5 Ways to Backup Assignment Files

October 2016 5 Ways to Back Up Files imageAfter completing three years of university, and a decade of grade school before that, I have come to learn that one of the biggest universal fears among students is the terror that follows the loss, or potential loss, of an assignment. 

Because of this, I wanted to write a post about 5 ways I go about backing up my files so that I am spared the frantic search through recovered files for my assignment, or dread of having to re-write the assignment if it is lost in the void. 

1. Email to Yourself

I love doing this because it is so quick and easy. The only downside is that it can clog up your inbox if you have a lot of drafts for one assignment or multiple assignments on the go. However, once the assignment is completed and handed in, you can always go through your inbox and simply delete the drafts, keeping a final copy just in case. 

2. Backup on a USB Drive

This is a super handy way to not only back up an projects or assignments you may be working on, but also to transport them. USB drives are especially helpful when working on a group project because each member can write their own portion and bring them to a group meeting on a USB drive where they can be put on the same computer and combined. Of course, just make sure you keep the USB drive in a safe place like on your keychain or in your pencil case, because the only flaw in this system is if the USB goes missing. 

3. Transfer to a Hard Drive

This is a great long-term solution for keeping all your assignments saved and secure. For instance, I am still using the laptop I got back in 8th grade and it had a ton of files on it from my high school years that I didn’t need to be bringing to university with me everyday. So, I purchased a hard drive, transferred all my files onto it, and then deleted the vast majority of them off my laptop. Now I have much more free space on my laptop and a backup of all of my assignments. 

4. Print Out Drafts Throughout Writing Process

This is not the most environmentally-friendly way to back up files, and can be time-consuming depending on the length of the assignment due the time required to re-type out the draft if it did get lost, but it is a sure way to have hard copies of an assignment and ensure that no technology gets in the way. 

Drop in the Cloud

The cloud is probably the easiest and best way to back up your files. As much as I don’t like the idea of my documents floating around the digital atmosphere, I am forced to admit that dropping assignments in the cloud is a good way to save them, access them anywhere, and send them to others. 

How do you back up your files???

5 Tips for Creating a Course Schedule

Good morning!!! 

Earlier this month, I received an email from the university about my registration date for courses: June 17th at 9:30am. I already have my alarm and backup alarm set to ensure I am up in plenty of time with my schedule in hand so I can register for the courses I want to take as soon as possible before they fill up. I know I can always change them but I have a huge fear of not getting into classes. 

While I have now mapped out three (soon to be four) years of courses, I wanted to write this post for anyone new to university or looking to maximize their course schedule. So, without further ado, here are my 5 tips for creating a course schedule: 

1. Make a list of all the required courses and block them in first.

I am guilty of this, but sometimes I schedule in electives that I really want to take before I block in required courses I have to take for my degree. However, some required courses may only be offered at certain times or in certain terms and should be planned around before electives that could be taken anytime. 

2. Leave yourself some time in between.

Typically, classes are scheduled so that there is 10 minutes to travel between them, but it is so not ideal if you have to sprint across campus to get to your next class. To avoid this, I like to note the building the class is located in so that I can plan classes close by immediately following. Personally, I like having blocks of time in between classes for readings, homework, and relaxation, but for other people it is best to have all their courses back-to-back so they can head home immediately after.

3. Work around your schedule, not your friends’.

I love being in classes with my friends as much as anybody, but at the same time, my schedule comes first. If I can be in a class with a friend that works for me, then that’s great, but I don’t want to rearrange my entire schedule so we can be in the same class.

4. Think about transit.

If you take the bus or other modes of transport to school, consider how long it will take you to get to school and what a realistic start time is. For instance, I try to avoid 8:30am classes because it is no fun waking up at 5am to get an early bus to campus.

5. Consider the workload.

Many course outlines from previous terms can be easily found through a quick Google search. This is especially helpful if a course is offered by multiple professors. Rate My Professors is a great way to research which professor might be best for you, and a previous course outline from their class will indicate how they like to allocate marks. I am someone who likes having my grade come from multiple sources: assignments, online quizzes, in-class participation, and exams. For others though, three exams and a final is just fine. But a mix of both types of courses makes for a manageable workload. 

What are some of your tips for mapping out a course schedule??? 

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10 Ways to Save Money at University

The decision to attend college or university is the most expensive choice many young adults will make until they decide to purchase a new vehicle or a home. Classes cost hundreds of dollars each, making each semester of classes costing in the thousands. Because of this, I, like many other students, look for ways to cut back costs in other ways, so I wanted to share with you 10 of the ways I save money while attending university.

1. Pack a lunch and snacks

Admittedly, the library café’s muffins and sandwiches have beckoned to me from time to time but I really try to bring my own food with me each day. Those few dollars spent each day on food amount to hundreds per month that could easily be saved through some savvy meal planning. I have found leftovers to be a saving grace.

2. Bring coffee or tea in a travel mug from home

Similarly, the money spent on coffee or tea on campus could be saved by bringing drinks from home. Many universities have places on campus to get hot water so always pack a few extra coffee grinds or tea bags in case you want another cup later in the day.

3. Look for used textbooks or online versions

I think the most expensive textbook I have ever bought was around $200, and I seriously contemplated testing my luck by going into the course without one. The publishers say that students get a reduced price, but that didn’t soften the blow when I gave up $200 of hard-earned money for a required text that we only ended up using maybe three times. Thus, please please please look for used textbooks at the university bookstore or online, or try to track down a free PDF or an e-book for a much lower price. 

4. Take the bus

I cannot stress enough how big of a money suck driving a vehicle to campus is. At my university, a parking pass costs around $800. That doesn’t even factor in gas, insurance, maintenance, or any repairs that the vehicle might need during the terms. Comparatively, my student card is a bus pass from September to April for one automatic payment of $75 as part of my tuition. I believe other universities have similar setups so it baffles me why people would drive to school if they can help it, barring of course if they live too far away from campus to bus or if they have to drop others off first on their commute. 

5. Try to opt out of courses

University courses are really expensive, so see if any of the courses you have previously taken allow you to bypass others. For instance, I took AP English in grade 12, which let me skip out on paying $500 for a mandatory introductory English course that covered basic grammar and essay writing. 

6. Carefully map out your courses

Electives can be really tempting. Like my plan is to get a BA in Psychology and Linguistics, but that hasn’t stopped me from taking courses in astronomy and American literature. Problems can arise though if you don’t prioritize the requisite and prerequisite courses for your program, so plan out which courses are mandatory and make sure they fit in the class schedule before you start looking at electives. This can end up costing extra money if you have to spend an extra term taking the required courses you missed. 

7. Stash money away in a high-interest savings account

For some of my friends, seeing money in their bank account is enough motivation to go and spend it, not because they blow through money easily, but because they forget to subtract their monthly expenses first. I mean, I don’t think many people in their twenties are expert money managers yet. But squirreling money away in a savings account means that you can be generating interest while blocking it off from being spent on a new lipstick shade or a newly released hardcover book. 

8. Create a spending syllabus

Similar to planning out classes, make a detailed chart of the necessary monthly expenses and monthly income if you work a part-time job, and then budget how much money is leftover for you to spend on luxury items. 

9. Plan fun evenings at home

Going out for dinner, to the movies, or for a drink at a local bar with some friends can be fun, but also expensive. Instead, try planning a night in with everyone bringing something to snack on, or a game to play or movie to watch. 

10. Collect coupons and take advantage of student discounts

There are so many opportunities for savings, and even more for students. From restaurants to retail stores to recreational activities, many establishments offer students a reduced rate, which is always nice when money is tight. Having a bulletin board to keep all coupons sorted by product type or expiration date can also help save a bundle on groceries and other necessities. 

What are some ways that you save money at university or college??? Share them in the comments below 🙂 🙂 

Taking Summer Courses: Yay or Nay??? 

With my third year of university now at an end, I have potentially only one more year to go before graduation. Yikes!!! Of course, I could tack on another major and a minor and delay graduation by at least another year.

In the event that I want to graduate next spring though, I may need to take summer courses. I have managed to avoid them during my three years in university, but I have been giving them a lot of thought as of late, so I wanted to share with you the list of pros and cons I have come up with about taking summer courses.

Pros

  • Shorter course duration
  • Expedite completion of required courses or electives
  • Exposure to different professors and teaching styles
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Different course syllabi from fall/spring courses 

Cons

  • Limited course selection
  • Longer lecture duration
  • Information-dense lectures
  • Less time between tests/exams 
  • Are not usually covered by a scholarship unless a full course load is taken 

Have you taken summer courses before??? How did you find them??? Would you recommend them??? Picture 19