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    6 Travel Hacks to Help Avoid Hassles this Summer

    travel hacks

    Check your credit card for perks

    credit card plane

    You probably don’t even know you had perks from anything like covering your insurance when renting a car to hotel-room upgrades. Check it out to see if you may already have special rates or freebies.

    Pack heaviest items at the bottom of your bag

    suitcase open

    Putting the heaviest items at the bottom, near the wheels of a suitcase makes your bag balanced. There’s nothing worse than a bag that keeps tipping over as you’re rushing to the gate.

    Roll up clothes for packing

    roll up clothes

    Rolling clothing for packing is both a great way to prevent wrinkles and save some space in your suitcase.

    Bring compact-sized toiletries

    It’s important to bring compact-sized toiletries in your luggage. There’s no need to lug around big stuff you’re not going to use all of.

    Download your airline’s app

    Get real time updates by downloading the airline’s app to receive gate changes or delays without having to worry about missing this vital information.

    Book two one-way flights

    one way flights

    It may get you better arrival and departure times as you mix and match flights.

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    What Smart Students Need to Know about Essay Writing

    Many students find essay writing anoverwhelming activity and this is simply due to the fact that writingessays requires using pure academic language, and a proper structureneeds to be followed. Writing good essays is not really that hard.You just need to be aware of the key components and techniques thatmake up a good essay, and you need a lot of practice, of course. 

    Joseph Crowell, a professional essaywriter at Essayontime,shared his thoughts with us on this, “Essay writing is not as hardand technical as many students perceive it to be. All it takes is tolearn the basic rules, and a lot of practice, that’s it!”

    In addition toJoseph’s valuable advice, we have some tips to share that willgreatly help you in improving your overall writing skills in generaland your academic writing skills in particular. 

    1. Structure: The mostimportant point to keep in mind when writing essays is that an essaymust follow a proper, organized structure. No matter how long or howshort your essay is, you must make sure that it is well-structured.It not helps the readers in understanding your essay, but alsocontributes towards the overall ‘flow’ of your composition. 

    All essaysessentially share the same structure regardless of their length,topic, and complexity. A good essay starts with an introductoryparagraph that contains your thesis statement. The thesis statementshould give the reader a clear idea about the topic of your essay.Next, there are the body paragraphs where the bulk of your essaygoes. The body paragraphs can be argumentative, descriptive, orcompare/contrast depending on the topic of your essay. Finally, theessay should be wrapped up with a conclusion paragraph, restating themain idea of the essay. (Hint: never present any newinformation/ideas in the conclusion paragraph). 

    1. Planning: Abraham Lincolnfamously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I willspend the first four sharpening the axe.” Planning your essaybefore writing down a single word will greatly help you in coming upwith a fine piece of composition. The planning phase for writing anessay includes steps such as selecting a topic (unless you have beenassigned one), researching relevant information/sources, and makingan outline of your essay. Pay special attention to these steps,especially to outlining your essay, as it will making the writingpart very easy for you. 

    1. Developing an Argument: Itis a simple guideline, yet many students stumble upon this one. Todevelop your arguments effectively; it is important that you avoidusing repetitive words. Ignoring this can make your writing lookdull and far from interesting. In order to sound clever andknowledgeable, pay due attention to your selection of words. Forexample, many students have been observed to overuse the word “also”while writing their essays. This is something you really want toavoid if you want your essays to look good. 

    Always use avariety of words to develop your argument. For example, instead ofrepeatedly using the word “also”, you should use a variety ofother similar words such as furthermore, moreover, additionally etc. 

    1. Quote Other People: Inorder for your essay to sound authoritative and well-informed, it isessential that you quote other people (preferably experts) who sharethe same opinion as you are stating in your essay. For example, ifyou’re writing an argumentative essay about legalization ofmarijuana, stating its hazardous effects on human health, it is bestto use quotes from industry experts who share the same opinion asyou. This will not only add to the credibility of your essay, butwill also demonstrate how well-informed and knowledgeable you areabout the topic. 

    1. Do Multiple Revisions:Almost all written works need multiple revisions and this holds truefor essays as well. In fact, it is even more important for essaysconsidering the serious and academic nature of these compositions.Revision as a crucial part for crafting good essays as it will makeyour essay better and better with each revision. 

    After you havefinished writing the essay, take a break, ideally for a day (or atleast for a few hours) and then revise your essay. Taking a break isnecessary but it will enable you to have a ‘fresh’ look at youressay. The revision phase includes proofreading your essay forspelling/grammar mistakes, checking the accuracy of facts/references,and making sure you have stated all the important information. Youshould also consider the overall structure and flow of your essay.Revise your essay multiple times (at least 3 times, with breaks inbetween) in order to develop your essay into its best possible state.

    Remember that eventhe greatest writers aren’t able to craft a good and accurate pieceof writing in the first go. Revisions are of paramount importance forall writing purposes and the sooner you develop this habit, thebetter it is for your writings. 

    1. Practice Constantly: “Practicemakes a man perfect” and good writing is no exception to thisrule. Learning about the rules of good essay writing is easy, butyour actual task is to implement those rules into writing. This isachieved through constant practice. After you learn the rules andtechniques for writing good essays, practice them as much as youcan, until they become second nature to you and are incorporated inyour writings when you are not even thinking about them.  As GamelSankarl says, “No one was born a writer. None had a pen in handwhen they arrived on earth. Writing is a learnable skill, if youhave the will to write, you will find the ways to write, rewrite andget better writing with time. Just write!”

    You see there is nothing tricky aboutwriting great essays. You simply need to keep the basic rules inmind, and plenty of practice in order to master the art of writinggreat essays. We wish you all the best with your writing endeavors! 

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    Now You Can Get Miles for Your Student Loan

    get miles for your student loan

    Dana Friend was skeptical about all the offers flooding her inbox to refinance her student loan with a private company, but what sold her in the end was not the offer to cut her interest rate in half – it was the bonus of 50,000 JetBlue miles.

    The 30-year-old psychologist from Boynton Beach, Florida dropped from paying 6.8 percent to 3.75 with lender SoFi, and also scored free trips to New York and Jamaica.

    “When I got the email for refinancing directly from JetBlue, I figured they must be legit if a major airline is working with them,” said Friend.

    SoFi and CommonBond, two startup private student loan refinancing companies, are getting increasingly aggressive with their signup bonuses to get new borrowers to refinance with them. Both companies offer cash referral programs – SoFi’s offer is $300 and Commonbond’s is $200. In addition, Credible.com, a student loan comparison site, offers between $250 and $1,000 per referral.

    CommonBond and SoFi also both offer social programs, like happy hours and lectures, and career services. Unemployed borrowers who ask for help generally average three months to find a new job, said Phil DeGisi, a CommonBond spokesperson.

    CommonBond also has a social impact program where for every person who borrows a new student loan, one child’s education is paid for in Ghana.

    JetBlue Student Loan Refinance SoFi

    JetBlue is SoFi’s first outside partner, but over the next 15 months, the company plans on adding new opportunities, said Catesby Perrin, SoFi’s partnership manager.

    “A lower payment isn’t enough anymore to encourage refinancing. Borrowers want to know the private lender cares about them,” said Perrin.

    But no matter how low the interest rate is or services or bonuses, there are tradeoffs, said Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. “These plans generally do not have a strong safety net like federal student loans for borrowers that cannot make their payments.”

    It is important to first check eligibility for income-driven repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness, programs where remaining balances can be forgiven after 10 years of payments and work deemed by the U.S. Department of Education to be of public service, said Harnisch.

    Going private also means giving up guaranteed breaks from repayment that came with your federal student loan when you have an economic shortfall. CommonBond offers up to 24 months of forbearance, while SoFi offers a program of up to 12 months when unemployed. The repayment break timeframes should be in each lender’s contract.

    Friend found refinancing through a private company well worth it. Cutting her interest rate in half means with the same payment, she will pay off her balance in 5 years rather than 10.

    By Reyna Gobel | NEW YORK

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    MCM | Bruno Mars Performance at BET Awards

    bruno mars

    Bruno Mars performs 'Perm' at the BET Awards at the

    Bruno Mars brought the energy to the BET Awards Sunday night during his performance of Perm.

    Before the song ended, the 24K Magic singer stopped the show to make sure the crowd was bringing the same level of energy.

    “This is the BET Awards. This is supposed to be the livest party of the year,” Mars said, pumping up the crowd. “So when we say, ‘The left side is supposed to be all the way live.’ The left side is supposed to be all the way live. Should we give them one more shot? We’ll give you all one more shot.”

    But the singer was still unimpressed by the audience’s level of “live.”

    bruno mars award

    “You can’t film and dance at the same time,” he said, joking at the audience members who were filming his performance for social media. “You know they film it, right? You can watch it at home… Put this on your Instagram!”

    Then, he turned up the heat even more with some killer dance moves and a big band finish, setting the mood for a night of big wins and performances, including his own win for best male R&B/pop artist.

    In his speech, Mars thanked the network for supporting him since the beginning.

    “You know, the first award I ever won was a Soul Train Award here on this network for a song I did with my friend B.o.B. called Nothin’ On You, and ever since that song, BET has shown me nothing but love and supported my career throughout the years,” he said.

    Watch Bruno’s performance at the BET awards:

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    Not emails again!! Parliament Hit by Cyber Attack

    parliament hit by cyber attack

    Hackers hit the email system of the British Parliament

    Hackers hit the email system of the British Parliament in an apparent attempt to break into the accounts of hundreds of MPs, Lords and their staffs, according to a House of Commons spokesperson.

    Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard also confirmed the attack on Twitter.

    The attack prompted security services to shut down access to anyone outside the Palace of Westminster, where the two houses of Parliament meet.

    Speaking at the Glastonbury festival, where he had given two speeches to the assembled revellers, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “I think [this] indicates just how vulnerable we are to cyber-attacks and our cyber-security.

    “We need to be investing in cyber-protection – it is a huge issue. We all rely on computers, we all rely on emails, we all rely on digital records. You wouldn’t leave your building without importing documents under lock and key. A computer is just the same.”

    Passwords of British politicians hacked by Russians

    russian hacker

    The attack comes days after reports that Russian hackers had put passwords belonging to senior ministers, ambassadors and senior police officers up for sale online.

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    10 Funny Friday Memes of Naughty Dogs!

    dog shaming

    Everyone loves it when bad dogs get sentenced to public embarrassment as their punishment! Check out these funny dog pictures of public shaming for things like eating shoes, pooping on the carpet, and devouring human food.

    A post shared by Lizzy 🐘🌹 (@alwayslizzy) on

    A post shared by John Sayre-Scibona (@johnss) on

    A post shared by Doggie Luv (@_doggie_luv_) on

    A post shared by aquachick1 (@aquachick1) on

    A post shared by Comedy Page (@comedicly) on

    A post shared by Dog Lovers (@k9_luvers) on

    A post shared by Dog Lovers (@k9_luvers) on

    A post shared by Kate 🐝 (@k_drayboy) on

    A post shared by Kinslow (@kinslowcorgi) on

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    Facebook is Enjoyable for Everyone

    facebook

    enjoying social media

    Facebook is the most talked about social media app besides Twitter and Snapchat. Throughout the years Facebook updates to keep up with modern technology to make their app enjoyable for users. They know how to keep us happy. Nowadays many people on Facebook share entertaining videos. Videos are so quick to go viral on there. Let’s be honest if it wasn’t for those funny videos a lot of people (mostly teens) wouldn’t use Facebook. It’s so easy to share anything on there.

    The “on this day” memories also are a feature most of us love on Facebook. It’s exciting to look back at memories from years ago. This reminds me of when you get your old family photo album to look through pictures from back in the day and have vivid memories. Plus, the on this day feature reminds you of some memories that you probably forgot about. Personally, it’s my favorite feature on Facebook.

    Another thing that makes Facebook enjoyable is connecting with old classmates. Especially the ones you always wonder what happened to them after y’all graduated. Mostly everyone has a Facebook account so it wouldn’t be hard to find the person you’re looking for. Sometimes reconnecting with an old classmate is the right thing you need to do to network with them.

    Oh yeah, I can’t forget the enormous number of groups you can join on there. For example, a group that is about anything you’re interested, jobs that are hiring, and about your favorite tv shows plus much more! Even if you don’t find a group that catches your interest. You can create your own and get people to join it. There is nothing wrong with starting up a group that talks about something other groups haven’t thought of. At least you came up with the idea first before anyone else thought of it.

    Facebook is enjoyable for everyone to use. No one should get bored using the app. It’s so many things you can do on that one app that other apps don’t have. If you never sign up for Facebook try it. I promise you will like it. For the people that do have a Facebook what makes you enjoy the app?

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    Under the Influence of… Music?

    influence of music

    Positive Influence Of Music On The Brain

    It is not clear how music influences the individual. Some experts insist that music and musicians influence young people. Other sources insist that certain individuals respond to particular types of music and musical expression. Either way, today’s youth can see how their favorite musicians dress and behave, both in public and in private, via the multiple media sources which are constantly monitoring the world’s celebrities. Young people can then elect to change their own appearance and behavior to reflect the musician and musical style that they most identify with.

    Two separate, but related, theories explain how individuals relate to and express themselves through music. Social identity theory indicates that people “borrow” their identity from the society in which they live. The individual’s adopting of a group identity through music is a way for that person to conform to the ideals, goals, and norms of the society as a whole. The opposite of social identity theory says that some individuals elect to behave in a manner that is contrary to societal norms. These people prefer to adopt their own style and stand apart from everyone else. This is called personal identity theory. These theories are interrelated because, even though personal identity theory identifies the individual aspects of expression, the person is still identifying as a part of a sub-group.

    Explore away!

    black female with headphones

    Young people are more likely to subscribe to varying forms of identification through music; especially those forms that my not conform to the larger society. As young people move through the adolescent years and into young adulthood, they are more likely to explore and experiment with their own identity through music than older adults, who have likely settled into one genre that they identify with. Looking at music in this way makes it easier to see how it has always been, and remains, a socializing agent; a way for young people to explore their independence as they move away from the authority of their parents.

    This perspective on music can hide the influence that music has on children. The music of the past century has played an important role in the lives of young adults, yet music may be having an expanding effect on individuals who are even younger. Remember that music has always been an important part of every society. Children are socialized through songs that are shared with them at many ages. Children’s songs can be as simple as songs that teach basic information, such as ABC’s and 123’s, and they can teach social skills and acceptable behavior (think Sesame Street and Barney). Still, children have access to the same music that young adults have access to; and sometimes this music is not age-appropriate. This phenomenon has ushered in the debates about whether or not exposure to certain musical influences is having a harmful effect on the nation’s youth.

    Females more impressionable than males

    female with headphones

    Interestingly, one study has found that females are more likely to be influenced by music than males, although both genders find expression through music satisfying. This may be because females are typically socialized as members of a societal group and males are typically encouraged to be self-sufficient. The study’s authors believe that the socialization process makes females more susceptible to musical influences than males.

    Source by Rebecca Stigall

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