The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way many people are going to vote in the 2020 election, and it’s confusing how it will work.  You’re not alone if you feel that way.  One of the things that makes it confusing is the fact that voting laws are very local, varying from county to county and state to state.  Which leads us to this week’s homework assignment:  Take a moment to research and determine a clear plan on where and how you will be casting your vote this year.  We’ve gathered some resources to help.

Mail-in Voting:

Plan Your Vote: Check out NBC News’ regularly updated Plan Your Vote site, loaded with the key information for voters in every state about mail-in voting, early in-person voting, and more.

How to Vote By Mail: This 15-minute lesson from NPR’s Life Kit Podcast on pandemic voting, and specifically, voting by mail, is a helpful and inspiring guide.

Receipt and postmark deadlines for absentee ballots: This list from the National Conference of State Legislatures has state by state deadlines for voting outside of polling places.

In Person Voting:

If you plan to vote in person, where will you go to do that?  Go to National Associations of Secretaries of State to find your local polling place.

How will you get there?  It’s not too early to check your schedule, make a transportation plan, or ask a friend to go with you.  Research shows that taking a friend with you increases the chances you’ll both definitely vote.

What do you need to bring with you?  Some states require Photo ID, others don’t.  To double-check what your state requires, go here.

After Voting:

When you go to vote, take this number with you:  (866) OUR-VOTE.  This is a number to call if you or someone you know has difficulty at the polling station and needs to file a complaint.  It is run by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

As you might have noticed, our job board is blowing up with amazing ways that college students can support the democratic process this fall.  Whether it’s helping people register to vote, or staffing polling stations on election day, you’ll find great opportunities to get involved on QuadJobs right now.  We thought we’d highlight just a few of the organizations who’ve posted for help during this election cycle.

Generation Vote (genvote.org): 

“Do you feel like your voice is not heard in local politics? Are you a student activist interested in changing the status quo? Or are you a candidate running for office and have no idea how to get in touch with our generation? Meet Generation Vote. We want to help you make your voice heard, whether you are a student or a local candidate running for office. Through our unique model of civic engagement, we have created a comprehensive strategy to transform the way young people engage in local electoral politics and advocacy campaigns.”

Common Cause (commoncause.org):

“Since 1970, Common Cause has been working to hold power accountable through lobbying, litigation, and grassroots organizing.  Our non-partisan, pro-democracy work has helped pass hundreds of reforms at the federal, state, and local levels.  Our more than 1 million members and more than 30 state organizations around the country work to strengthen our democracy by empowering the voices of everyday Americans in government.”

Big Tent USA (bigtentusa.org):

“Founded by a group of suburban women with diverse political views, the BigTentUSA community has come together to help restore decency and good governance to Washington.  Our members are smart but busy, so we sort through the clutter to provide substantive information, concrete action items, and opportunities to make a difference.  We are a community of women determined to wake up with no regrets on November 4th and make sure our voices are always heard.”

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

I am a voter  is an easy, fast, free, “nonpartisan movement that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement by unifying around a central truth: our democracy works best when we all participate.” It will help you register, help you confirm your registration, and help you get an absentee ballot (if it’s possible) in your state, if that’s what you’re looking to do.

Head to I am a voter or text VOTER to 26797 to check your registration or register to vote.

This is the right time—the right day, the right moment—to get yourself registered to vote or quickly confirm that you’re already registered.  After all, you can’t vote if you’re not registered.  It takes less than a minute.

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

Want a super quick and easy way to help your community that you can get done while watching TV?  Yes please!  Have you filled out the 2020 Census yet?

The US Census tracks population in every state.  Why does that matter?  State population has an impact on a ton of stuff.  Your state’s population factors into how much federal money your state will get for an array of services, including hospitals, first responders, schools, SNAP benefits, and more.

The Census also plays a role in our democratic process.  Quick history lesson:  In 1787, it was decided that the US House of Representatives would use something called proportional representation.  That meant (and means) that the number of representatives a state sends to Congress in the House of Reps is determined by the state population.  Which is determined by… you guessed it… the Census.

So cue up your favorite show and check the box on an important but easy act of civic responsibility.  Especially in uncertain times, these small acts can feel really good.  Every positive act is a step in the right direction.

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

Chances are, if you’re a college student, you’ve been bombarded with amazing offers and deals from credit card companies. Should you have a credit card in college? If so, how should you choose which one? These are important decisions that should be made with a great deal of consideration, because they can impact your credit score for a long time.

Good credit vs. Bad credit.

Having a credit card is a common tool for building good credit, which can allow you to do things like rent an apartment, get a car loan, or even buy a house down the road. Bad credit creates a high hurdle on these same things.

How does credit go south? If you regularly carry a balance on your card instead of paying it off in full each month, you’re paying interest on that balance which increases the total amount you are paying to the credit card company. It’s easy for that to turn into debt. This is probably not news to the majority of you. Getting into credit card debt is a lot easier than getting out of it.

Should you get a card? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do I need one?  The pros: Credit cards can come in handy for emergencies and online purchases.  You will establish good credit IF you pay your bill on time each month.  The cons:  If you think it might be a challenge to pay your bill each month on time, you might want to stick to using cash, check, or a debit card for now.
  2. Can I afford it?  If you have to pay a big annual fee or are putting your hard-earned money into paying interest on your credit card balance, that’s a lot to spend for a card.  If you can avoid those traps, a credit card may make sense for you.
  3. How will I pay this bill every month?  And again, you’ll want to have a plan for paying down every penny — not just the minimum payment.  Paying only the minimum means you will be paying down this card for a long time, even if you stop using it.

How to choose the right card? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1.  Never sign up for anything “on the spot.”  Take the information and read it over in an unrushed way before signing up.  Beware of freebies, hard sells, and any pressure tactics that try to get you to commit fast!
  2. “You can cancel any time.”  This may not be as easy as the promise sounds.  Consumer Reports says that “many consumers have reported difficulties canceling credit cards they no longer want.  Either the customer service representatives were not helpful or they couldn’t cancel the card because they carry a balance they cannot afford to pay off. Many times, those balances were driven up by fees charged on their accounts for late payments, and interest rate hikes.”
  3. Don’t say yes to a high credit limit just because a credit card company is willing to give you one.  Be aware of companies that automatically increase these limits.  A high credit limit makes it easier to spend money you don’t have.  Especially if you’re new to having a credit card, keep that limit low and manageable.
  4. Choose a card with a low Annual Percentage Rate (APR).  This is the interest rate you’ll pay to borrow money with your credit card.  Be aware that some cards give a low introductory rate but ratchet that up quickly.  The higher the APR, the more interest you’re paying on each borrowed dollar.
  5. Choose a card with a low or no annual fee.  The best deal is a card with no annual fee and a low APR.  However, if you have no choice but to carry a balance on your card (really — no choice!  We don’t recommend this!), you may opt for a card with a slightly higher annual fee but lower interest rate.
  6. Understand the card’s default interest rate.  If you make a late payment or pay less than the minimum, what happens?  Chances are the company will double, or possibly triple, your rate.  That higher APR will be applied to future purchases as well as the balance you’re carrying.  Again, this is why it’s so easy to get into credit card debt, so hard to get out of it.
  7. Read the card’s Change of Terms policy.  Talk about fine print!  Read this section of your contract closely and you may find that your credit card company has reserved the right to change the terms of your agreement at any time and for any reason.  Broken record, but another reason why it makes sense to pay off the full amount monthly.  It really cannot be oversaid!  If you don’t like the new policy, you can stop using the card.
  8. Beware of “Universal Default.”  What does this mean?  It means that even if you pay your credit card bill on time and in full, the company has the right to raise your rate if you have fallen behind on other bills with other creditors.  Be aware of this.
  9. Keep just one card.  It makes it simpler.
  10. Don’t use cash advances.  The interest rate is usually higher than on purchases made on a card.
  11. Keep track on your balance and do not exceed your credit limit, or you may get hit with additional fees.

We hope this is useful. This is a big decision, so it’s a good idea to run it by your parents or other advisors.

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

  1. Research the job, the company, the industry. What skills are valued?  What are they looking for in this hire?
  2. Tailor your resume accordingly. Include details that show you’d make a great hire for the specific position.
  3. Use a professional format with a simple, modern style. It will make a better impression, and you don’t know if the potential employer will open your resume on her phone or computer.  Not sure where to find a good template?  Check in with Career Services.
  4. Triple-check for typos and misspellings.
  5. Hyperlink to your portfolio or LinkedIn profile instead of including that information elsewhere. It’s an easy way to conserve space, and it makes it easier for the potential employer to scan on the go.
  6. Include keywords from the original job posting. You know, within reason—but it’s smart to address some of the key skills and experiences the employer is looking for by including in your resume.  In general, use the job posting as a key tool in shaping your resume.
  7. Feeling a little light on experience? Consider including an objective at the top of your resume.  This can help explain why you’re deciding to look for a job in a new industry or why you’re applying for the job.  It may help you make a stronger case for yourself than just your experience does on its own.
  8. Supplement with a great cover letter. More on that coming soon!

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

There are times in life when really all you can do is hold on tight and get through each day.  If you’re in that moment right now, we hope you will take good care of yourselves and focus on maintaining your mental and physical health.  Others may feel that they have the bandwidth to be of service right now.  If that is the case for you, we thought we would send some volunteer opportunities that can be done from home.

  1. Connect with the elderly.

What talent, entertainment or learning experience can you share with Seniors via Zoom?  Lead a CONNECTT program for senior citizens during this time of isolation.  Sessions are 45 minutes long. You participate in a Zoom meeting group from your home. Can you offer a musical program, an armchair travel discussion, a casual lecture? Any ideas are welcome.  The organizers will work with you to schedule a time that works for you.  Send ideas to [email protected].

  1. Share your voice.  

Vocalid is company that crafts custom synthetic personalities using crowdsourced voices so that individuals living with speechlessness can be heard in a voice that is uniquely theirs.  Share your voice and help drive innovation in voice technology through VocalID. If under 18, this requires a parent to sign a waiver.

Vocalid website
Ted Talk
Video Explaining Vocalid Mission

  1. Help the Smithsonian.

Transcribe an original, historical document in the Smithsonian’s collection and help make it accessible to all students around the world. Click here to register.

  1. Help the UN.

Apply for an online volunteer job for the United Nations. Click here for volunteer opportunities.

  1. Show your appreciation to deployed military and first responders.

Operation Gratitude sends care packages and letters of gratitude to military, vets and first responders.  There are several ways to be involved from home, including making paracord bracelets, which can be used to save lives in emergency situations.  Click here for more information and to register.

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

We know our students are dealing with massive disruptions to their academic lives, college experiences, and summer employment, as well as increased financial stress.  What you are dealing with is no small thing.  Here are a few resources to reach out to for support.

Contact your school, and in particular the Financial Aid Office, if you have questions about:

  • Finishing the term and keeping your federal and other financial aid.
  • Getting paid for federal work-study jobs if the job is not currently needed or you are unable to perform it.
  • Your parents cannot go to their jobs because of the coronavirus, and they don’t get paid if they don’t work. This affects your financial aid needs.
  • Any other financial questions you have about your college expenses, aid package, and income.

Contact Career Services at your school if you have questions about:

  • The cancellation of summer internships and other employment.
  • Opportunities for virtual jobs and other online programs being created by Career Services to help students during this time.

Contact QuadJobs if you’d like one-on-one career counseling with co-founder Andra Newman.  Andra has an extensive background in recruitment and HR.  The conversation can be tailored to your specific concerns.  If interested, please email [email protected].

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

  • Is there a skill you’ve always hoped to pick up? There will never be a better time for guitar lessons on YouTube or learning Italian.
  • Create artwork for your home. Make your space beautiful and personal.
  • Start or develop a mindfulness practice. Apps like Headspace and Calm make this easier than ever.  Even if it doesn’t feel like “you’re doing it right” during meditation, observe how you feel afterwards as you go about your day.  Do you see a difference?
  • Find meaningful, life-giving ways to connect with friends. When video chats start to wear thin, consider sharing music or starting a book club.  Ask a friend to be your virtual running buddy and call each other to chat as you run through your respective hometowns.
  • Make a list of movies you’ve always meant to watch. You’ll never have a better time to catch up on classics like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Bridget Jones Diary, or The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Get in great shape. The Peloton app is free for 90 days.  All you need is a phone to take advantage of their library of great workouts, meditations, and yoga classes.  When we can all get together again, wouldn’t it be great to feel great?
  • Learn how to cook new recipes. You may have limited access to all the groceries you’d like, but is there anything you can make that feels special and delicious?  Find a great soup recipe online.  Perfect your oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
  • Be of service. Whether it’s helping your parents clean your home, delivering groceries for an elderly neighbor, or reaching out to local organizations who are caring for those with urgent needs, helping others always makes life better.  Look for an upcoming post with more ideas on how to be of service from home!
  • Celebrate all the little wins. Our hearts go out to all the college students who just had their spring semesters uprooted.  It is no small thing.  Getting up, making your bed, and getting dressed in the morning is a win.  Eating well is a win.  Not falling into self-destructive habits is a win.  Getting some fresh air is a win.  You don’t need to set the world on fire right now if that’s not where you are.  You just have to do your best.  We are proud of you every step of the way.

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.

As colleges move to remote learning during the Coronavirus pandemic, many students are finding it challenging to maintain motivation for schoolwork and struggling with feelings of unproductivity.  The academic workload may be the same as when they were on campus, but many of the associations related to that work have changed dramatically.  For example, perhaps you used to study at your favorite carrel in a quiet library; now you find yourself taking Zoom classes in a noisy home that you share with other family members.  To bridge this transition, it is a good idea to create a new routine and environment that helps you regain focus so that you can be motivated and productive in your new setting for learning.  In essence, you want to establish good habits which will liberate you from minor stressors (such as where to do your work) so that you can turn your time and energy to more substantive, thought-intensive activities, like academics.

A few tips for remote learning and academic work:

  • Define a physical space for work and class; if you’re in tight quarters, ask for use of a space for pre-determined times.  Be creative – as weather warms, a local park can serve as a workspace.  Do not work in bed!
  • Set micro-goals – break down your assignments into smaller tasks and make a schedule to do each task.
  • Remain communicative with professors and make use of virtual office hours.  Remember, they are still there to help you.
  • Arrange a social study group using Google Hangouts or other platform if you don’t like studying alone.  Or, find an accountability partner so you can keep each other on track.

Good habits for daily living and minimizing stress:

  • Designate a wake up time each day and get dressed.
  • Set aside enough time to eat, exercise, and sleep, trying to avoid erratic sleep habits.
  • Minimize external stressors like social media and the news.
  • Consider accessing virtual counseling if you’re struggling with mental health issues.  Counseling may be offered through your student health center.
  • A good rule of thumb for each day: achieve one goal, enjoy one reward, and connect with one friend or loved one.

Tips for Zoom Class Sessions:

Before the session

  • Have the meeting number/URL/password ready and available.
  • Review any materials sent by the host/professor.
  • Have materials ready that you’d like to share.

During the session

  • Use headphones if you’re in a noisy space.
  • Get comfortable using the mute/unmute feature.
  • Participate in class by
    • Using the Raise Your Hand feature in the Participants panel.
    • Typing questions or comments into the Chat panel.

Avoid potential embarrassment

  • Share wisely by showing only one application at a time; avoid sharing your whole screen unless you’re OK with your class seeing everything.
  • Keep in mind the host may be recording the meeting.
  • Be sure you’ve left the meeting before doing anything else or chatting with classmates.

 

Aileen Hefferren is the Chief Executive of Prep for Prep, an educational access, leadership development program based in New York City.  Six hundred Prep students are enrolled at colleges across the country.    

QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs.  From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules.  The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews.  Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience.  Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.