Balloon arches are a great addition to just about any party or event. They look impressive and complex, but they are actually quite simple to make. You can make a basic balloon arch with regular balloons or a floating one with helium balloons. You can even mount an arch onto your wall using chicken wire. Whichever arch you choose, you are bound to impress your guests!
EditMaking a Basic Balloon Arch
- Find or create a wire base. Use wire cutters to cut a long piece of sturdy wire to the length and height you want the arch to be. You can also purchase a balloon arch kit from the store, and use the wire frame from there.
- Because wire gets flimsier the longer you cut it, this method is best used for smaller arches.
- Anchor the arch. Stick the ends of the arch into a bucket filled with gravel, pebbles, or sand. If you bought a pre-made arch from the store, it may already have a flat, base or platform. In this case, place something heavy, such as a brick or cinderblock on the base to weigh it down.
- Add a thin layer of colored sand or pebbles to your bucket. This will hide the plain sand or pebbles.
- Wrap bricks or cinderblocks in paper that matches your balloons. You can also paint them to match the base of your balloon arch.
- Blow up four balloons with a balloon pump. They can all be the same color, or they can be different ones. Tie the tail end of each balloon into a knot as soon as you finish blowing it up. Try to make each balloon the same size.
- Use a regular pump for this method, not a helium tank.
- You don’t have to use a balloon pump for this, but your lungs may get tired after a while.
- Tie two balloons together by the tails in a double-knot. If you are having trouble with this, you can tie the balloons together using string instead. Repeat this step for the remaining two balloons. You should now have two balloon pairs.
- Twist the balloon pairs together to make a clover shape. Place your first set of balloons over the second one in a cross shape. Pull the bottom two balloons upward. Pull the left one to the right, and the right one to the left. You will have something that looks like a four-leaf clover.
- Alternatively, you can tie the balloons together in a cross shape with some string.
- Tie or twist the balloons to your wire. Pull the balloon clover against the wire. Make sure that the wire is resting against the knot in the middle of the clover. Twist the two adjacent balloons together so that they close in front of the wire.
- You can also secure the balloons to the wire with string or colorful ribbon.
- Repeat the process to make more rows. Blow four balloons at a time. Twist them into sets, then twist the sets together to make a clover. Slide the clover onto the wire, just above the bottom row of balloons, and secure it. Keep doing this until the wire is filled.
- You can use all the same color or you can alternate colors.
- Stagger the balloons. Let the balloons in row two rest in the cracks between the balloons in row one.
EditMaking a Floating Arch
- Tie a long piece of fishing line to a balloon weight. Choose a balloon weight that matches your color scheme. Wrap the end of the fishing line a few times around the handle, then tie it into a secure knot. Don’t tie down the other end yet.
- If you can’t find any fishing line, use white string instead. You can also use balloon ribbon that matches your color scheme.
- If you are making a large balloon arch, tie the string to a bucket handle instead. Fill the bucket with sand, gravel or pebbles.
- You can also tie string to a cinderblock if you are making a large balloon arch.
- Inflate a balloon using a helium tank. Unlike other arches, this arch relies on floating balloons for structure. Blow up your first balloon using the tank, then tie off the tail end.
- You can buy a helium tank from a party supply store or an arts and crafts store. Some places will also allow you to rent them instead.
- Tie the fishing line to the balloon. Measure up abut 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) from your weight. Wrap the string around the tail end of the balloon, just above the knot, then tie it in a secure, double-knot.
- Continue inflating and tying the balloons to the string. Place the balloons close enough so that they bump against each other on the sides. Work from one end of the string to the other. Leave about 12 to 14 inches (30.48 to 35.56 centimeters) of space at the end of the string empty.
- If you used a cinderblock as your anchor, you will need to leave enough string to feed it through the holes on the block and tie it off.
- Anchor the other end of the string. Measure 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) from the last balloon. Wrap the string a few times around the handle of your balloon anchor, then tie it into a secure knot.
- Add ribbon to the bottom of each balloon, if desired. This is a cute touch that will make it look like the balloons are floating in an orderly fashion. Cut a length of balloon curling ribbon in a contrasting color, then tie it to the bottom of each balloon. For extra flair, use a pair of scissors to curl the ribbon.
- Decorate heavier balloon anchors, if desired. Small balloon anchors often look like little gift boxes and are pretty enough on their own. If you used a bucket or cinderblock to anchor a large arch, however, you may want to decorate it. Here are some ideas:
- Cover cinderblocks with wrapping paper.
- Paint the bucket with spray paint or acrylic paint.
- Fill the top layer of your bucket with colored sand or gravel.
- Tuck flowers into the bucket or cinderblock.
EditMaking a Mounted Arch
- Use wire cutters to cut chicken wire for your arch. How long you cut the chicken wire depends on how wide and how tall you want your arch to be. If the chicken wire is very wide, you may want to cut it narrower. This will make it easier to bend and curve it into an arch shape.
- Bend the chicken wire into the shape you want it to be. It can be a perfect arch or a warped one. If you need to, loosely crumple or fold the wire in half lengthwise to make it thinner.
- Secure the arch to your wall. You can do this with nails, thumb tacks, or pushpins. Start at one end of the chicken wire and work your way upwards to the peak, then work your way back down to the other end.
- The arch does not have to be perfectly symmetrical. Try a warped arch for a more organic design.
- Blow up your balloons using a balloon pump. For a more interesting design, blow up balloons in different sizes and colors. Try some water balloons, regular balloons, and jumbo balloons. You can also blow up regular balloons with varying amounts of air.
- Do not use a helium tank for this.
- You can blow the balloons up with your mouth, but your lungs may get tired.
- Secure the first balloon to the base of the arch. Place a glue dot to the tail end of the balloon, just below the knot. Wrap the tail behind the wire, then press it against the knot. Hold the tail and knot together for about 10 seconds before letting go. This ensures a secure bond.
- You can find glue dots in the scrapbooking section or an arts and crafts store. They are dots of glue that come on a strip. Peel them off one at a time as you use them.
- Attach the next balloon in a similar fashion. Make sure that you place it close enough to the first balloon so that they are touching. Find the spot where the two balloons touch, then place another glue dot between them.
- Work your way around the arch. Create clusters of balloons. Start with the larger ones first, then work your way towards the smaller ones. You can even place smaller balloons over larger ones using glue dots.
- Consider adding fillers. Dried or fresh flowers work especially well for this, but you can use fake ones too. You can also tuck some colorful ribbon in between the balloons instead. This is also a great way to hide any gaps and give your balloon arch a more organic feel.
- Secure the flowers to the chicken wire with glue dots or string.
- Make sure that the flowers don’t have any thorns. If they do, cut them off with a crafting blade.
- Fill clear balloons with confetti for a sparkly effect.
- Match the colors of your arch to the colors of your event.
- Use a color scheme. Try ombre or rainbow!
- You can arrange differently-colored balloons randomly or in a pattern.
- You can make the arch taller or shorter by moving the ends closer or further apart.
- You can buy helium tanks in party-supply stores and in arts and crafts shops.
- If you want to use just one color, consider using different shades of it, such as light pink and dark pink.
- Fill a balloon arch with confetti, then pop the balloons to make the confetti rain down.
- Helium balloons will begin to lose their buoyancy after 8 to 15 hours, so plan to erect your helium rope arch no more than a few hours before your event begins.
- Helium balloons may deflate if it gets too cold.
EditThings You’ll Need
EditMaking a Basic Balloon Arch
- Balloon pump
- Sturdy wire
- Wire cutters
- Bucket and gravel or cinderblock
EditMaking a Floating Arch
- Helium tank
- Fishing line
- Balloon anchors
EditMaking a Mounted Arch
- Balloons (different sizes and colors)
- Balloon pump
- Chicken wire
- Wire cutters
- Nails, thumbtacks, or pushpins
- Glue dots
- Ribbon or flowers (optional)
EditSources and Citations
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With so many skincare products on the market, choosing the right combination might seem overwhelming, but creating a skincare routine can be fun! To make sure that your routine works for you, you should first consider what type of skin you have. You can then put together a personalized regimen of cleansers, toners, moisturizers, exfoliants, and masks. Within a few months, you will be delighted by your beautiful skin!
EditSetting up a Basic Routine
- Remove makeup. If you wear makeup, you should remove it before you go to bed. Some cleansers claim to remove makeup for you, but these may not get rid of all makeup. You may want to have an extra makeup remover on hand. Use it before you cleanse your face.
- Makeup wipes or removers are easy and convenient. Simply wipe off the makeup with a soaked pad until it is gone.
- Since eye and lip makeup can be harder to remove, you may want to use a special makeup remover designed for these parts.
- Cleanse twice a day. You should wash your face twice a day, once in the morning before you put on makeup, and once at night before you go to bed. You should also cleanse after sweating heavily.
- Wet your skin with warm water but not hot water. Warm water helps remove dirt, but hot water will dry out your skin.
- Apply the cleanser and massage it into your skin in upwards, circular motions. Remove completely, either by using a sponge or by splashing with warm water. Dab your face dry with a clean towel.
- Apply toner after your cleanser. Toner should be applied once you have dried your face after cleansing. Pump a small amount of toner onto a cotton pad, and simply wipe over your face. Avoid the eye area. Let the toner dry on your skin. You do not need to rinse off.
- Moisturize your skin. Your moisturizer goes on after your toner absorbs. You can massage your moisturizer into your skin using upward circular motions to your face and neck. Alternatively, you can apply it to your clean palms and gently pat it in.
- If you have dark or puffy eyes or if you are concerned about wrinkles around your eyes, you can use a separate eye cream. Gently pat the cream around your eye with your ring finger.
- Exfoliate once or twice a week. You should only exfoliate once or twice a week, or else you may cause damage to your skin. Be gentle as you exfoliate. Soft movements are all that are needed. Vigorously rubbing or scrubbing can be harmful.
- There are many different types of exfoliation. You can use a wash-off scrub, a special mitt or sponge, or even a chemical exfoliant such as AHA or BHA.
- You may want to avoid exfoliating if you have active acne breakouts or hyperpigmentation.
- Wear sunscreen everyday. Daily sun exposure can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and other problems. Even if you don’t plan on going outside for long, put on sunscreen before you leave home. Apply it fifteen minutes before going outside. 
- Sunscreen should be applied as the last step of your routine after you have put on moisturizer but before you have put on any makeup.
EditControlling Oily Skin
- Choose a foaming cleanser. Foaming cleansers work the best for oily skin as they remove oil gently. You only need a small amount for your whole face. Foaming cleansers come in gel, pump, and cream form.
- Be careful only to wash your face twice a day. Washing too often can actually cause your skin to produce more oil and pimples.
- Look for ingredients that will fight acne. If you have acne-prone skin, then you should be using tougher ingredients that will reduce oil, shine, and pimples. Some common and effective ingredients include:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Salicylic acid
- Alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid or lactic acid
- Witch hazel
- Apply a water-based moisturizer. Using a heavy moisturizer might make your skin even oiler. To combat this, use a water or gel-based moisturizer instead. These are moisturizers where water is listed as the first or second ingredient.
- Relax with a clay mask to reduce oil. Clay masks are great for people with oily skin. Smear them on your face after cleansing, and leave them on for fifteen to twenty minutes before rinsing off. Apply moisturizer afterwards.
- Avoid touching your face. Touching your face can transfer bacteria and dirt from your hands to your face. These can cause pimples. If you must touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm first.
- Never pick, squeeze, or pop your pimples. It hurts more, looks worse, and eventually may leave behind an ugly scar.
EditSoothing Dry and Sensitive Skin
- Rinse your face in the morning. Since cleansers can strip your skin of good oils, you do not need to use them in the morning. Instead, rinse your face with warm water and pat dry. Wash your face with cleanser at night.
- Oil cleanse to remove makeup. Makeup removers often contain alcohol and other harsh ingredients that can dry out and irritate your skin. Oil cleansers are gentler than makeup removing wipes. Simply apply the oil to your dry skin, and wash off with warm water.
- Use a serum before you apply moisturizer. A serum is a watery moisturizer that gives your skin an extra boost of hydration. Gently dab the serum onto your face with a cotton ball or clean hands. Let it absorb into your skin before you apply moisturizer.
- Apply a cream with oils. If you have dry or mature skin, oil-based products will not only add hydration but seal moisture into your skin. Check the label to see if oil is one of the first listed ingredients.
- Mineral oil or petrolatum may be helpful if you have cracked skin or flaky patches.
- Rosehip oil and jojoba oil can help prevent moisture from leaving your skin.
- Pick soothing ingredients if you have irritation. Irritation and flaky skin can be common for both dry and sensitive skin types. To soothe your skin, pick products that contain moisturizing ingredients, such as aloe, chamomile, green tea extract, or Vitamin C.
- Avoid alcohol and other astringents. Alcohol can dry out skin and irritate sensitive skin. Read the ingredients of all of your products so that you can avoid alcohol. In addition to alcohol, you should avoid irritating ingredients like:
- Witch hazel
- Eucalyptus oil
EditHandling Common Skincare Problems
- Look for antioxidants to reduce signs of aging. Antioxidants can help prevent signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Common ones one include Vitamin C, retinol, tea extracts, grape seed extracts, and niacinamide.
- While they are not antioxidants, alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, can help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
- Treat uneven skintones with lightening ingredients. If you want to reduce hyperpigmentation or dark spots on your face, choose ingredients that will lighten these areas. Some effective products include:
- Kojic acid
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Licorice Root Extract
- Use brightening products if you have dull skin. Dull skin is a common side effect of dry or mature skin. If you are looking for more of a glow, try to find products that contain Vitamin C, arbutin, niacinamide, and mulberry extract. These products are more effective when used together, so feel free to mix and match.
- Choose mild products if you have rosacea. To avoid flares, choose a mild cleanser and moisturizer. You should avoid products that contain alcohol, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil, or witch hazel. For the best treatment, talk to a doctor about getting a prescription to treat your condition.
- Visit a dermatologist. If you are struggling to find products that work for your skin, visit a dermatologist. They can help you identify your skin type while pinpointing the underlying issues that may be causing your concerns. They may even give you prescriptions that can help.
- Consider using natural or homemade products, especially if you have sensitive skin that does not react well to commercial products.
- New products rarely work right away. If you are starting a new routine, give yourself between six weeks and three months to let the products work. Keep doing your routine in the morning and at night for consistency.
- Drink plenty of water, if you’re well hydrated, your skin will be too.
- Never go to bed with your makeup on.
- If you have extra dry skin then get an exfoliating scrub that isn’t too harsh and aim to exfoliate 1-2 times a week.
- Smoking, drinking and drug taking have substantial effects on the skin from premature aging to discoloration and dryness.
- During dry seasons, sleep with a humidifier in your room.
- Do not apply products that contain an ingredient that you are allergic to.
- If a product causes redness, irritation, flaking, or swelling, stop using immediately. Rinse off with water if the product is still on your face.
EditSources and Citations
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Meeting people online is fairly common, and often works out just fine for everyone involved. Still, there are risks when you get together in person with someone you’ve met online for the first time. Whether you’re on social media or on a dating app, safeguard yourself and your private information from would-be criminals. If you want to safely meet a person you met online, keep your first few meetings public and brief, and always have an escape route.
- Keep personal information off your profiles. If you want to stay safe online, anonymity is the way to go. Don’t even use your real first and last name, or list where you live or go to school. You don’t want strangers online to know too much about you.
- With some dating apps, you have to enter your real location to get the most out of the app. Keep your location as general as you possibly can and still use the app properly. Be extra cautious who you talk to.
- On some social media platforms, such as Facebook, you can create groups of friends and control who sees what information on your profile. For example, you could have your high school only visible to a group of your friends who went to high school with you, and invisible to everyone else.
- Check your privacy settings. Every social media platform or dating app has privacy settings that are designed to protect you. These settings allow you to control who can see specific information or posts you make.
- If you don’t understand the way the privacy settings work, talk to a friend who can help explain them to you and get things set up the way you want.
- Most social media platforms give you the option to view your profile the way a stranger would, so you can make sure you’re not revealing more information than you want.
- Look into the background of people you meet. Once you’ve started talking to someone regularly, it may be time to do a little online sleuthing before you meet up in person. Even if you don’t have a lot of personal information about them, there are still ways you can determine if they are deceiving you.
- Look carefully at their page. If you have any friends in common, contact those people and ask how they know the person and if they’ve ever met them in real life.
- Copy their photos and do an image search of them to see if they appear elsewhere on the internet. If someone is trying to pretend to be someone else, they may intend to harm you.
- See how far back their page goes, and look at any comments or interactions they have with other friends or followers. You can usually tell by these interactions whether they actually personally know each other.
- Avoid giving away any personal information. In general, you want to avoid telling anyone too much about you until you’ve met them. Get to know them a little better before you tell them your address, your birthday, and your life history.
- This can be a delicate balance. If they are being safe, as you are, they won’t reveal any personal information either. This can make it difficult to look into the person’s background, but try to respect that they have the same privacy concerns you do.
- Take it slow. It can be easy to divulge too much information about yourself too quickly when you’re talking online – especially if you talk to the person frequently. Keep your emotions in check and check yourself regularly to make sure you’re not getting ahead of yourself.
- You don’t want the person to know too much about you until you’ve met them in person at least two or three times. Keep conversations focused on common outside interests, such as music or movies, and avoid talking too much about your own life or your thoughts and feelings.
- Trust your instincts. When you make friends with somebody, it can be tempting to shrug off comments or behaviors that normally would give you pause. Keep in mind that this person is a stranger, and avoid giving them the benefit of the doubt.
- If the person says something that bothers you, mention it directly. Be honest, and don’t allow them to think you’re okay with something when you’re not.
- If you don’t feel comfortable saying something to the person directly about something that’s bothering you, that in and of itself is a red flag that maybe this person isn’t the best friend for you.
EditMeeting in Public
- Choose a place where you’re comfortable. You may not want to meet too close to home if you’re worried about the person knowing where you live. But at the same time, you don’t want to meet someone for the first time in an unfamiliar part of town.
- Often you will feel more comfortable in a place where you’ve been several times, especially if you’re anxious about meeting this person for the first time.
- Ideally, you still want a place that you don’t frequent often. If things don’t work out, you don’t want to risk running into that person again.
- Plan your meeting during the day if at all possible. If the two of you are only available in the evening, choose a place that typically is fairly busy at the time you’re planning to meet.
- Talk before meeting. Before you meet someone in person who you’ve met online, you want to make sure they are who they’ve said they are. The best way to go about this is to have a phone call or live video chat with them.
- If the person isn’t able to video chat with you, ask them to take a selfie holding a sign with particular words on it. This can help assure you that they aren’t pulling photos off the internet or otherwise deceiving you about who they are or what they look like.
- If you and this person have developed a friendship to the point that you want to meet in person, they shouldn’t have any problems doing this. If they refuse or make excuses, it could be a red flag.
- Bring a friend. If you’re really nervous about meeting the person, bring a friend along with you or organize a group date with several friends. If the person legitimately wants to get to know you, they shouldn’t be put out that you want to meet in a group first.
- Especially if you’re meeting the person further away from home, or in an unfamiliar part of town, bring someone along who knows that area.
- Avoid alcohol on your first meeting. For people of drinking age, it’s quite common to meet people at the local bar or pub. The problem is that alcohol can lower your inhibitions and cause you to lose control.
- If you do decide you want a drink, order a single drink with a low alcohol content, such as a light beer. Get a glass of water along with your beer, and sip slowly, alternating between the beer and the water.
- Ask lots of questions. The point of meeting in person is to get to know each other better. Since the person might be more reserved in person than they were online, be prepared to ask questions to get them to open up.
- Referring back to a conversation you had online can help make both of you more comfortable. You’ll be able to link the person in front of you to the conversations you had before.
- For example, you might say “I remember you telling me that Radiohead was your favorite band. Did you hear that they’re playing a concert here in a few months?”
- Keep your first meeting brief. For your initial meet-up, find some place you can sit and talk for a half hour or so, but don’t plan on anything any longer than that. This way, if you find you’re not interested in the person, you don’t have to spend too much time with them.
- A short meeting gives the two of you the opportunity to sniff each other out and figure out if there’s any connection in person as there is online.
- Make a commitment with another friend so you have an easy out if the person tries to convince you to come somewhere else with them. Keep in mind a predatory person might try to lure you to a more private or out-of-the-way location.
- Take personal belongings with you. If you have to excuse yourself at any point, such as to use the restroom, do not leave your purse or cell phone unattended with the person you’re meeting. Treat them as a stranger and don’t give them access to your private information.
- Plan another meeting. If the first meeting went well, plan a second, longer meeting rather than extending the first meeting. This way you’re continuing to take things slowly and you’re remaining in control of the situation.
- Assuming your first meeting lasted 20 or 30 minutes, your second meeting should be a similar duration, maybe a little longer. You can work up to sharing a meal together or engaging in other activities.
EditHandling Sticky Situations
- Go with your gut. Even though things are going well and outwardly the person seems fine, you may have a nagging feeling that something isn’t right. Don’t ignore that feeling. If you feel like you’re not safe, get out of there as quickly as possible.
- You don’t owe anyone anything. If you feel that you need to leave, just do it – especially if you feel like your personal safety is in jeopardy. Go to the restroom and call a nearby friend to help you.
- You also may be able to talk to someone who works at the place where you met. Explain the situation to them and they may be able to help you.
- Have an escape route. Before you meet up with the person, have several options in mind that will enable you to get out of the situation quickly if anything happens. Rely on your own transportation as much as possible.
- If you have your own car, drive to the meeting and park as close as you can. Don’t go anywhere else where the person could potentially isolate you from your transportation.
- Have a couple of options if you don’t have your own car or are relying on public transportation.
- Get a friend to call or text. Always make sure that several people know exactly where you’re going and when. Arrange for a friend to check in on you during the meeting so you can let them know if things aren’t going well.
- Keep your phone on your person at all times, either with the ringer on or on vibrate so you won’t miss this text or call.
- You also can get a friend to drop by and act as though the two of you just ran into each other. Only try this if both you and your friend are capable of acting through the situation.
- Report threatening or dangerous behavior. If the meeting goes really bad, and the person turns out to be someone dangerous, report them to the local police as well as to the social media platform or dating app where you first connected.
- If you report their behavior to the website or app, you may be able to get them banned.
- You also have the option of blocking them so that they cannot see your profile or contact you again.
- If you are under the age of 18, it probably is best if you don’t meet people in person who you’ve met online. Make sure you have a parent or other trusted adult present if you do end up meeting a person you met online.
EditSources and Citations
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Getting financial aid for college in the U.S. can look intimidating. However, the process of applying isn’t as complicated as it first seems, as long as you tackle one thing at a time. Start by filing FAFSA application to become eligible for federal grants. Negotiate with your school of choice for better aid. After you’ve done that, you can conduct a thorough, creative search for non-federal grants and scholarships. Consider federal loans and low-interest private loans when necessary, and don’t give up.
EditCompleting a FAFSA Application
- Apply for a FAFSA as soon as you can. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the first task to complete to see about getting free money for school. The FAFSA application is available online from October 1st each year. Be sure to fill it out as early as you can. Applying early will ensure that you can get the maximum amount of aid. FAFSA forms cover federal aid and state-specific aid, so there are several deadlines you need to keep in mind:
- Make your school deadline. Check with your schools of choice and ask when they need your FAFSA form. This information will probably be available on their Office of Financial Aid website. If it isn’t, you can call.
- Find out your state deadline. Apply early enough to make your state’s cut off in order to receive state-specific grants. This can be found here: https://fafsa.gov/deadlines.htm
- The federal deadline isn’t until the school year starts, around June 30th, so it shouldn’t affect you.
- You can apply for your FAFSA before you are admitted by a college. However, you won’t actually be awarded the money until after you are accepted.
- Locate the FAFSA form. The application will ask for information about your education, your plans for college, and your and your parents’ finances. Filing your FAFSA will determine your eligibility for a number of grants, scholarships, or loans.
- Go here to complete this application: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Fill this out with the help of your parent or guardian if possible.
- Gather the information you’ll need to complete the form. If your parents or guardians are helping you pay for college, you’ll need their information as well as your own. Ask them for help if they are available to help you. You’ll need:
- Your social Security number
- Your alien registration number (if you are not a citizen)
- Your parent’s social security numbers (if they are helping you pay for college)
- Your driver’s license (if you have one)
- Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if they are helping you pay for college. Forms might include:
- IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
- Foreign tax return and/or tax returns for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Create an FSA ID. Make a username and password combination so you can sign in and out of your FAFSA application. Make sure to record your username and password once you have made them. You can create your ID here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid
- Fill in the schools you are interested in. List all the schools to which you are applying. For federal aid, the order doesn’t matter. However, some states require you to list schools in a particular order so you can receive state aid. Find your state here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/school-list#order
- Many states require you to list a state school first in order to be considered for state aid.
- Some states recommend that you list your top choice college first. However, if your preference changes you can update your application to reflect this.
- Enter the highest level of education that your parents completed. Questions 24 and 25 on the FAFSA ask about your parents’ level of education. Be sure that, if your parents only completed some college, you select “High School” as the highest level of education completed. Some states award extra aid to children whose parents did not complete college.
- Pay your bills before applying. The FAFSA will ask you how much money you and your parents have at the moment you are applying. The amount of free aid you receive is based on those numbers. If you have unpaid credit card bills, car payments, or any other expenses that you know you’ll be paying off soon, pay them before you apply. This can help increase the amount of aid you receive.
- Manage investments. If you or your parents have investments, this may lower the amount of federal funding you receive. Know what to exclude from your declared “Investments,” and consider moving money around if you have the option.
- Do not include assets paid into a home or retirement account. Money that you have in retirement accounts or that is invested in a home does not need to be listed as “investments” on your FAFSA.
- If you or your parents have money in a non-retirement account, consider putting it into a Roth IRA account or making a payment toward your mortgage. That way, the money can legally be excluded from your FAFSA, which can make you eligible for more free aid.
EditGetting Aid from Your College
- Speak to your potential college’s financial aid counselor. Many colleges offer scholarships and grants to their students. To find out the types of aid that are available to you and how to apply, schedule a phone call or an appointment with the financial aid counselor of the colleges you are considering. Be sure to ask about deadlines for applications as well!
- Appeal for more need-based aid. If your preferred school has not offered you sufficient aid, you can ask for more. To do this, write a personalized letter in which you ask for a “professional judgment review.” Explain that the school is your first choice, but that you need more aid in order to be able to afford it. Gather evidence so you can make a strong appeal:
- If your FAFSA makes it look like you or your parents have more money than they do, provide documents that show this. For instance, you might document serious medical bills or a recent job loss.
- Don’t be frightened of sharing potentially private information. If you have a parent with an addiction (to drugs, gambling, etc) this can present costs that will not be reflected on your FAFSA. Financial aid advisors have seen it all, and won’t be shocked.
- Ask for merit-based aid. Some schools will offer you more money if you have been given a better aid package at a rival school. If you have better-paying options, document them and include this in your letter.
- Send your appeal before you confirm attendance at the school. Schools will be more eager to meet your requests if they are afraid of losing you.
- Ask for “second chance aid.” Some schools will raise your merit-based aid if you bring your grades up in the last few months of high school, for instance. Others will improve your aid for the following year if you do well your freshman year.
- Look into work study. Some schools receive federal or state funding to offer jobs to students in exchange for tuition remission. Ask the Office of Financial Aid if your school offers work study funding. This is determined by your FAFSA, and does not require a separate application.
- To qualify for work study, turn in your FAFSA as soon as you can.
EditTaking out Loans
- Take advantage of the Perkins loan if it is offered. If you turn in your FAFSA in a timely manner, you may qualify for a low-interest loan called the Perkins Loans, which have a set interest rate of 5%. To qualify, you must demonstrate high financial need. Funds for these programs are given on a first come, first served basis.
- Make use of federal Stafford loans. After filing your FAFSA, you may be offered federal student loans in place of or in addition to grant money. Student loans consist of money that you must pay back with interest in the future. Stafford loans are the most common type, and they can be either subsidized or unsubsidized. If the loans are subsidized, then the government will pay your interest while you are in school. If the loans are unsubsidized, you are responsible for paying all the interest that accrues.
- Apply for PLUS Loans and Grad PLUS loans. PLUS loans are loans given to the parents of undergraduate students, and Grad PLUS Loans are given to graduate or professional students. After filing your FAFSA, many schools require that you fill out the supplemental application for PLUS Loans, here: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchPLUS.action.
- Consider taking out private loans. Private loans may come from a bank or another private lending organization, such as Sallie Mae or College Ave. In most cases, it is best to use federal loans instead of private loans, as they have lower interest rates and various options for loan forgiveness. However, if you need to take out private loans, there are some important things to keep in mind:
- Compare interest rates. Look for a loan with a low interest rate that is fixed, which means it will stay the same over time. Loans with variable interest rates may increase or decrease as economic conditions change.
- Look for loans with options to defer payment or make a flexible repayment plan in case there are times when you can’t afford your payments.
- Ask about any fees that will be required in addition to your interest payment.
- Determine whether or not the loan requires a co-signer, and if you have someone who can co-sign for you.
- Manage your student loans. It is important that you don’t neglect paying back your student loans, as doing so can negatively affect your credit. Consider consolidating your loans to simplify the repayment process. If you are unable to afford your payments, speak to your lender about changing your payment due date each month or changing your payment plan altogether. No matter what you do, don’t neglect making the payments. This will hurt your credit score and can lead you into a life of debt.
EditIdentifying Other Grants and Scholarships
- Search for scholarships online. Begin by searching on the U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool, found here: https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx. Try different filters, such as the level of study or the place where you plan to study. Some other scholarship-specific search engines you can use are Fastweb, Scholarships.com and The College Board website.
- Be creative in the search terms that you use to search for scholarships. Keep in mind that there are thousands of scholarships available for specific circumstances, such as having a certain disability, being part of a minority group, or having a parent in the military.
- Search for grants that are specific to your state. In addition to grants from the federal government, many states offer grants of their own. You can search for grants specific to the state where you’ll be attending college here: https://www.nasfaa.org/State_Financial_Aid_Programs.
- Leverage your skills. Many scholarships are available to those who have a special skill, such as being a fantastic basketball player or golfer, or having amazing grades in a specific subject. Enter specific keywords related to your skill or talent on one of the scholarship-specific search engines to see what scholarships are available.
- While some sports scholarships are intended for serious athletes, there are also a few available for those who play recreationally. Don’t give up searching just because you’re not the star of the team! Try entering keywords such as “recreational” or “club” when searching for sports-related scholarships.
- Search for scholarships based on your community service. If you have done community service or volunteer projects, you may be eligible for scholarship money. Type in the words “community service” or “volunteer” when searching for scholarships to see the options available to you.
- Look for scholarships through identity-based organizations. Various organizations offer scholarships to students of certain ethnicities. To see if you are eligible for any scholarships based on your ethnicity, go to the US Department of Labor’s website here: https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx. Then, in the left sidebar, scroll down to “Affiliation Required” and click on “Ethnic Group Membership.”
- Contact local businesses, religious organizations, and professional organizations in your area of study. Some organizations are eager to help members of their community attend college, so they will offer scholarships to students from their area. You can do a quick search online to find the contact information for businesses and organizations in your area, and then reach out to them to see if they offer any opportunities that you may be eligible for.
- If you are a member of a particular religious organization, that is a great place to start looking for a scholarship.
- When you reach out to a local organization, do not expect that they will offer scholarship money. Be polite, appreciative, and if they do offer a scholarship opportunity, be sure to write down all the details about how you can apply.
- Seek out scholarships for non-traditional students. If you are an adult, a single parent, a displaced worker, a returning veteran, or anyone other than a recent high-school graduate, you are considered a non-traditional student. After filling out your FAFSA, search online for scholarships specific to your age, gender, intended career path, and parental status. You can also search online for general scholarships for non-traditional students.
EditDeclaring a Sponsored Major
- Look into TEACH Grants if you are majoring in education. If you decide to pursue a degree in teaching, you may be eligible for the TEACH Grant. The TEACH Grant is a government grant offered to students who enroll in a TEACH-Grant-eligible program in college and are willing to commit to teaching for 4 years after graduation in a high-need area of the United States. You can learn more about the TEACH grant by going to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach.
- Check out SMART grants if you are pursuing a math, science, or engineering degree. Students who major in fields such as math, science, technology, engineering, or critical foreign languages may be eligible for the SMART Grant. Consider one of those majors if you would like to be eligible for this grant! You can learn more about the SMART Grant here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/ac-smart.html.
- Students can receive the SMART grant in their third and fourth year of college.
- Try for a nursing or health care grant during shortages. There is federal funding to offset shortages of highly necessary professionals in the field of health care. If you are studying nursing or another health care related profession, look for funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services: https://bhw.hrsa.gov/loansscholarships
- State scholarships may also be available, though they tend to require you to work in state in underserved hospitals or critical shortage facilities.
- Look into subject-specific grants for women and minorities. If you are a woman, a person of color, or otherwise are from an identity group that is underrepresented in certain fields, you may be eligible for scholarships designed to broaden the professional populations of those fields.
- Ask the financial aid office at your schools of choice for subject-specific opportunities.
- This article focuses on the process of getting financial aid for college in the United States. The process will be different in different countries.
- Most free money received from the government comes in the form of Pell Grants, which are typically awarded only to undergraduate students who have not yet received a Bachelor’s degree. Pell Grants are given based on financial need. The maximum amount of a Pell Grant for the 2017-2018 school year is 5,920 USD.
- Other types of grants that you may be considered for after filing your FAFSA include the FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) or the ACG (Academic Competitiveness Grant).
- When you consider how much money to take out in student loans, be sure that you only take out the minimum amount that is needed. It can be tempting to take out as much money as possible so that you can enjoy it in the short term. However, the more money that you borrow, the more interest you will pay and the longer it will take for you to be debt-free. Do your future self a favor by borrowing only the amount that you absolutely need.
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The majority of people want a workplace that is friendly, productive, and enjoyable. However, sometimes workers who have an overly competitive attitude can make this difficult to achieve. If you suspect you’re on the receiving end of regular negative treatment dished out by an over-competitive co-worker, by assessing your workplace, learning to cope, and taking steps to protect yourself you can successfully deal with overly competitive colleagues.
EditAssessing Your Workplace
- Take a look at your work environment. Some workplaces are naturally more competitive than others. For instance, if you’re in sales and marketing, you’ll be surrounded by people who are competitive by design. On the other hand, if you’re in an environment where competitiveness isn’t part of the job description, its presence can seem foreign and unpleasant.
- Weigh the benefits. Competitiveness has both advantages and disadvantages; painting it in a purely negative light does it a disservice. By only concentrating on the downside of competitiveness, you risk losing sight of the potential benefits. Competitiveness can result in innovation, successful sales and outcomes, and motivation.
- Look for balance. Be aware that most organizations are a combination of cooperation and competitiveness. Problems really only arise in workplaces where extreme competition is not adequately dealt with. If your organization is all competition and no collaboration, you’re probably sitting in a hotbed of negative competitiveness.
- Set an example. Sometimes the best policy is to be the change you want to see in your workplace. Yes, this is a hard task, but it is not any harder than fuming silently around the water cooler. Try to set an example for those around you.
- Use inclusive language. Say “We” rather than “I.”
- Avoid responding to competitive outbreaks at work with arrogance or jealousy;
- As best you can, show competitive people some compassion.
- Avoid buying into the competitive dogma. Accept that you’re exceptional and wonderful just as you are. You don’t need external validation to prove this, nor do you need more things to show that you’re better than anyone else. Ask your co-workers exactly what it is they’re wanting more of, and how they feel this is improving their personal lives.
EditCoping with Your Work Environment
- Maintain a polite and civil manner. As tempting as it can be to react in the heat of the moment, try your best to be friendly and civil. Reacting harshly (even when this reaction is justified) can often backfire, encouraging the offender to react to you in worse ways than before. On the other hand, if you remain calm (and don’t give them the emotional reaction they’re seeking). they may stop trying to get a rise out of you.
- Also, sometimes when an over-competitive co-worker notices that you don’t intend them harm, they’ll feel more motivated to treat you nicely in return.
- Friendly casual conversation, especially around non-completive or non-work subjects, can help.
- Try working with (rather than against) competitive colleagues. If your colleague is openly competitive, think of the ways that you can harness that. For example, it can often be a useful tactic to ask them for their advice and ideas about things they talk about or do, rather than assuming they’re going to run away with all the glory. This flatters them, as well as giving you an opportunity to learn from them. Openly competitive colleague types include:
- The superstar – this competitive co-worker always needs to shine and will go above and beyond the call of duty to do so.
- The weightlifter – this competitive co-worker shoulders responsibility by taking on extra workloads.
- The speeder – this competitive co-worker wants it done yesterday. This can be beneficial in terms of morale and motivation.
- Talk to your colleagues. Discuss their feelings concerning team morale and management support. Try to gauge their general feelings and understandings. Be careful not to name call or theorize without actual facts. Later, if you feel there is enough concern, you could consider raising the particular issue of competitiveness for a general discussion.
- Speak directly to your boss. Find out what his or her strategy is with respect to teamwork and shared outcomes in the workplace. Consider pointing out to your boss that a team encouraged to do well as a whole benefits the organization, especially where those who are not performing as well are given help and advice from those who are performing well.
- You could also talk to higher level management or human resources if you’re concerned that your workplace environment is too divisive.
EditProtecting Yourself From Competitive Colleagues
- Spot the sneaky saboteur. These people are harder to work with than the openly competitive colleague because they like to undermine through devious means. You can spot a sneaky competitive colleague by the things they conveniently leave out. This includes things like:
- Not letting the boss know you helped with a project
- “Forgetting” to send emails to you that concern you
- Standing up in front of the weekly work meeting and proclaiming they were solely responsible for some good outcome in which you played a major part.
- Keep backup copies of everything you do. A sneaky person is unlikely to change his or her ways, so you’ll need to manage around them. Start by keeping backup copies of everything you do, especially anything involving this person or their responsibilities. In the event the co-worker tries to place blame on you, or show you up in a negative light for anything, you’ll be covered.
- Keep your boss apprised of the work you’ve done. Regardless of what is said openly elsewhere in the workplace, go ahead and let your boss know about your contributions privately. Make sure your performance is verifiable and unimpeachable, and use the paper trail you’ve been creating to back this up.
- Cull their snooping. If you suspect a co-worker is physically prying into your business, put a stop to it. Use secure PC passwords to protect any electronic files you use at work and keep your desk and filing cabinet contents locked with a key. Avoid sharing personal information about yourself with such a co-worker. Keep all conversations professional and distant.
- Call them out. You may need to approach the sneaky competitor colleague directly, and call him or her on their tactics. This lets them know you’re no pushover. If you find this approach too difficult, find other colleagues willing to approach the person with you, and/or talk to your boss about the impact this person’s behavior is having on you.
- Minimize contact. If possible, try to minimize your contact with this person. This doesn’t have to mean avoiding your competitive co-workers altogether, but if hostile, negative, or undermining behavior is ongoing, stick to communicating with them only when you have to.
- Incorporate assertive behavior techniques into your communications.
- Try to empathize with the person. He or she wouldn’t be doing this in the first place if in some way they weren’t feeling deeply insecure or threatened. Try to appreciate how this feels to them.
- If the situation still gets worse after attempting non-confrontational methods, it may be worth either directly confronting the co-worker about their behavior or reporting it.
- Avoid presenting complaints to a competitive worker. They’ll mark you down immediately as a weaker person. The clever way around this is to always ask for advice directed at the matter concerning you.
- Workplace harassment and bullying is unacceptable. If you are experiencing either of these problems, report it and seek support.
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Global warming is largely caused by carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately, the modern global economy is tied to carbon-based fuels. Because of this, taking on global warming might seem overwhelming. However, there are many things you can do to help reduce its effect. By changing your consumption habits, taking steps to save energy, and organizing with others, you’ll be able to take a real stand against global warming. In the end, you’ll not only help save the planet, but you’ll have fun raising awareness and making a difference.
EditChanging Your Consumption Habits
- Eat fewer animal products. Since animal meat and animal products take a lot of energy, water, and other resources to create and transport, you can lower your carbon footprint by reducing your consumption of them. Instead of eating animal products, consider adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. To do so, refocus your diet on fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Buy locally-sourced products. By minimizing the amount of products you consume that are made far from you, you’ll not only help your local economy, but reduce your overall carbon footprint. Look around your community for products made locally.
- Visit farmers markets for locally-grown produce and other food.
- Buy products, like furniture, from local craftsmen.
- Recycle and reuse what you can. Since it requires a lot of energy to create certain materials from scratch, recycling and reusing will lower the amount of energy needed to make new products. Use recycle bins provided by your local government. If you don’t have access to them, collect plastic, aluminium, and paper products and periodically bring them to a recycle center near you.
- Donate items you don’t want instead of throwing them away.
- Use cloth towels, reusable plates, and silverware instead of paper towels, paper plates, and disposable silverware.
- Drive less. Since driving is one of the biggest ways people contribute to global warming, minimizing how much you drive will make a huge impact. There are many ways you can do this:
- Carpool to work with others.
- Using mass transportation. Consider riding the bus, using the subway, or taking a train.
- Plan weekly or monthly shopping trips, instead of going out whenever you need something.
- Ride a bicycle. Buy a new bicycle, a used one, or refurbish one. While you don’t need to bicycle everywhere, you can use it to get around town, exercise, and to visit friends. In the end, you’ll save energy and get in shape.
- Maintain your automobile. If you can’t live without a car, then use it in a way that minimizes global impact. By regularly maintaining your vehicle, you’ll save money on gasoline and on future repairs.
- Keep your car tires adequately inflated. Under-inflated tires can reduce fuel economy by up to 9% and are subject to increased wear and tear. Check them monthly.
- Change your air filter. Check your car’s air filter monthly. Cleaning your air filter improves your mileage and reduces pollution because it makes it easier for your car to take in air and maintain a proper fuel/air mixture.
- Insulate your home and major appliances. Insulate anything that uses energy to stay a different temperature from its environment. You can buy insulation from hardware stores and in many varieties.
- Keep your water heater insulated to save up to 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide a year. Avoid using units fitted with continuous pilot lights, and you will save 200 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions yearly.
- Re-insulate your whole home to reduce heating and cooling costs. If your insulation is old or inefficient, replace it. Consider the attic, crawlspaces, basement, walls, and ceiling. If you have awkward spaces, be aware that cellulose or fibreglass insulation can be blown in by a professional contractor.
- Weather strip your home. Weather strip your doorways, windows and HVAC system. This could save up to 1,700 lbs. of carbon a year.
- Use compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. Walk around your home and count how many incandescent light bulbs you have. Then, go to the store and buy compact fluorescent or LED bulbs to replace them. By replacing your old light bulbs, you’ll save a lot of power.
- A standard compact fluorescent bulb will save around one-third of a ton of greenhouse gas over its life.
- LED light bulbs are the most efficient and can save a lot of power. However, they may be costlier.
- Consider substituting as many energy efficient bulbs as you can, and give them as gifts to family and friends. Donate a set to a local charity to refit their office.
EditEngaging in Activism
- Contact your representatives and urge them to fight global warming. Since political leaders have a lot of power to change the system, one of the most effective ways to reduce global warming is to pressure them to do something about it. Start by finding out who represents you at the local, state, and national level. Then, contact them and share your concern about global warming. Ask your representatives to:
- Promote mass transportation projects.
- Help fund alternative energy projects.
- Support regulation that limits carbon emissions. For example, let your representatives know you support a tax on carbon emissions.
- Enter agreements with foreign nations to limit carbon emissions, like the Kyoto Protocol.
- Inform people about the dangers of global warming. Take initiative and share your concern about global warming with the people around you. Simply by talking about it, or mentioning it, you may inform others about how it could impact their lives or the lives of their children or grandchildren.
- Tell people why you do certain things, like adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet.
- Let people know about things they can do to reduce their carbon footprint – like insulating their home or reducing the amount they drive.
- Don’t be pushy. If someone doesn’t want to talk about global warming, that’s okay. There is no reason to alienate people who don’t share your perspective.
- Join an advocacy group. Look around your community for organizations and groups that share your concern. Chances are, there are many groups around you that work to educate the public and make real change to reduce global warming. Some national and international groups that take action to fight global warming include:
- Green Peace
- Citizens Climate Lobby
- The Environmental Defense Fund
- Green America
- The Sierra Club
- Idle No More
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Shuffleboard is a game that uses a long board and disks. In this game, players attempt to get their disks to the furthest point on the board without going over the edges or crossing the end line. There are four different variations of the game: table shuffleboard, outdoor shuffleboard, deck shuffleboard, and shovelboard. The rules are similar, but there are some important differences.
EditPlaying Table Shuffleboard
- Assemble the players at the shuffleboard. Shuffleboard tables, commonly found in bars, have a polished wood surface and range from 12 to 22 feet (3.6 to 6.6 m) in length. The table’s height is usually 30 inches (75 cm) and its width is 20 inches (50 cm). Lines are drawn 6 and 12 inches (15 and 30 cm) from the far end. A foul line is drawn 6 feet (1.8 m) from the far end; disks must cross this line without falling off the table to be eligible to score points.
- Give each player or team four weighted metal disks. The discs should be marked to distinguish one side’s pieces from the other side’s pieces; however, the disks are usually marked with red or blue. There are only two sides; players play solo or in teams of two.
- Decide who starts. Have a team or player call heads or tails, then toss a coin. If the side the team or player called is what turns up, then they go first. If not, then the other team or player goes first.
- Start playing. Have players or teams alternate sliding their disks across the table until all disks are cast. The goal of shuffleboard is to get your disk to the furthest point on the board while also trying to knock the other players’ disks off of the board. When playing table shuffleboard in teams, you may also try to knock your partner’s disks into a higher scoring area.
- Score the disks. If you are playing in teams, then only the player or team whose disks are furthest down the table scores points, and only those disks further down than the opponent’s furthest disk score.
- If a disk hangs over the far end of the table, it scores 4 points. If a disk crosses the far line without hanging over the far end, it scores 3 points. If a disk crosses the nearer scoring line, it scores 2 points. If a disk crosses the foul line, but no other lines, it scores 1 point.
- If the disk touches or crosses any of the lines, it scores the value of the lower scoring area. Thus, if a disk has crossed the 3-point line but is still touching it, it scores only 2 points.
- In some versions of table shuffleboard, a less skilled player scores 1 more point for a hanger or crossing the lines than a more skilled opponent does. You may observe this rule if you choose, just make sure to specify that this rule will be in effect before you start playing.
- Retrieve the disks and start again. Some table shuffleboard games play from only one end, while others play from either end. Whichever player or team won the last turn starts the next turn. In a 2-player game, the first player to either 11 or 15 points wins the game. In a team game, the first team to 21 points wins the game.
EditPlaying Outdoor Shuffleboard
- Gather the players at the shuffleboard court. Outdoor shuffleboard features a 52-foot-long (15.6 m-long) rectangular court with a triangular scoring area at either end. Have all of the players come and stand around the board.
- Give each player or team 4 wooden disks and a cue. You will be using a cue to push the disks down the shuffleboard court. Disks are in 2 colors, usually yellow and black, with a diameter of 6 inches (15 cm) and a thickness from 9/16 to 1 inch (1.4 to 2.5 cm). The cue is a pole no longer than 6 1/2 feet (2 m), with a U-shaped prong on the pushing end.
- Take turns. Have the players or teams alternate sliding their disks across the court until all of the disks are cast. Starting with the player with the yellow disks, players place their disks in the “10-off” section of the scoring area on their end of the court on their turn and shoot toward the opposite scoring triangle.
- The yellow player’s disks are launched on the left side of the court, and the black player’s disks are launched from the right side. A player’s cue cannot push past the scoring area when shooting a disk. Disks must cross the “dead line” 3 feet (0.9 m) in front of the opposite scoring area but must not hang off the edge of the court; disks that fail to cross or that hang are removed from the court.
- As in table shuffleboard, players try to knock their disks into the higher scoring areas and their opponents into lower scoring areas or out of play entirely.
- Score the disks. The triangular scoring area in outdoor shuffleboard is divided into 6 sections; a disk must be entirely inside one of these sections to score points. A disk in the apex of the triangle scores 10 points, a disk in either of the 2 areas behind the apex scores 8 points, and a disk in either of the 2 areas behind the 8-point areas scores 7 points. A disk that lands in the “10-off” section deducts 10 points from the score of the player or team who owns the disk.
- Unlike table shuffleboard, outdoor shuffleboard assesses penalties for rule infractions. A disk that touches the 10-off area line before being played costs a player 5 points; if it touches one of the triangle’s sides, the penalty is 10 points. Ten-point penalties are also assessed if a player’s body crosses the baseline while playing or shooting an opponent’s disk.
- Remove any illegally played disks from the court. Give any of the opponent’s disks that were displaced by an illegally played disks back to the opponent to replay.
- Keep playing. Alternate sliding disks from either end of the court until one side wins. Whichever side reaches a score of 75 or more after all of the disks are played in a turn wins.
EditPlaying Deck Shuffleboard
- Have all of the players gather around the deck shuffleboard court. Deck shuffleboard has 2 oval scoring areas, each 6 feet (1.8 m) in length, spaced 30 feet (9 m) apart. There are lines in front of and behind each scoring area; the inside lines are called “Lady’s lines” and the outside lines are called “Gentleman’s lines.”
- Give each side four wooden disks and a cue. The disks are the same size as in outdoor shuffleboard and they are marked with two separate colors. The cues are similar to those in outdoor shuffleboard, although the shooting section, or “shoe,” consists of a semicircle cut into a rectangular piece of wood.
- Players may play in teams of 2, with one player playing one end of the court and the other the other end.
- Decide who starts. This is usually done with a coin toss, as in table shuffleboard.
- Have the players alternate sliding their disks across the court. Keep going until all of the disks have been cast. Players stand behind the “gentleman’s line” when shooting. During play, players can try to knock their opponent’s disks out of the scoring area or off the court.
- Take any disks that fail to cross the Lady’s line off the court.
- Score the disks. Tally up the points after all players have cast their disks. Disks score points according to where in the scoring area they land, as long as they are completely inside that scoring area.
- The center of the scoring area consists of 9 squares labeled with the numbers 1 through 9, arranged in the format of a magic square; any line of 3 numbers adds to 15. The semicircle furthest from the players scores 10 points for any disk landing in it, while the semicircle nearest the players deducts 10 points for any disk landing in it.
- Alternate sliding disks from either end of the court until one side wins. Whichever side reaches a score of either 50 or 100 first, wins.
- Prepare the playing surface. Shuffleboard is played on a table 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 m) long and 3 feet (0.9 m) wide. At either end, scoring lines are drawn at 4 inches (10 cm) and 4 feet (1.2 m) from the end.
- Give each player four weighted metal disks. Each player’s disks should be marked in some way to distinguish them from the other players’ disks.
- Decide who starts. For two players, toss a coin. If there are more than two players, choose another method with an equal outcome.
- Begin playing the game. Have the players alternate sliding their disks across the table until all of the disks have been cast. A disk must cross one of the lines without falling off the table.
- Once a player has slid a disk across the table, it becomes a target for the other players, who can knock that disk off the table and replace it with their own disk.
- Score the disks. A disk that hangs over the far end of the table scores 3 points, a disk on or across the far line scores 2 points, and a disk on or across the near line scores 1 point. If none of the disks have crossed a line, the disk closest to the near line scores 1 point. Add the scores to the players’ previous scores.
- Alternate sliding disks from either end of the table until one player wins. Whoever scored the most points on the last turn starts the next turn. The first player to score 11 wins.
- If there are more than two players, the winning score can be higher than 11.
- When shooting a disk or puck in either shuffleboard or table shuffleboard, keep your movements as smooth as possible. Grip the disk between your thumb and forefinger and slide the disk forward with your arm and wrist toward your target. You may want to slide your middle and ring fingers behind the disk as you shoot to help guide the shot.
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If you’re an independent person who enjoys journalism but doesn’t want to be restricted to a single publication, freelancing may be the career for you. As a freelance journalist, you’ll have the freedom to work at your own pace and write about topics that interest you. However, being a freelance journalist is also hard work and requires dedication and follow through. If you follow the right steps and take a structured approach, you can land your first assignment and thrive as a freelance journalist.
EditGetting Your First Job
- Sign up on freelance writing websites. If you don’t have any experience or samples, employers won’t be able to evaluate your skills. To get the initial experience that you may need, try signing up to freelancing websites such as Freelancer, Elance or oDesk. These websites have small one-time assignments offered by people who need writers. Create an account and start to bid on offers in their database.
- Make sure the employers that you take jobs for are verified to ensure that you get paid for your work.
- Build a network. Talk to family and friends and see if they know of any publications that are looking for journalists or if they can get you a job. If you know of any other freelancers, try to talk to them or invite them to lunch to talk about what kind of opportunities exist. Continue to talk to people in the industry so that they can keep you abreast of any jobs or assignments that might be available.
- If you are in school, talk to the editor of the school newspaper and see if there are any opportunities to write for them.
- Join an online community. Several online journalist communities can help you get work as a freelance journalist. Look for communities on LinkedIn and Facebook and become members of them. Start talking to other journalists to help build your network and gain more knowledge. These online communities can help you further your career and is a great knowledge base for new journalists.
- Other online communities include JournoBiz Forum, Mumsnet, and The No1 Freelance Ladies’ Buddy Agency.
- Research publications that you can write for. Read different publications and find ones that you’d like writing for. Get to know their writing style and what kind of topics they usually write about. This will give you clues on how to pitch to them. Try to find contact information for editors so that you can send them pitches for articles.
- For instance, if you’re a movie buff, look at publications that review or evaluate new films that come out.
- If you’re really into gaming, research gaming websites or magazines that talk about computer or video games.
- Build a website. A website is a perfect way to show off past examples of your work. A website will give potential employers an idea of the type of content they can expect from you. You can either hire someone to build the site for you or build the website yourself. Remember to include your contact details so that people can connect to you.
- Your website should contain contact info, a biography, examples of past work, and possibly a link to your personal blog.
- Avoid cluttering your website with nonessential links or photos.
- Start pitching article ideas to editors. A pitch is a small summary of an idea that you have for an article. Typically freelance journalists will pitch article ideas to editors who will accept or reject your pitch. If you don’t have experience, you can pitch entire articles to editors so they have an understanding of how you write. Pitches contain a catchy headline and then a couple of sentences that explain what you want to write, and why people would want to read it. Start writing multiple pitches to different editors and see if you get any responses.
EditPitching Article Ideas
- Think of unique article topics. Make sure that you’re not pitching an article idea that they have already covered unless you can bring new information or a fresh perspective to the story. The best bet is to pitch article ideas on pieces that are missing. Look for niche stories that relate to the content that they usually publish, but a topic that’s been underreported.
- For instance, if you’re pitching for a local newspaper, you can get ideas from local gossip or controversies that may not have been covered yet.
- Reporting on smaller, marginalized communities may be something that other journalists have not done.
- If a report came out recently, you can try to be the first person to write a synopsis of how it impacts people.
- Pitch often. Many of your pitches are likely to get rejected, especially if you haven’t developed a relationship with the editor. Play the odds and pitch often. Pitching your ideas to more than one editor can increase your chances of getting your article picked up. Take the assignment that comes first.
- Doublecheck your pitch for grammar and spelling. One of the biggest turnoffs for editors is a poorly formulated pitch. A pitch that’s riddled with spelling or grammatical errors shows the editor that you don’t care and gives them a negative impression. Make sure to double check your pitch and edit it so that there are no errors.
- Create a catchy article title. The top line of your story will be the first thing that editors will see and you want to make sure that it grabs their attention. Use actionable verbs and try to make the title of your article as catchy and compelling as possible.
- For instance, instead of writing “How to Eat Healthier” write “Eat Your Way to Great Health.”
EditImproving and Staying Productive
- Learn other technical skills. Skills like photography, graphic design, and coding will lend themselves well to a career as a freelance journalist. These skills can translate to journalism and will increase your value to most editors. If you’re having issues finding work, let the editors know that you have these other skills and can incorporate them into your work.
- Create and stick to a schedule. If you work with multiple publications it can be hard to get all of your work in by the deadline. Write down a schedule of your day-to-day operations and stick to it. This will help you finish your articles by deadline and will keep you on track while you’re working.
- Wake up early and change your clothes every day. Even if you start working from home, it’s important that you wake up and get dressed as if you are going to an office. This will help keep you focused throughout your day and get you in the mindset to work efficiently.
- Set a time to avoid distractions. When working from home, it can be hard to stay focused. Instead of getting distracted, set a timer for 45-50 minutes and focus solely on working on a single project. Do not respond to emails, answer the phone, or pay attention to any distractions. Once the timer is up, relax and take a break for 20-30 minutes.
- Manage your workload and learn to say no. Sometimes when you’re lucky, assignments will come rolling in. It’s important that during these times that you manage your workload. If an editor assigns you an article, it’s best to be transparent about your workload. Consider if they are pay is high enough and whether you have the free time to complete it by the deadline. If you don’t feel like you can complete it by the deadline or it doesn’t pay enough, decline the assignment.
EditSources and Citations
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Electronic waste (or e-waste) is a major problem. You can help mitigate this problem by recycling your computer hard drive. Before you discard your hard drive, it is important to make sure all of your data has been removed. Then, once you have removed your hard drive, you can choose between disassembling the hard drive and recycling all the aluminum, or simply sending the hard drive to the manufacturer for recycling.
EditWiping Your Hard Drive
- Use software to wipe your hard drive. Before you discard your hard drive, it is important for you to remove any personal information. One method of achieving this is to use a computer-wiping software. Just choose (and in some cases purchase) the software you’d like to use, install it, and follow the prompts. Some software options include:
- Derik’s Boot and Nuke
- Destroy your hard drive. If there is no chance that you will be using this hard drive again, you can also break the hard drive manually. This will make it impossible for anyone to access your personal information. You have numerous options for destroying the hard drive. These include:
- Drilling holes into it
- Hammering it
- Magnetizing it
- Contact a Windows-certified refurbisher if you have a PC. If you have a Windows PC, there are some Windows-certified refurbishers that can wipe your hard drive for a small fee. Visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/refurbishedpcs to locate the refurbisher of your choice.
- Some refurbishers will provide a free shipping label.
- Some will offer to recycle the hard drive for you, and others will send it back to you wiped clean.
- Send your hard drive to the Apple recycling center if you have a Mac. If you have a Mac computer, you can send your hard drive to the Apple recycling center. The Apple recycling center will wipe your Mac hard drive (and recycle it) for free. Contact Apple to receive a free shipping label for your hardware.
EditSending Your Hard Drive to the Manufacturer
- Research the policies for your brand. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of disassembling the hard drive yourself, you may be able to send it directly to the manufacturer for recycling. You can choose to send in your whole computer or just your hard drive. First, look into the policies for your brand of computer.
- Apple provides free shipping labels and free hard drive wiping.
- IBM will not wipe your hard drive for you or provide shipping labels, but they will accept your old hardware for recycling.
- Dell will provide a shipping label. In some locations they also allow you to drop off your old hardware at Goodwill.
- Request a shipping label. If you will be working with a company that offers free shipping, contact that company (by phone or online) and request a pre-paid shipping label. Print out your label.
- Send in your hard drive. Once your hard drive has been removed, you can package it up and bring the package to the appropriate mail carrier.
- Package the hard drive in bubble wrap (or other materials) so that it does not get damaged in transit.
- If you have received a shipping label, remember to affix this to your box. Also, be sure to visit the mail carrier that matched your shipping label.
- If you have not received a shipping label, you will need to pay for shipping at the mail carrier of your choice. Be sure to bring the address (available on the website of your brand).
EditRecycling the Aluminum
- Remove the first set of screws. With the label facing up, remove the six visible screws with an 8×60 Torx screwdriver. There is usually at least one screw covered by the label. Use your fingers to find the depression, then use a utility knife to expose the screw.
- Remove the second set of screws and cut the seal. Turn the drive over and remove the screws that fasten the drive controller card to the drive. Using a utility knife, cut the seal that runs along the side of the drive on all four sides.
- Open the cover and remove more screws. Carefully pry open the drive cover, and set it aside. Remove all visible screws and set these aside as well.
- Remove the magnets and the read/write arm. Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the first rare earth magnet. Next, use the flat head screwdriver to unscrew the drive read/write arm and remove it. With the read/write arm out, you can remove the second magnet.
- You can retain and reuse these magnets.
- Remove the data disk. Use a 7×60 Torx screwdriver to remove the round plate that retains the data disk. Pull out the retaining ring and data disk. Save or destroy this data disk.
- Remove the motor and remaining magnets. Use an 8×60 Torx screwdriver to remove the drive motor. Now that the drive is completely disassembled, you can remove the two remaining magnets.
- Recycle the aluminum. With the exception of the motor, the remaining parts are all aluminum. The average hard drive produces one-half pound of recyclable aluminum. Bring this material to an aluminum recycling center.
EditSources and Citations
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