting to us, so it is always a wise idea to make sure that you have got subjects on your plate that you will be motivated to study.
Take some subjects that will also set you apart from everyone else in your field, too. Go the extra mile and you will see that, later in life, you will be rewarded with more career options and opportunities. If you are in a specific degree, take subjects that will enable you to specialise easily later on. If you are doing a degree such as Liberal Arts, make sure that you take subjects that will enable you to teach them afterwards.
There is more to being a student than just the subjects that you take. One of the key parts is also making sure that you have got a good place to stay during your university years. This is important because if you have a home to call your own, you are more likely to be focused and dedicated to completing your studies.
Dick Hebdige’s article “Subculture and Style” starts with an excerpt from Jean Genet’s ” The Thief’s Journal” which points to the different meanings that are conveyed by objects to different people. He uses this approach to illustrate an understanding of the styles of Britain’s youth cultures, arguing that a subculture is subversion to normalcy; but style, though the subversion of common objects, allows Britain’s subcultures to symbolically separate themselves from the mass culture to which they belong. He defines style as an aesthetic nonconformity in which participants invite backlash from the majority culture. This concept of style in subculture acknowledges creativity and collective aesthetic environment with a hierarchy of values and unique structure which in some cases involves criminality. For instance, youthful street artists (graffiti writer, rap musicians), and gang members, “constructing identities… working to control the meanings that these references carry for others – people and groups begin to set the boundaries of their own identities and those of other as well.” (Ferrel). To deviate from the normalcy and create meaning from such a deviation could possibly reflect beauty and ingenuity according to individuals’ perception of the symbol. But when the symbol is viewed in the mirror of the dominant group, it might represent criminality because they proscribe it to be, even when there is no crime involved in the creation of the symbol.
By proscribing this separate system of symbols, these authors of the subcultures feel validated by the dominant group, challenge existing tradition, denying the context of the mass culture. In this way, the teenagers are empowered to transform into the socially significant symbols and form a formidable group with their own identity. Hebdige argues that subcultures bring together like-minded individuals who feel neglected by societal standards and allow them to develop sense of identity. “This scorn then serves to galvanize the countercultural identity, legitimizing the subculture precisely by rejecting its deviance. In this way the autonomy of a subculture is both established and maintained” (Hebdige pp.3).
In “Youth, Crime, and Cultural Space,” Jeff Ferrel explores the cultural space within which some young people construct meaning, perception, and identity. It focuses on “the criminalization of young people’s alternative cultural spaces as a strategy of social and cultural control, as a defense of mainstream cultural space and boundaries” (pp.2). He argues that when cultural space is confused with criminal intent by the dominant group, the criminalization provokes a protest from the youth who elicits new forms of resistance by creating alternative cultural space. According to him, the creation of a subcultural space and the criminalization innuendos has political implications that affect the youths’ everyday lives. He questions, “Are channels of youthful communication appropriately the province of corporate profit, legal regulation, or unfettered creativity” (Ferrel pp.1)?
The point here is; as the youth create their self fulfilling goals of identity construction and maintenance of cultural space through styles and symbols they become appropriated, commodified, and redefined by the hegemonic culture which they contest, elevating the alternative culture to social and political level in other to foster their political ideologies without acknowledging the creativity behind the transformation.
Example is the internet subculture Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) of the 1980′s, which was a pioneer internet network that comprised of underground network of technically ardent computer literate youths. Today, there is corporate domination of the internet like the World Wide Web (www), Yahoo, America on-line (AOL) among other that charge users for their services. Government censor and tax the internet websites and customers, it sets surveillance on individuals and groups’ activities, and apprehend violators of their internet rules. Such is applicable to Rap music and other similar subcultures.
Walking the streets of America in this time and age, the sights and airwaves show and vibrate different sights and tunes from what it was decades ago. There is debatable disparity of American identity based on subcultures that can be attributed to variables such as age, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, class, and education among others. While these subcultures range from music to internet relationship, their existences cannot be ignored due to impact they make in the society. Style helps to construct identity, as well as confer relative autonomy within a social order weakened by generation gap, class, race, and ideology among others. It is an unequivocal advocate of change in the society in that it challenges the traditional environment, and changes the expression of class, leisure, work, and community. It contributes to the economy by creating a market for surplus like in the internet polarization, polarization of working class, and relative increase in the spending power of the working youth. It is an alternative source of self esteem and expression. “During this time, the subculture has not only spawned thousands of often trans-ethnic crews of writers, and provided writers with self-made measures of status and identity, but also generated an underground economy that provides many writers with a modicum of economic and artistic autonomy” (Ferrel pp.5).
There are two main options for education now. You can learn in full-time institutions where you attend daily classes or you can do it all through online distance learning. There are pros and cons to both options and your current living and financial situation will affect the one that is right for you. Here are some of the factors you need to consider to choose which one is best for you.
Studying Around Your Work Commitments
If you need to work full-time, then studying full-time is not going to be an option. The classes will most likely be organised during the hours that you work. Even if not, you will need to put in study hours outside of your classes and they will eat into your working times. Most full-time educational facilities consider students will work part-time; usually no more than 16 hours per week.
If you need to work and study, distance learning could be a better option. There are no specific classes set, apart from the odd voluntary tutorial on a monthly or bi-monthly basis in most cases. The institutions expect you to study around your working hours and in your own time. You could do some study in your lunch break at work or wait until the evening when you get home.
Studying Around Family Commitments
Studying full-time will mean classes during the day and that will mean you need to find childcare. Some of the classes will run up until 6pm or 7pm, so even if you have school-aged children you will need to find childcare. There may be other family commitments that you need to make.
Distance learning gives you the option to study around your other commitments. You do it all from home, so can manage looking after children and learning at the same time. If you need to, you could choose to wait until the children are in bed to do your hours of study each day.
Self-Teaching Isn’t for Everyone
How well do you teach yourself something? This is a major consideration you need to make. While there are the odd tutorials and there is support via email or phone, you will be expected to teach yourself most of the course material when studying online. You’re given the books and then it is up to you what you do with them.
If you don’t have the motivation to get on with your studying or you have struggled to do something similar in the past, full-time learning may be the better option. With full-time study, a tutor goes through all the material and there are more chances to speak to your tutor to discuss areas you find difficult.
The choice is completely up to you. It really depends on the way you learn best and your current situation. If you currently have no other commitments, full-time study could certainly be an excellent option no matter how old you are. However, if you need to work full-time or have others at home you need to think about, then distance learning may be a better option for your education.
Almost every student who goes to college feels homesick sooner or later. But, it’s natural to feel disoriented in your new environment as there’s a series of events that you would be experiencing one after the other. Though every student deals with homesickness in a different way, listed below are some tips that can make the transition a little easier for you:
1. Decorate your new room
Probably getting adjusted to your new room is one the most difficult things to do! You might find your new bed a little uncomfortable and it might be challenging to share your personal belongings and space with new people. But, make it look as nice and comfortable as possible. How about getting a beanbag chair or hanging your favorite posters in your room? You can even decorate your desk with pictures of your friends and family. The mantra is to create a home away from home!
2. Be Socially Active
Rather than continually missing your friends and family back home, channelize your energy and interest in making new friends. Make a new friend in every class that you take. This will help you when you need a study partner. You can even create a study group with selected members of your class and regularly meet at a nearby coffee shop.
3. Join a Club or an organization
Joining a club or an organization is surely a good way to make friends with new people. This also gives you an opportunity to get attuned to campus life. Many colleges have a student center where extracurricular activities are organized, which provides you with an excellent opportunity to find students with similar interests. Think of joining an NGO that allows you to do something for the society, such as those working towards social development, education, health, emergency relief and child welfare. Join CRY, WHO, UNDP, Asha Kiran, which need volunteers on regular basis and give something back to the society. Other than giving you immense satisfaction, it will also add value to your resume.
4. Encourage Your Family Members and Friends to Pay you a Visit
If it’s difficult to go home, you can encourage your friends and family members to pay you a visit. Spending some time with them in your campus would help you a lot. Just walk them around the campus and introduce them to your new friends. Make it large!
5. Go Home
Just when you think you wouldn’t probably miss your family and friends, it’s time for a break. Colleges are not open for 365 days a year. You will get the chance to visit your family during summer or autumn break. You can even plan a long weekend with your family and spend some time in your room. Get comfortable sleep on your bed and ask your mother to cook your favorite meal. Spend time with your old friends and by the end of the week, you will be all charged up to go back to your college.
Keep reminding yourself that homesickness is temporary and is bound to reduce over time. Just give yourself some time to get accustomed to the new environment. Once you develop a comfort level, you will start seeing your dorm room as your new home.
Colleges and universities are big companies and big business. Their partners are huge businesses with a big appetite for survival. There is no problem with that – unless what they say to survive is not the whole story on how they impact you.
Years of research, teaching and dealing with incomplete information coming from colleges and universities, banks, college recruiters and others has compelled me to assemble this list as part warning, part checklist and part sobering review for students, parents and others considering the college option.
My experience has taught me to dig deeper and get more information that what I receive from those with a vested financial interest in my business. You take it for what it’s worth to you.
1. The overall college drop-out rate is far worse than the high school drop-out rate, and high school drop-out rates are at epidemic levels. Look up four year and six year graduation rates on the FAFSA website. There are numbers reported by the colleges themselves. It is sobering. My face to face conversation with students and parents are even more sobering.
2. College student loan debt default rates have risen steadily every year since 2005 and are now approaching 10%. Loans at least 90 days late now account for over 11% of all loans. Student loans debts has surpassed $1 trillion dollars and is greater than the total amount of credit card debt in the United States. The average college student graduates with between $25,000 to $30,000 of debt, and many have debt exceeding $100,000 or more. Close to 90% of college students require financial aid to attend and complete formal, higher education.
3. College students show virtually no net increasing in learning between starting college and the beginning of their junior year. This is according to research by Dr. Richard Arum, University of New York and Dr. Josipa Roksa, University of Virginia detailed in their book entitled Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Their follow-up book, according to Dr. Arum, is not going to do much to alleviate many fears on this topic.
4. The average length of time required to complete a “four year” college degree is now six years. The most favorable data on the college completion rate is that 59% of those who start college finish within six years. The number graduating within the standard four years is far less. Again, see the numbers on the FAFSA website.
5. Without asterisks and disclaimers, colleges and universities can no longer claim that earning a degree will insure a better standard of living for the graduate versus non-graduates. More students than ever are returning home to live with their parents. Teen and student employment is at record highs. The number of college graduates taking minimum wage jobs is rising fast.
6. At nearly all liberal arts, public and private colleges and universities, the number of college administrators is exploding disproportionately larger than the ranks of professors and instructors. This imbalance and the dramatic increase in class sizes is widely regarded as detrimental to the quality of education in the United States. Additionally, administrative units at colleges are demanding and achieving greater power and administrative muscle over their academic counterparts. As colleges expand, they are spending their money on administrative resources, not instructional resources as evidenced by dramatic shifts in student-to-faculty and student-to-administrator ratios since 1975.
7. At nearly all liberal arts schools, the number of part-time adjunct instructors is growing disproportionately larger than number of PhD level college professors assigned to the classroom.
8. Forbes Magazine published an article indicating that the average college student would now do better financially to work a full-time job during the time they would have spent 4-6 six years at a college or university and not incur the normal debt required to complete a degree.
9. A recent article published in papers across the country indicated that as many as 47% of the jobs available to students now will disappear in the future due to technological changes.
10. A large percentage of college students don’t get jobs in their chosen field of study.
11. Drug and alcohol misuse on college campuses is a leading factor in sub-standard academic performance resulting in young people leaving college before they graduate. In many cases, 25% of college freshmen leave college before the end of their first year due to academic deficiencies complicated by drug and alcohol misuse.
12. The number of people with college degrees who have filed bankruptcy in the past several years has jumped close to 60%, narrowing the gap between traditional filers with lower incomes.
13. A Stanford University recruiter openly admits in the film, The Race To Nowhere, that colleges and universities are putting unnecessary and extraordinary pressure on high school students that results in significant mental and physical health challenges for students and their families, including suicide.
14. The banking, financial, academic and political systems that encourage you to go to college have perfected the result of making you feel guilty or sorry if you don’t go, without citing evidence of the problems brought about by failure and lack of preparation for college and university life.
15. Because of the relationship between these four segments of the economy, college tuitions rose 248% between 1990-2008 – more than any other measurable industry, major product or segment of the economy.
16. Fueled by technology and innovation, auto-didactic learning or self-teaching is growing in popularity as a way to create focused learning without the time, financial and health constraints of a failing traditional education model.
17. Over the past generation, as colleges and universities have spent billions of dollars on assessment systems and administration, academic performance of college students has dropped substantially and the dissatisfaction of the private sector with the quality of graduates has increased. Formal learning and assessment systems implemented by colleges and universities are not working; and they are failing the students, families, communities and businesses they serve.
18. Alternatives to the traditional education model are expanding rapidly. Online education tools are forcing colleges to respond to competition as opposed to colleges taking the lead on new and innovative forms of education.
19. Employers, in a variety of surveys and studies, indicate that they are increasingly dissatisfied with overall product of colleges and universities. Google has begun to approach high school students in a effort to gain better control and influence over the education of students and to insure that they get the kinds of students that will fit their business model best.
Have you ever wondered what all principles go behind the working of televisions or radios or computers? The answer to the question, in most cases, is an obvious no. The discipline that helps technologists create and study the functioning of such devices is none other than electronics and communication (E&C).
What’s the definition of E&C engineering?
To put it simply, the study of E&C helps develop and analyze the behavior of devices that have circuits. Now let’s read the actual definition: Electronics and communication engineering is a discipline where active, non-linear components (semiconductor devices, electron tubes, etc.) are used to design many significant devices and systems.
What are the different subfields of the discipline?
The entire E&C discipline is made of important subfields such as:
The technology helps engineers in implementing principles, applications as well as algorithms that are developed in other allied fields.
What’s the work of an engineer belonging to the discipline?
An electronics and communication engineer helps in designing, fabricating, testing as well as maintaining electronic equipment and communication devices. The engineers of the discipline, by and large, work with equipment that consumes paltry energy. In addition, the technologists work along with fiber optics, microprocessors, televisions, radios, to mention a few.
Why choose the engineering discipline?
Electronics and communication systems have been the mainstay of industrial revolution. Such type of equipment and systems plays a significant role in influencing the everyday lives of humans. Swirl and take a look around; chances are abundant that your eyes find one or the other such device -mobile phones, televisions, desktops, laptops, to mention but a few.
Also, advanced E&C engineering encompasses the designing, manufacturing and testing of equipment such as:
• Automotive systems
• Control and instrumentation systems
• Medical equipment
• Embedded systems
The need for having electronically advanced equipment never abates, thus, aspirants choose to enter the field. The discipline puts forward challenges of great magnitude. Each of such challenges is rewarding. The engineers of the discipline investigate solutions to challenging problems present in the field.
Different career profiles of Electronics and Communication Engineers
India is one of those telecom markets that have registered unprecedented growth in the recent past. More and more new players are entering the Indian telecom industry. Such a trend points to the many opportunities offered to Electronics and Communication engineers. Graduates of B. Tech (E&C) also have excellent opportunities to get placed in IT industry (hardware and software).
More and more VLSI and Embedded systems are now manufactured in India. Such a growth in VLSI as well as embedded systems has helped E&C engineers get excellent pay packages (three to four lakhs per annum).
Some common sectors where Electronics and Communication Engineers work are:
• Consumer electronics
• Aviation and avionics
• Electricity generation
• Electricity distribution
• Hospital diagnostic equipment
• Offshore industries
A few top recruiters of E&C engineers are:
• Texas Instruments
It’s never easy to chose a college, however before you make that final university selection, you must decide if you want to an education at an online university or a brick-and-mortar college. The result that you get at the end from the both kinds of education is the same – a professional degree. Some important differences may make this selection easier for you:
Time scheduling is the most important factor that differs online education from traditional education. It is very convenient for students to schedule classes around the rest of the day with virtual online universities. On the other hand on campus professional degree courses require students to attend classes at a certain number of times every week, at times set by the university itself. With online education you can review your course material from anywhere at any time that suits you all that is requires essentially is an internet connection and properly working computer.
Mostly a master’s degree online or on campus is opted by young adults who are in the mid level career bracket, and for them time scheduling and self pacing matters a lot! Online forums allow flexibility of being able to take on more courses each semester without being overburdened with the fact that you’ll have to sit through the whole class at time slots given by the university.
In online universities students get to interact a lot via online forums. Not only can peers interact with each other but students from all parts of the world registered with the university can also get in touch easily and students can also interact with faculty members. However in universities the time scheduling factor matters a lot if you’re in a group study you need to set a fix time if you have to meet the professor at his office you again need to set a fix time, so these boundaries are not there in online universities.
Resources and Supplies
The resource levels vary in online and on campus universities, online universities are flexible as well as cost effective hence the course material provided is also cost effective, but quality is not compromised in accredited online universities instead only those notes are given to students that are important for them but in case of on campus students have to purchase various course books and other material which makes the whole system of traditional education far more expensive then online learning.
The search for the “perfect” college can be a very overwhelming and intimidating process, but only if you allow for such. I might be biased, but I believe the college search process is one of the most exciting times of a young adult’s life! Where will he or she spend the next four years? What type of fabulous connections and authentic friendships will he or she make? Like most other things in life, there is no perfect way to begin other than just diving in and believing for the best.
I’ve put together a few tips to make the quest to find the “right” school easier:
1) START EARLY! I cannot stress this enough. I think that it makes all the difference in the world. Many clients ask me how early is too early. In my opinion, there are two types of college visits you should undertake prior to a student’s senior year. The first, merely a visit to see what college is like, how college operates, and to get a general feel for college campuses. These type of trips can begin very early with the prime time for such visits occurring during a student’s 7th, 8th, and 9th grade years. The second type of visit is a more targeted one with specific goals in mind. Perhaps you will attend a college tour, sit in a class, tour the dorms, eat on campus, attend a sporting event, or schedule a meeting with an admissions officer… These types of trips to narrow down the college playing field are best suited, in my opinion for the summer preceding a student’s sophomore or junior year. The pressure of finding the “perfect school” is not as strong, and students are mature enough to categorize information and experiences for future decisions.
2) Narrow down the playing field! There are over 2,000 four-year colleges in the U.S. alone; as a student’s junior year approaches, it is time to narrow the playing field. How can you do that? RESEARCH. As a private college consultant, this is my favorite part of the job… matching student’s strengths, interests, wants, and family financial situations to potential colleges. At times I feel like a matchmaker of sorts, and I am always so thrilled when one of my students falls in love with a college I have found for them. I am planning a whole other post on making your potential college lists, but the following are some basic tools that I use when researching colleges:
•The Princeton Review: The best 379 Colleges (2015). If you look on Amazon, you will find dozens (if not more) of college guide books. This is hands-down my favorite. I do occasionally browse others, but I always find myself coming back to the Princeton Review.
•U.S. News College Compass. This is updated yearly (with a $30 fee) with rankings based on tons of different categories. I highly recommend spending the yearly fee to obtain this great information. There is also a free site put out by U.S. News & World Report with great information, albeit not nearly as detailed.
•The College Board “College Search” tab. This is a great site for students that are just beginning their college search.
3) Request College Brochures. Once you have narrowed down the playing field, look up your prospective colleges and request information! I love the internet and all of its resources, but there is nothing quite like a glossy pamphlet or brochure to help me fall in love with a school.
4) Revisit Schools. The summer before a student’s senior year, or even the spring break before, is a great time to revisit the top schools on a student’s list. This time you need to get into the nitty gritty of academic and campus life! Schedule a tour for sure, request a meeting with an advisor or admissions representative, tour those dorm rooms, visit a class if allowed, check out the town, ASK QUESTIONS.
5) DON’T STRESS! In all honesty, there really is NOT such a thing as the “perfect” school. While Harvard might be the right fit for the guy sitting in front of you in CHEM II, it might not be the perfect school for you. Maybe you’re better suited for Cornell, NYU, or Tufts… all still “perfect” schools if they perfectly suit you. Don’t stress. This is a very exciting time in life where the road ahead is limitless… make the college search process an exciting time as well.
As soon as you come to an agreement regarding the house you are going to be living in, it will be best to have everything put down in writing as soon as possible. The quicker it is done, the less risk there is that there will be a mistake. If it is a repair that is an issue, then it is very important that the landlord explains what they will do about it. There could be a knock on effect if there is a delay and the landlord could end up trying to charge you for any damage that occurs at a later date. When you see something bad, put it in writing and send it to the landlord by email. This will be proof that you reported the problem as soon as you noticed it.
A written report is much harder to deny than a phone call. Knowing the law is important and while it is not something that many students will know, it will be best to get advice regarding what the landlord should be doing and also what the timescale is. Laws change regularly and there is the risk of assuming that the landlord has to carry out jobs that they do not and therefore you are going to live with the conditions. You also need to make sure that you know the timescale for legal repairs as you could complain and then find you are in the wrong. If you do have a problem then it is best to keep as calm as possible.
If you begin to get irritated, then the landlord can claim that they tried to help but as you were not being reasonable there was no way they could continue. It should also be remembered that anything written in an email can be used against you, so however angry you are, wait until you have calmed down before making your complaint. Moving into Student accommodation will mean that you are going to have to pay a deposit and often a landlord will see that as their money. This becomes a problem when it is time for you to leave, as the money may have been spent elsewhere.
So the landlord sees the best thing to do will be to withhold your deposit, claiming that it is to cover damages – often non-existent damages. One big issue students have is that they find the landlord is letting themselves in to look at the property while they are away. This is not allowed and if the landlord needs to come in they should make an arrangement with you. It will be in your interest to agree to a proper time as refusal could be seen as you having something to hide. It is not unreasonable to request 24 hours notice of a visit.
When you are looking for student houses to rent you need to do a lot of research. Not all houses will be the same and not all of them will charge the same. It won’t be just the monthly rent that has to be considered but there will be other costs you will have to bear. Sometimes before you are accepted as a tenant there will be the need for the landlord to be sure that they are getting the tenant they want. You may be worried about the contract but they can be as well. Landlords will have been messed around in the past and do not want to take the risk again.
There will be a number of paid for checks that they need to make and this will start when they make a credit check and in some cases a CRB – Criminal Records Bureau check – and the bill will start from there. It may help if you provide your own CRB check as that will then make it difficult for the landlord to charge you too much for the service. Many times there will be an administration charge and this again need to be discussed, as often it becomes £100s for very little work. If you ask to see the list, it will be possible to query a number of them and the landlord may bring them down.
If you feel that the landlord is not being fair with the charges, it may be best to then look elsewhere. It would also help if this was reported back to your university as it will prevent others being overcharged. One final fee that has been creeping in some places is agents charging for taking a student to see the property. This is not allowed and it should not be paid. Depending on the circumstances there may be the chance to pay less rent. You would not buy a house without trying to get a discount. So, why rent one without trying? When the interest rate is low on the mortgage there is no need to pay more than a fair amount towards it.
When it comes to repairs, do not forget the landlord is responsible unless you are the person who caused the damage. If you are going to be sharing a house you need to be able to trust the people, as it is possible for the landlord to charge individuals for debts left by other tenants. It is also likely that they will want parents to act as a guarantor in case there is a problem. When signing you will be promising 12 months’ rent even though the academic year is just 9 months. If you can negotiate a shorter contract then do so. Also check where the deposit is being stored as a landlord has a legal obligation to keep it somewhere safe. This is going to be an expensive year, so do all you can to keep costs down.