People move all the time, sometimes for positive reasons like a new job, an expanding family or simply because they can afford better lodgings, and some are not so great reasons. Divorce or financial problems can generate a sudden and unexpected move. But regardless of the need to relocate, moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do.
There doesn’t seem to be one major factor causing the stress, but rather the compounded result of many smaller types of stressors. Finding a suitable place to live in your price range is probably the first task. Then getting the moving in and moving out dates to line up with each other can be stressful. You may need to vacate your current home by a certain date, but what if your new home isn’t ready yet? This only adds more stress of where to store all of your belongings during the moving days gap. Turning utilities on and off must be scheduled. Packing up and storing all of your belongings in your current home can be awkward and frustrating. And then there’s the massive job of transporting everything you own to your new home on moving day and unloading it all again. Some of these stressors are unavoidable, but some of them can at least be minimized.
The task of packing up your belongings and physically moving them from one location to another can be handled by hiring someone to do it for you. Perhaps you need help packing, but not moving. Or maybe the other way around, you can pack up your home yourself, but need help loading, unloading and driving a moving truck. Luckily for movers who have no idea how to begin finding help to move, there are free services online to help find what you need in your area. One such company is FindMoversNow https://findmoversnow.com/ who will ask you a few questions about what your moving needs, then give you quotes. You don’t pay them directly, they merely help steer you in the right direction for moving and packing companies. After comparing quotes from different companies, you can be assured that you are getting the best price. The U.S. Department of Transportation also has some tips and resources for people who will be relocating, including your rights as a mover, checklists, advice on spotting fraudulent companies and more. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move/consumer-rights
The recipe for having a successful college experience will be different for everyone. But for me, I have five clear winners for the most important ingredients.
Great professors. In Pink Floyd’s The Wall the schoolchildren are emotionally abused and harassed by their schoolmaster. Normal inquisitive children are mutated into faceless, nameless, soulless zombies willingly walking single file into a massive meat grinder. Their joy and confidence drained out of them due to a cruel teacher. In real life, attributes of a “great teacher” and “cruel schoolmaster” will most likely vary student-to-student. But for me the attributes of a great teacher are: inspiring, interesting, motivating. I’ve had plenty of professors who were dull and many inspiring ones. Without fail, I achieved better grades in the classes taught by the great teachers than in the boring classes. The bad ones didn’t exactly grind me into meat, but they wasted my time and money, because I didn’t get anything out of their class other than a strong urge to sleep. Bad teachers can make even the most fascinating topics sleep-inducing. Great teachers can breathe life into the most mundane topics. There are many websites where college professors are rated by past students. These sites are helpful in avoiding snoozers and finding a motivating teacher.
Honesty. You have to be honest with yourself. Is your heart really in this degree? Are you doing it for the right reasons? If not, you may be sentencing yourself to a life of jobs that you hate, or you might not even have the follow-through to graduate at all. I wouldn’t advise going to college just because you feel it’s the right thing to do because your family, loved one or boss suggested it. You have to have your heart in it. It’s hard work, and without the drive to pursue your chosen major it’s going to be a long, hard haul. Are you passionately in love with your major? Be honest with yourself about that question before you start a long and expensive collegiate endeavor.
Minimal outside stressors. Even the most devoted, intelligent and ambitious students can get off-track if they have a lot of stressors unrelated to school. Financial worries, bad relationships, a demanding “day job” to mention only a few. These types of stressors can really impair your ability to focus on school and give it your full attention. No one can prevent bad things from happening in their life, but some situations that are historically strife-ridden for you can be avoided or minimized by putting some effort into it. Applying for scholarships can ease financials strains. Talk to your boss about any scheduling issues you may need to work out with him due to classes or exams. Face your dragons, whatever they may be, and try to tame them, at least a little bit.
A social life outside of school. Remember Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And a crazy one! Take a mental health check once in a while. Are you too stressed? Overly bored? Restless? See a play, go to a museum, take a quick out-of-town trip on a weekend. Take a break once in a while from your studies. Do something fun and different to break up the monotony and stress of studying semester after semester. If you’re short on cash, have a weekend long staycation and indulge in a Netflix marathon and a pizza, assuming of course you’re caught up on schoolwork.
Sleep. Almost no one I know gets eight hours of sleep. And not coincidentally, everyone I know is always tired. I didn’t have a great GPA in high school and two words can sum up the reason for that lower-than-desired GPA: sleep disorder. I did not realize until after high school that I had a severe case of sleep apnea. After I was diagnosed my sleep doctor told me that for my entire life I was getting the equivalent of about 2 hours of sleep a night, even if I slept for 12 hours. I was extremely sleep-deprived which made studying and doing homework impossible. But now that I’ve been diagnosed and have a C-PAP machine I’m wide awake. It disheartens me to think about how much better I could have done in school had I been diagnosed earlier. I know what it’s like to try and attend school while exhausted. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and go to a sleep clinic if you suspect you may have sleep apnea. A good night’s sleep makes such a difference.
Your recipe may vary a bit, but as long as your ingredients work for you, then you’ll do well in school. For further help with your academic goals check out Grad Coach.
I do think connectivity is important in today’s world. The internet and cell phones have definitely changed the world in the past decade. Cell phones with unlimited call and text plans allow families who live physically apart from each other to stay emotionally close. They help parents keep tabs on their children when they are at school or a friend’s house. It’s easy to check in with a loved one or friend, whether to just say hello or to let someone know you’re running late. Apps like Skype, FaceTime and Zoom have allowed people to both hear and see each other, which can be both a blessing and a curse, depending how prepared you are to answer that call! People are definitely much more connected with each other than in the past ten years.
However, I do think we’ve become too connected in some respects, like social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Only several years ago the social media sites were used mostly to reconnect with friends or hear what your favorite celebrities had to say. But over the past five years the levels of negativity, intolerance, hate, bigotry and outright false information has turned some sites, particularly Twitter, into a cesspool. I for one, used to love going on Facebook and Twitter several times a day. In the past year I have become so disgusted with the level of negativity and lies that I only rarely log on these days. But I do still use my phone many times a day. I occasionally make phone calls, but more often text. For those people like me who hate talking on the phone, texting has been a godsend. A phone call requires me to stop what I’m doing and engage in a real-time conversation, something I might not be in the mood to do at the moment. That call will usually go to my voicemail. But when I receive a text, I can take my time reading it, take my time composing a reply, reread it to make sure it sounds right before sending. I can do it anytime, anywhere without bothering anyone. I want to change my outgoing voicemail to “Why on earth are you calling me?! Hang up and text me like a normal person.” I also use my phone to check on my online Etsy shop. I’m no longer tied to my laptop to check orders or answer questions from customers who send me a message. I can take my business with me wherever I go. With almost all large companies, like Etsy, having apps nowadays, many people no longer need a home computer, their phone serve all of their needs.
Since so many of us are very reliant on our phones, it’s crucial that we learn how to stop robocalls and other such “pest” calls. Donald E. Peterson wrote an article outlining the protections that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) offers cell phone and landline users. Landlines and cell phones are covered in different ways, and prerecorded calls are treated differently than live calls, so it’s a complicated process. In order to learn how you can protect your phone from being inundated by robocalls and how you might even be able to be awarded up to $1500 per call, please read Mr. Peterson’s article: https://tcpa.mobi/prerecorded-telemarketing-calls/
People have become accustomed to being able to contact larger companies 24/7 for customer service. This used to be primarily by phone, with customer service agents available all over the planet at any time of day. Increasingly common are live chats, which can be done on the computer or cell phone. And – in the most eerie example of modern connectivity – if one has a problem with their computer they can do a live chat with a technician and at some point (with your permission of course) the technician can access your computer from afar. The customer in Idaho can be chatting live online with a technician in Florida, and the technician can see the customer’s computer screen, take control of their mouse/cursor, open files, delete files, and do anything on the computer that the customer could do themselves. Though creepy at first, it’s extremely helpful to just let the technician take control of your computer so they can fix the problem in a fraction of the time it would take them to tell you how to do it step-by-step. Many times I’ve been up at 2 am with a computer problem and I’m grateful I don’t have to wait until 9am to get help.
If this “taking control from afar” technique is available today, it’s amazing to think what might be available in the future. Or what’s already available now, but unknown and unavailable to the general public. If a technician in Florida can access anyone’s computer in seconds, what else can they do without us knowing about it? What might the government be doing? Perhaps spying on potential terrorists or mass shooters. That would be wonderful if they could prevent tragedies from happening, but how many innocent people’s privacy would be violated in the process? Not every covert infiltration would foil a terrorist. Many sneaky spying sessions might come up empty-handed because they were spying on an innocent person. It’s a very blurry line and terrifies many people. However, I’m more of the mindset that if you’re doing nothing wrong then what do you have to be worried about? And if you ARE doing something wrong…then perhaps they are right to put you under surveillance.
Since customer service is now available to most people 24 hours a day, people have become a bit spoiled and expect someone to either be on live chat or answering a phone at all hours. This can be a problem for smaller companies, who are already struggling to compete with the big guys. If they are not capable of offering 24-hour support, one option may be to hire an answering service. There are so many answering services available to consumers that it may be difficult to choose one. One convenient option is to go to Find Answering Service at https://findansweringservice.com/ and they will walk you through the process to find an answering company that is the perfect fit for your company.
Like most recent technology, there are pros and cons to the internet and cell phones. Many people feel like they “can’t escape” if they are always contactable or feel tied to their phone. We as a society need to learn to not be too obsessed with our phones and maintain a real life not tethered to technology. But there’s no denying that cell phones and the internet have made staying connected incredibly easy.
I've been a screenwriter for over 20 years. I'm very good at story structure, characters and the nuts and bolts of the actual script format. I've done very well in some of the most prestigious screenwriting competitions and I've optioned scripts too. (Optioning is the first step to a sale.) I'm terrible at schmoozing and after 20 years of trying to get produced hopefully I can help you avoid making the mistakes I've made.