Here are 5 more things you should know.
01. The benefits of a simple .edu email address
With great loans come great-ish perks!
When using a .edu email to register, many places will offer you deals on their products, and in some cases, provide you with insanely expensive software free of charge (or heavily discounted) (e.g. Photoshop). Some such perks include:
- FREE 6 months of Amazon Prime (With half-priced membership fees afterwards)
- FREE Washington Post access
- (Very likely) FREE Microsoft Office software
- FREE Autodesk software
- More discounts at Best Buy
- 50% off subscription to Spotify
- Potential AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint plan discounts.
- Discount on CreativeCloud (Adobe software) membership.
- Apple Music discounts
- 50% off Squarespace
- You Need A Budget (YNAB) membership.
For all you programmers and developers out there, don’t forget to sign up for Github Student. Perks include;
- $50 in credit from DigitalOcean
- $588 in credit for Bitnami
- $60 credit for DNSimple
- Unlimited Private Repos for Github
- Max of $3312 in credit for Private TravisCI builds
I am sure there are plenty more, and if you know of any, please post them and I’ll add them to the list!
02. About Amazon “Trade In”
You can Turn in your used items for an Amazon Gift Card. I am trying to get rid of a few books on ebay, and Amazon is going to give me more money for them just for trading them in. They send a box and I ship it to them and then they give me Amazon credit.
03. Easiest way to avoid being scammed
Don’t ever send money through untraceable and unrecoverable financial services like MoneyPak, MoneyGram, or Western Union. The majority of people do not have any legitimate reason to use these services. They are dangerous, have high fees, and are run by companies with no interest in helping you recover stolen funds. Lots of scams can be avoided by always refusing to send money via these networks.
There are a few very specific reasons to use these services:
- You have family in another country and no way to make a wire transfer to them. This does not usually include someone who is “stranded” while traveling. Almost certainly, this person has a bank account to which a wire transfer or ACH transfer will suffice.
- You are sending money to someone who is ineligible for a bank account (this should already be a red flag, but sometimes people ruin their credit and cannot open checking accounts). Make sure you are truly operating with someone you know well and trust before doing this. Even still, you can send this person a check, and they can cash it at a branch for a small fee usually.
- You work with international companies that operate largely in cash businesses (this is very rare, and your employer has proper protocols and controls to do it if it’s required and legal).
Other than these three legitimate scenarios, there is really no good reason to ever be using these services. Your money is gone instantaneously, and the transfer service does not care to help you recover it. I have met maybe two people in my life who have actually used these companies for legitimate transactions.
If someone requests money through these services, try to steer the transaction towards using a credit card or check at the very least. If they persist on using the instantaneous service, be very suspicious.
04. How to stop procrastinating
Many natural procrastinators I know (including myself) are people who are praised for their intelligence, and misinterpret that as a sign that they don’t need to have structure for their brain’s daily activities, and don’t need to give it the proper respect and exercise that it requires and deserves. So they neglect it – let it run wild on the internet, gorge itself on Facebook and games (the mental equivalent of junk food), and allow it to lapse into a vicious cycle of unaccountable information binging and inevitable self loathing.
Your brain adapts to, and then perpetuates, the habits to which it is constantly exposed. That fact doesn’t work in your favor right now, but you can change that. My suggestions:
01. Structure your time. By scheduling your daily activities, you provide a motivation to be present and diligent for your responsibilities. Plus, this will discourage the huge, unhealthy blocks of surf time that arise when you don’t plan your time out ahead. As far as skill acquisition like studying goes, I recommend time management methods like the Pomodoro Technique to give your brain a healthy routine length. You may also want to invest in a timer, or a program that acts like one, so you can monitor how much time you’re actually spending plugged in, and hold yourself accountable for it in the future.
This tip also extends to structuring your sleep schedule. I assume you’re in college, and there’s always fun stuff like parties and dorm CoD seshes and recreational drug use happening at any given time in college. Even if not, there’s always the internet. Learn to pull the plug, even when you don’t feel like you want to stop, and get your 6-8 hours a night. It does wonders for your self-control, self-image, and your presence in real life as opposed to inside your head.
02. Figure out why you procrastinate. Procrastination is a type of experiential avoidance that causes itself through an unwillingness to feel uncomfortable emotions, or be in unpleasant situations, even at personal detriment. I personally was an internet/League of Legends addict because I wanted to avoid confronting my anxiety, low self-esteem, and feelings of helplessness, and losing myself in my laptop provided an avenue where I could feel ‘in control’. It’s different for everyone, but this attitude is rather common nowadays. You owe it to yourself to be honest about what it is you’re procrastinating from, and why you fell into the habit. It may take some reflection.
03. Learn to tolerate, or even enjoy, putting time and effort into your work. Many internet users have been conditioned into believing that truly intelligent people don’t need to work hard at what they do. I was one such dumbfu*k, and since I breezed through my AP science courses in high school, I deluded myself into thinking I didn’t need to study for anything, and that cramming was enough. Then college-level Organic Chemistry came along and punched me in the face.
You may, presently, also believe that you are smart enough not to study. Don’t kid yourself anymore. That’s your brain talking, spoiled by lack of discipline, trying to sweet-talk you into not eating broccoli and having ice cream instead. You’ve got to be a tough-love parent, and make sure your kid eats his vegetables.
04. Incentivize your productivity. You are your own RPG hero. Procrastinators have a problem with delaying gratification. Technology addicts, specifically, are driven to surf by the easy ‘accomplishment’ feeling from learning movie tidbits, or perfecting their last-hitting in LoL, or racking up no-scopes in CoD. This is an easier way for your brain to create and savor small hits of dopamine than confronting real-life responsibilities -responsibilities that are harder, more time-consuming, and that give less obvious, more ambiguous rewards.
You can combat this addiction by substituting it. Many recovering procrastinators come to see themselves as their own RPG player-character, their own Tamagotchi or Sim or Pocket Pikachu. Doing practice problems? EXP into your INT stat. Gym time? Boosting your STR. Going to networking events for your major, socializing with professionals in your desired career? Major levels in Charisma, with points into a possible class change in the future.
Personally, I’m not totally absorbed into that style of discipline. But I did borrow an idea from the Pomodoro Technique and DDR, which is combo chains. Every day that I accomplish a general task (studying, exercise, writing in a journal, not looking at p*rn, etc.) is a link on the chain I drew on my whiteboard, while missing a day erases the chain. I want those suckers to get too long to fit on the board.
The main thing about this mindset is that you need to invest in your personal development in terms that your tech-addicted brain is already familiar with. Think about this – if you were playing the Sims, and your Sim self needed to go to work but was playing computer games instead, would you let him stay at his laptop? HELL NO.
05. You are not going to like the change in lifestyle. It is going to feel like sh*t. Accept it and power through it anyway. The emotions that an addict suffers through while quitting are sweet siren calls, seductively beseeching you to slam your ship into the rocks. Your brain is used to the habits. It likes the habits. It doesn’t want you to stop. It will present you with thoughts that tempt you to break your combo and forsake your willpower.
You are not your habits. You are not your thoughts. They are the many drops of water in the ocean that you are sailing in. The waters may be stormy and fickle, and may, without the force of your will, push you into shipwreck after shipwreck. It may seem easier just to let your ship be tossed wherever the follies of your brain take it. But it is your duty to captain your ship, especially in harder waters, and wrest yourself back on course with gritted teeth and the knowledge that you are stronger than the storm.
05. Wells Fargo Scam
Bankers get a commission (extra money) for certain actions. These usually invoice opening accounts. The more accounts you open, the more money they get. Commission is a bonus. It’s not a requirement for your base salary. Many banks create a quota of sales that they expect their bankers to hit. When accounts are opened with certain products(direct deposit, online banking, etc) is profitable for the bank.
Wells Fargo had an environment, where if your bankers were not making enough commission, they were reprimanded. Every location has a limited amount of customers. The quotas at Wells Fargo were much higher than achievable. This is a tactic for any sales force to raise the bar higher to get your team to perform harder. Unfortunately the quotas were so high, and the pressure on the employees was equally high, many resorted to illegal actions to achieve those goals.
Bankers opened accounts without the owners’ permission, credit cards, checking, savings, online banking, bill pay. They would transfer money around to these accounts, simulate the activity that would get them paid, and transfer it back. The banker hits their numbers, the bank looks profitable, no one thinks about it. This goes on for years, and customers are asking about credit cards/accounts they never applied for.
Keep in mind, when we say bankers, we mean regular employees who make 25k-35k a year before commission.
This type of stuff isn’t uncommon, but such a drastic breach across the board shows that when you create a highly pressured incentive based system, and punish those who perform poorly, you’ll create a corrupt system. There was no one looking to see if these dates were legitimate, they only cared that numbers were met.