The Struggles Of The Grammar Nerd
College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

The Struggles Of The Grammar Nerd

Take a look it's in a book.

1. When someone uses the wrong form of your/you're.

2. Or the wrong form of they're/there/their.

3. When someone doesn't use the Oxford comma.

4. When you post something on social media/send a text and accidentally misspell something or use incorrect grammar.

5. When you really want to correct your friend's grammar but you also don't want to be that person.

6. When people speak in text lingo.

7. When someone doesn't use proper punctuation.

8. When your friends always ask you to proofread their papers...

9. When someone uses a double negative...

10. When someone doesn't know the difference between affect and effect.

11. When someone doesn't use an apostrophe when signifying that something is possessive.

12. Or, when someone uses an apostrophe to make a word plural.

13. When you're listening to a song and the singer uses incorrect grammar.

14. And finally, when somebody tells you that you're a grammar nerd.

<div class="apester-media" data-media-id="5978df24ab8ce93f38ccafc7" height="350"></div><script async src=""></script>

Image Alt
College Life | 

Three Major Things Professors Look for in a College Paper

If your professor read your paper back to you aloud, would you be embarrassed?

Every professor evaluates papers differently. Some are looking for creativity and don't care if your paper has a couple typos. Others are sticklers for grammar and spelling, and take off points for a misplaced comma.

In almost all cases, however, there are a few common factors that you can pretty much assume any professor will want to see in a paper.

1. Did you understand the assignment? Read the assignment carefully as soon as you get it. Make sure you completely understand it. If you're unclear, ask your professor questions right away. Also, pay attention to verbs, because they tell you what to do. There's a big difference between "summarizing" and "comparing," for instance. Understanding the assignment is super basic, but can be easy to screw up.

2. Did you make an original argument and support it? Nearly all college papers need an original argument (or thesis) and evidence that supports it. Welcome to college writing life. Professors want to see that you can formulate an opinion and use research to back it up. Your mission is to convince your professor of your way of thinking.

3. Did you show that you learned something through the assignment? A writing assignment is a learning experience. Professors create writing assignments because they want you think about something in a certain way--so, use your head. Your paper should be thoughtful and informative. It should look like you spent time on it; and didn't throw it together three beers deep.

You'll be in good shape if your paper hits all these points. That being said, this list is not a foolproof strategy. Your professor might want to see other things, as well. The better you understand your professor's requirements, the less confusing (and painful) writing can be.

Word to your flocker.

Image Alt
College Life |  Source: Goran Djukanovic

Here's How I Became an E-book Author

I'm a college student, and I still found the time.

Wouldn't it be great to to tell people you're an author? Moreover, wouldn't it be great to create something once, and then sell it hundreds or even thousands of times again? If you'd like to become and author, and sell you're writing, then writing an e-book may be for you.

E-books are great because they cost almost nothing to make, and you can market them easily thanks to social media. An e-book won't make you a millionaire, but if you do it right, you could potentially end up making a lot.

I wrote one last fall semester, and I'm about to finish up two more. On average, it takes me anywhere from a week to a month to finish an e-book.

Anyone, even a busy college student, can write one. The trick is to find out what you're good at, reclaim lost time, and have serious work sessions.

You might think you're not an expert on anything, but you probably are. It doesn't have to be related to your major, or your job. Seriously, if you love yoyoing in your spare time then write an ebook about yoyoing. Pick something you know well, and something you could talk about all day.

Next, find other e-books on that topic. See if there's any way you can improve what's already out there. Are they missing something? Are they poorly written? Most of the time, they're not perfect, so find their weaknesses or questions they don't answer and substantiate them in your your e-book.

Now it's writing time. This is the easiest part for some and the hardest part for others. First, make an outline. Yes, like those annoying outlines you were forced to do in high school English classes. Then, start writing. Don't worry about writing badly, just write. You'll edit it later.

But, where do you find the time? All you have to do is reclaim lost time throughout your day. Take a cold, hard look at your average day. What are you doing that wastes time? Maybe you like to spend thirty minutes in the morning checking Facebook. Maybe you watch a movie every night. Or maybe you just take a long time to eat dinner.

Regardless of what you're doing, it's all still lost time, and once you identify it, you can reclaim it. If you spend thirty minutes checking Facebook in the morning, dedicate that time to writing instead. You might be surprised at how much more you accomplish. If you're having trouble putting down your phone, then try RescueTime.

Once you do find some time, work. Work in short, super focused blocks of time. I like using the Pomodoro Technique--work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, repeat. Find what works for you, and stick to it.

During your writing sessions, don't do anything but write. If surfing the Internet is a problem, turn it off completely. If you still get distracted, try something like Write Or Die or a dedicated program, like WriteRoom for Mac or Dark Room for PC. Do whatever it takes to stay concentrated.

Once you're done writing, you can use a program like Grammarly to catch any mistakes, and if you know any English majors, ask them for help.

Now it's time to get your e-book out there. The most popular way to sell an e-book is on the Amazon Kindle marketplace. They have a getting started page that tells you everything you need to know. Put together a simple cover, format your book and it's ready to sell.

Of course, that's not the end. You should tell everyone you know about it, share it on social media networks and reach out to social media influencers or other well-known brands to help spread the word. Just remember, writing an e-book probably won't put you on any bestseller lists, but it will put some money back into your pocket.

Image Alt
College Life |  Source:

7 Apps That Will Improve Your Writing

Basically, how not to make your writing suck

Let's face it - writing is hard as hell for a lot of people. Even if you are a decent writer and don't tremble with fear at the thought of a research paper, you're still going to mess up sometimes. As a writer myself, I definitely have had my fair share of writer's block and cliches. But I have found some amazing apps to help improve my writing and they can help improve yours, too.

Manage your writing drafts more efficiently with this app. It has many user-friendly features. Collaborate with others without letting them overwrite your master copies. Approve or reject changes they make to documents. Compare drafts of previous work at the same time and see your progress. Use the built-in analytics software to generate reports about reader activity. Getting feedback on your writing from a staff of reviewers is also possible with Draft.

Writer's block is no match for this app. ILYS helps users avoid the urge to over-edit. The goal is to write first and edit later. In addition to using a timer, you are only allowed to type and see one character at a time before the clock stops. Then you view what you have written and make changes. This helps ease the stress that often hits writers before beginning a writing assignment. Just go with the flow, and write whatever comes to your mind. This app can help you churn out more words than usual, too.

Plotbot is a good app specifically for those who want to write movie scripts or things of that nature. You can create and work on private screenplays by yourself, or invite others to get involved. If you are open to a wider collaborative team, share your screenplays publicly, and build a lot more connections. Leave all your formatting worries behind with this app - it takes care of everything. Now you can focus more on telling awesome stories with friends to help you along the way.

Cliche Finder
As tempting as it is to use cliches in your writing, they only sound fluffy, not innovative. No one likes stale writing. Get rid of overused phrases with Cliche Finder. The platform is simple to use. Just add your writing to the text box and click "Find Cliches." All cliches will be bolded for easy identification and removal.

Hemingway App
This beloved app is arguably one of the best online editors out there. Its main purpose is to make your writing more readable. It checks for the complexity of your words and sentences. Adverbs and passive voice are also identified. Questionable areas of writing are highlighted and color-coded to fit their assigned categories. You can write and edit within the Hemingway App. A reading grade level will be given to you once you switch over to the editing process.

Word Counter
The previous app does count words, but the Word Counter app goes further. It counts words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, syllables, and more. Make your writing SEO-friendly by using the built-in keyword density checker. Its talk-to-type feature allows you to type words as you say them into a microphone. Edit your work by using the proofreader feature to hear your writing read out loud.

When it comes to writing college papers, you know how much hassle citations can be. Save yourself time and effort with BibMe, an automatic bibliography maker. It auto-fills essential elements for complete citations. You can cite sources in APA, MLA, Chicago format, and more. This app even allows users to check for plagiarism, scanning millions of sites and papers online.

You don't have to settle for mediocre writing with these apps. Do yourself a favor and start downloading.

Image Alt
College Life |  Source:

Pokemon GO Is Here to Stay

Augmented Reality > Reality.

Some of my fondest memories are long car trips in the back seat of my mom's minivan, doing my best to conserve the final moments of dying sunlight projected onto my gameboy screen as I play through gym leader after in gym leader on Pokemon Red.

I still remember getting my first copy of Pokemon Blue, which my brother sold to our neighbor Chris for bootleg fireworks (fuck you, Davide). I still have my Shaq binder I got at the scholastic book fair in elementary school, filled with holographics.

Memories like mine are not uncommon. Pokemon is so ubiquitous that everyone probably has some memory associated with it, even our parents, who might just remember it as the game that got us to shut up for a few hours.

But what I remember most of all from my childhood is how badly I wished Pokemon were real. To be able to go outside and encounter a Pikachu would be my version of childhood nirvana.

As of yesterday, that dream has finally been realized - kinda.

PokemonGO, a free app available for both iOS and Android devices, is the newest installation in the Pokemon universe. And it's doing something no other major video game franchise has done before, incorporated augmented reality into the gameplay.

Augmented reality basically uses your phone's camera to project graphics onto what's actually there. Take this picture for example.

That's me catching a Bulbasaur at my desk at work (pls don't tell my boss. Just kidding, she doesn't care.)

PokemonGO also uses GPS, to magnificent effect, as the map for the entire game. The world is literally where the game takes place. You can find pokemon anywhere you walk around, as long as you have the game open.

Just this morning I caught a Pidgey on the way to work.

The game amazingly even recognizes landmarks near you (i.e. murals, churches, fire stations) as "pokestops" which are places where you can replenish your pokeballs and other in-game items.

The catch is you have to be physically near these places to use them, which require a lot of walking IRL. (Calling it now: PokemonGO ends the obesity epidemic).

Players all over the world are split into three different colored teams corresponding with a "gym" of that color. Gyms are where all the fighting happens.

The point is to takeover gyms (for example if I'm on the yellow team, I want to beat the blue gym and turn it yellow), and defend them. This has the incredible effect of making you allies with neighbors you don't know, battling for virtual turf that nobody can see.

It's really, really cool.

This game has incredible staying power. I've had it all of one day and it's already changed my routine. I took a different route to the train today just to pass a couple extra pokestops.

Also, did I mention the game is free.?

My favorite part about this whole thing? The memes.

Image Alt
College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

The Struggles Of Someone Who Swears A Lot


If you're anything like me, you enjoy dropping a curse word every now and then (or every other sentence...). It's not because I want to sound "cool", it's just... who I am. Hey, they say the people who swear more frequently tend to be more intelligent. Anyway, here are the struggles for those of us who probably need to wash our mouths out with soap.

1. When you just meet someone and you're not sure yet if they would be okay with you swearing.


2. When you drop the f-bomb in front of your parents for the first time.


3. When you're around small kids and you involuntarily let a curse word slip.


4. When you're angry and you're venting to your friend...


5. When you're reading something aloud in class and you come across a swear word.


6. When your friend who never swears drops a swear word.


7. When you swear while telling your parents a story, and then they say, "Watch your mouth".


8. When your professor nonchalantly swears while giving a lecture.


9. When you're in a public place and you accidentally swear loud enough for everyone to hear...


10. And when you're talking to your friend in class and you swear loud enough that the professor probably heard you...


11. And finally, when somebody tells you that you "swear too much".