Top 10 Things High School Seniors Need to Know About College

September 30, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

College is just around the corner.

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Top 10 College Dorm Room Snacks

September 30, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Top 10 college dorm room snacks

College means freedom. Freedom from curfews, from parental rules…and often from regular meals.

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Top 10 College Date Ideas

September 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

college date ideas

You’ve met someone you want to get to know better, haven’t you? So now what?

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Top 10 College Life Films

September 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Whether you’re in college now, heading there soon, or just remembering your own days on campus, a good college movie is always a great choice.

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Top 10 Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15

August 31, 2011

A list of the top ten ways to avoid the freshman 15Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Top 10 Guru

The freshman 15: It’s almost a (dreaded) right of passage.

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Top 10 College Life Experiences

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

It’s finally here! You’re in college!

While you’re busy registering for classes, getting to know your roommates and adjusting to life after high school, be sure to pay attention to some of the great moments you’ll want to remember for years to come.

Here are our top 10 college life experiences worth remembering.

10. First time picking classes

Over the next four years or so, you’ll pick a lot of classes. But that very first time you open your college course catalog, and try to pick from hundreds of incredible choices is one of the most memorable experiences of college life.

Your whole future is there, amid those majors, minors and just-for-the-heck-of-it classes. Wow!

9. First time finding your way across campus

Finding your way around campus can be a challenge, especially if you’re at a big university. But the first time you know exactly where you’re going, how to find the dorm, the library, the bookstore and your next class is the moment you become a real part of the college.

Doesn’t it feel great to finally be able to leave that campus map behind?

8. The first college textbook purchase

All of your years of buying books at the local Barnes and Nobel will not prepare you for the price tag on college textbooks. Who knew a paperback book could cost over $100?

7. First college class

After all the registration hassles, dorm drama, and bookstore tabs that rival the cost of a small car, you’re finally sitting in your very first class. This is it. At that moment, you are really a college student.

6. First college boyfriend or girlfriend

It may be someone you met at a party. Or someone who sits next to you in Psych 101. But sooner or later, you’re bound to meet the person who will become your very first college boyfriend or girlfriend.

Pay attention. No matter how many romances you have during the next four years, this first college love is bound to be one of your most memorable college life experiences.

5. First college party

No more curfews. And a whole room full of people who don’t know you. A chance to put all of your high school social mistakes, embarrassing nicknames and other painful memories behind you, and start fresh.

You’ll remember this one. Trust me! So enjoy and make it a good party.

4. Your first rush

Whether or not you plan to join a fraternity or sorority, you won’t want to miss rush.

Not only will you get a chance to attend some awesome parties, you’ll get to meet lots of your classmates, and make a start on friendships that may last the rest of your life. A must-not-miss college life experience.

3. First roadtrip

The roadtrip is definitely one of the best college life experiences. Just you and few of your buddies piling in the car for a trip to somewhere.

It could be spring break, a weekend at the beach or a few days in the city. Wherever you go, I can promise you one thing. Years from now, this is one of the college life experiences you’re sure to still be talking about.

2. First all-nighter

Yeah, you got the assignment back at the beginning of the semester. But there was just so much going on. Classes, parties, maybe even a job.

And now you have a 10 page research paper due. Tomorrow. Welcome to your first all-nighter.

1. First finals

You know the dream about having to take finals in a class you never attended? Guess what? Your first finals will feel like that even if you haven’t missed a single class.

The good news is you’ll get through them. The bad news is they’ll happen again next semester. Oh well…just another college experience you’ll never forget.

Top 10 Christian College Search Tips

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Your faith is an important part of who you are. So it makes sense that when it’s time to select a college, you’d look for a school that reflects your deepest beliefs. So here are our top 10 Christian college search tips to help you find the perfect university.

10. Affiliations

Not all Christian colleges are created equal. If you have a strong association with a particular tradition, make sure the colleges you consider either share that identity or are friendly to your beliefs.

9. Courses of study

Make sure the college you choose has a strong program in your major. Many colleges list majors and classes in their catalogs, but seldom offer the classes you need to complete that degree. Before you apply, make sure the classes are available when you need them.

8. The rules have it

At some Christian colleges, the rules will be much like the ones you live with every day. But others may have much stricter or different sets of rules, including restrictions on clothing, food choices or dating behavior. Check out the student codes before you apply, and make sure the college rules and regulations are something that will enhance your learning experience.

7. Student life

Going to college means becoming a part of a new community. As you refine your Christian college search, consider the lifestyle of students on campus.

Are there recreational activities? Is there a music or arts program, with performances students can attend? Are there sororities and fraternities? Is drinking a major part of student life? How would these factors fit with your Christian values?

6. Look around, take in the surroundings

Consider where the college is located. Would you prefer a rural setting? Or is the excitement of city life more to your taste? There are Christian colleges in all kinds of locations, so look for one with a setting that appeals to you. After all, you’ll be living there for the next four years!

5. Academic reputation

If grad school, med school or a competitive job market are in your future, check out the academic reputation of the schools. Make sure they’re accredited, and that their graduates are represented in the grad schools or career fields you’re heading for.

4. How much does it cost?

It would be nice to be able to ignore cost, but for most students it is a factor. As you’re looking for the perfect Christian college, make sure you look at tuition and living costs, as well as scholarship opportunities.

3. Student ministry

Your faith is driving your choice of colleges, so make sure there’s ample opportunity to grow and develop in your faith during college. An active student ministry program means you’ll have the chance to put your faith into action and discover your talents and gifts.

2. Demographics

Some students are more comfortable at a college that includes a diverse population, with many cultures and diverse Christian faiths represented. Others prefer a more homogeneous college, where all or most students believe in the same basic things. Make sure you know which kind of Christian college is the right fit for you.

1. How does it feel?

It all comes down to the college that feels right to you. If your major is available and the money has been addressed, choose the Christian college that feels like home. In the end, the right college for you is the college that feels just right.

Top 10 Tips to Help you Choose a College Major

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

How to choose a college major
Remember when you were a little kid and tried to imagine what you would be when you grew up?

Well, that time has arrived. And the first step in your journey is to choose a college major. But how do you begin? There are so many choices in your college catalog!

While you could just throw darts, there are better ways to pick the right major — here are our top 10 tips to help you narrow the field.

10. Think about high school classes

What classes did you enjoy the most? What subjects got you excited, kept you interested? This isn’t about what was easy … it’s about what you loved learning.

9. The books you couldn’t put down

What kinds of books keep you reading well into the night? Are they a certain genre? Or are they typically set in a certain location or time period? Think about what they have in common … this could be a clue to your ideal major.

8. The kinds of movies you love

Like the books you enjoy most, the genre and subject matter of the movies you watch again and again can hold a clue to choosing a college major that will lead to the right career.

For instance, if you’re drawn to mysteries, consider a major that involves assembling clues, like archeology or medicine. Love sci fi thrillers? Maybe a major in engineering or another technological field would be a good choice.

7. Look at aptitude test results

Many schools offer aptitude tests to their students. If you’ve taken any of these, or if you took the military’s ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test), the results can offer good information about what majors would be a good match to your abilities.

6. Consider your values

Think about your values when you’re trying to choose a college major. Do you have your heart set on making the world a better place? Majors in the life sciences, psychology or ecology might be good choices.

If you think the arts are the most valuable part of life, perhaps a major in music, museum management or theatre would be the right option when you choose course of study.

5. Look at predicted job growth

Sure, some people never use their major in their future jobs. But having an idea about what kinds of jobs you can expect to find on graduation day is a valid way to choose a college major. If your first choice is in a field that’s unlikely to be around much longer, look for related majors with more growth opportunity.

4. What’s so hard about that?

Is there something you think is a breeze, but others find difficult? That natural talent is a clue that could lead to picking a college major that will be just right for you.

3. How long can you stay in school?

While it would be wonderful to have all the time in the world to study and learn, today’s economic reality means that many students need to select a major that will lead to a job in a couple of years. If the major you’ve selected requires a masters for employment, make sure you have the time and money to stay the course.

2. Think about your career goals

If your plans call for grad school, you may need to choose a college major that makes it easier to get into the graduate or professional program you want.

1. What else do you want in life?

There’s more to life than a career. Before you choose a major, think about the other pieces of your life. Do you want a family? Do you have plans for volunteer activities or do you love the idea of travel?

Make sure you include all of your life plans in the equation when you choose you college major.

Relax – there are do overs!

And if you get it wrong? No problem. Changing your major is as simple as putting something new in the “Choose college major” box on your next registration form.

Top 10 College Search Sites

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

It’s hard to believe that high school is almost behind you, but it’s true. And that means it’s time to choose a college. But there are thousands of colleges and universities out there, and hundreds of college search sites. And your mailbox is bursting with new college catalogs every day. So where do you start?

Lucky for you, we have done the groundwork for you. So here are the top 10 college search sites to help you make that big decision.

10. Google!

If you’re looking for an online college or university, Google is a great place to start. Search by location, degree level, major or subject, or check on accreditation, all from the most obvious page.


While the site looks a bit cluttered, students looking for information about graduate school or specialty schools like art or nursing will find useful information here that’s missing on some other sites. Searchers who get too many results the first time can narrow searches with filters … a great way to quickly narrow the field.


This site starts out with a very basic search, providing only college name, location and size, but a couple of clicks take searchers into the kind of detailed information they need. The best feature is a cost breakdown for each school, showing tuition, living expenses and other costs, making the true financial picture easier to see.


Unlike some college search sites, this one offers a mix of traditional and online college options for each search. If you’re uncertain whether you want to take your classes on campus or online, this is a great place to start the search.


A bit more limited in the depth of the search, this site redeems itself with its wonderful chart allowing students to compare costs for schools in a state and/or major on one page. And as the name of the site suggests, they offer lots of useful information and links to help students and parents pay for college.


This college search site offers all the standard searches by location or major. But they also offer online applications for over 1,500 schools, with the option to enter information just once and have it populate multiple college applications.


If you’re trying to find a college that offers a very specific major, this is the winner among college search sites for you. Unlike other sites that stop with general major groups, this site lets you drill down to find the exact major you’re hoping to find.


Signing up for a free membership in this site will let students choose colleges that match their preferences for everything from athletics to religion. Nonmembers can search by location and a few other criterion.

2. The College Board

Best known for bringing students the wonderful experience called the SAT, this college search site also helps prospective college students find a school that is the right size, style and cost for their needs.


This easy to use site provides would-be students with tons of important information about colleges including costs, culture, admission standards, campus diversity and demographics. There’s even a map to show prospective students exactly where the school is located.

Top 10 Greek Rush Ideas

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Greek Rush is one of the best parts of college. Whether you’re a newbie Freshman, going from house to house, or are planning this season’s rush for your own sorority or fraternity, rush is blast.

Well, except for the trying to come up with fresh ideas each year for rush themes and parties. But we have you covered. Here are 10 great Greek rush ideas sure to make planning easier and keep bids coming in.

10. Animal rescue animal house

Who says you can’t do something good at a rush party? This theme combines the classic toga-clad style of Belushi’s classic film with a chance to save some pups in need of homes. Pick a rescue group, and have them bring some adoptable dogs, then make it a fundraiser for the rescues.

Host this Greek rush party outdoors, so there’s plenty of exposure for the pups, and plenty of space for a party in the true Roman style.

9. Live on Broadway

Make this rush party a theatrical event, complete with a costume area, a make-up artist, auditions, and of course, the Playbill program. Enlist some good photographers from your sorority or fraternity to take digital snaps of the cast then upload them throughout the evening to a big screen for instant entertainment.

8. Roaring 20’s

The days of bathtub gin, rolled stockings, speakeasies, and iconic mobsters makes a great theme for a Greek rush party. Have early “talkies” playing on the big screen, serve a non-alcoholic version of “hooch” in bottles with your frat or sorority name on the labels.

7. Fantasy football

Some big posters with diagrams of plays on them, a big screen showing your school’s team in one of their best games (hey, not every school has a winning team!), and of course a fantasy football game program running on a couple of computers around the party (big monitors make it even better) and you’re there. Serve game snacks, tap a keg if that’s allowed at your school), and party on!

6. John Hughes Reduex

With movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink to choose from, there are endless Greek Rush ideas just waiting to be created. Pick one, or center your whole rush week around his films. Been awhile since you’ve seen them? Grab a couple these classic films and make a night of it, with notebook in hand for planning.

5. Asian adventure

Take your rush to the exotic Far East, with an Asian adventure theme. Pick one country, or set up rooms or areas for several, complete with food and themed favors. If you do several countries, make up passports, with your house as the issuing country, to be stamped at each table.

4. Take to the skies

Pilots, stewardesses (think the new PanAm show), and food on little trays. Add a mock of the “safety speech” we all know so well (does anyone actually listen to that anymore?), and you have a Greek rush idea sure to take off.

3. Frosty winter party

This theme is best for a rush during a hot month. Decorate the inside of the house with light blue lights, use spray-on snow on windows and mirrors, rent or create an ice fountain, and ask everyone to dress in winter clothes or in all in white. If anyone has skis or snowboards, use them as part of the décor. Crank down the air conditioning and bring out the après ski snacks.

2. Wear anything but clothes

No, this is not a nudist party, so chill! (Sorry, guys!) The rule is guests (and members) can wear anything that is NOT generally considered clothing. Outfits constructed from plastic trash bags, dresses made from newspaper, pants made from duct tape…all good. The more creative, the better. A tip…keep plenty of tape and staplers around for on-the-spot repairs!

1. So hipster it hurts

Hipsters aren’t like anyone else – except other hipsters. Watch The Hipster Song on YouTube, then start planning. Get the members of your fraternity or sorority to wear hoodies, Chuck Taylors and some Ray Bans, and practice looking bored. What to serve? Coffee, of course!

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