Freebie Friday — Logitech

August 22nd, 2014 by



We want you to go back to school in style! Your parents got you that iPad you’ve always wanted, but now you need a great case to put it in. Logitech has an amazing Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for your iPad Mini or iPad Air.

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air ($99.99) or the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad mini ($89.99) is a must-have. The spacious keyboard and Bluetooth connection allow you to be productive from anywhere. The case doubles as a stand so it’s perfect for typing papers or emails, reading, researching or studying.

The case is lightweight and protects the front and back of the iPad to help shield the iPad from bumps, scratches and spills (which we all know are sure to happen!).

Additionally, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio comes in a number of fun colors for those of you that love options. This case is currently available on for the iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.

We are giving away one Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for the iPad mini or the iPad Air to one lucky reader. Fill out the Rafflecopter app below to be entered for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. Enter the Logitech Giveaway before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 8/28/14. One winner will be chosen shortly afterward and announced before 9/5/14. The winner must respond to the email he or she receives in order to claim his or her prize. Any prize winner not responding by 10/5/14 will forfeit his/her prize. Entries will only be accepted through the Rafflecopter application and before the deadline date.


Top 10 colleges with the best food in America

August 21st, 2014 by

Picking your perfect college can come down to a number of factors. Program, location, size, atmosphere — these are all very important things to consider when deciding where you want to go to school.

But what if you find several schools that have all the things you’re looking for and you have a hard time trying to decide your final choice? Consider picking a school with excellent food options. You’re going to need to stay nourished throughout your years at college; why not pick somewhere that satisfies those taste buds of yours?

Here are the top 10 schools with the best food in America, as ranked by The Daily Meal:

1. Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
2. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
3. Columbia University, New York, N.Y.
4. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
5. Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
6. University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.
7. New York University, New York, N.Y.
8. Occidental College, Los Angeles, Calif.
9. Duke University, Durham, N.C.
10. Boston University, Boston, Mass.

Check out all 75 top contenders at The Daily Meal and search for your perfect college at


5 stages of going to college for the first time

August 20th, 2014 by

It’s official! You, recent graduate you, are taking the next step in your life by starting your freshman year of college. Congratulations!

As with any major change in life, you’re probably going to go through several stages of *feels* when you head off to college for the first time. When it came to my experience, I distinctly remember 5 stages I went through during my freshman year and, let me tell you, were they a roller coaster of emotions.

So, like all things to describe how I feel, I’m going to go through said stages…as explained by Harry Potter. Don’t fight, just feel!

1. Fear


College — now THAT was a scary word. I feared all sorts of things: my future roommate, my classes, the idea of being away from home. It was all too new and scary and pleaseeee don’t make me do it!

2. Excitement


Not too long after the fear stage, I got the letter that contained my housing arrangements and my new roommate, along with this *fancy* new social media site that was exclusive for the class of ’13. I got to talk to my future classmates, meet my roommate and check out my new digs and now…hey, this sounds pretty awesome. Can’t I leave now?!

3. Nostalgia


The day I left for college — and this is something my mother will never let me forget as she tells everyone she gets the chance to — I was so distraught and filled with a sense of nostalgia that I walked through every room in my house and as I walked through the door I bursted into tears. (This is extremely embarrassing to admit, but there it is). You probably won’t be as dramatic as me but let me tell you, leaving your house for that last time before it all changes? It can bring out your nostalgic side.

4. Isolation

2 kewl hangin w/my friends 2 call mom (sorry mom!!)

2 kewl hangin w/my friends 2 call mom (sorry mom!!)

Like I said before, this whole process is a roller coaster, which leads me to my next phase. I don’t mean isolation in the way you might think. I was never isolated by myself, but I was isolated from everything I was just weeping about two weeks before. I shut myself off and became fully ingrained in college life with new friends, new classes and new experiences. I’m not saying this was a great choice, but it’s a stage, don’t judge me!

5. Balance


Finally we reach the last stage. After the ups and downs of emotions, I finally settled into a balance of college life and remembering that I, in fact, still have a life outside that bubble. (Also it came to the point where my dad had to tell me to call my mother. Dark times. Don’t forget about your mom, people!) It takes time, but you’ll be able to juggle it all — you can grow up without losing where you came from.


LauraS_150Written by Laura Sestito. Laura is the Editorial and Production Coordinator at NextStepU and graduated from Nazareth College. 

For more college, career and life planning advice, visit to start your path to success!


Trendy Tuesday — Dorm essentials

August 19th, 2014 by

When deciding what to pack for your dorm, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what is essential and what is “oh that would be nice to have!” You’ve heard it a dozen times but the fact remains — your space will be very limited in your college dorm room.

But have no fear! We’re sharing Noodle’s resident expert Kerri Liesenbigler’s top five dorm room products that you need to have when you head off to college. Don’t consider these part of your recommended list — have these on hand your first day at your new place!


1. Twin XL Bedding
There’s a big difference between regular twin-sized bedding and twin-XL bedding. Make sure you know what kind of mattress your dorm has — and a majority will be twin-XL — before you purchase your new bedding.
Our pick: Sail Away Cotton Twin XL Comforter Set

2. Mattress Topper
Unfortunately, college dorm mattress are not the most comfortable. This can be a problem when you need your beauty rest to perform well on your studies! Getting a mattress pad or bedding topper adds a layer of comfort to your less-than-luxurious sleeping arrangements and will have you sleeping like a baby even on your most stressful nights.
Our pick: 2-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper in Twin XL

3. Shower Caddy
Carting all of your shower goods from your room to the bathroom is a hassle without a shower caddy. When shopping for a caddy, try to find one that’s plastic rather than fabric — if you’re going to be bringing it right into the shower with you, a plastic one is much easier to dry than fabric. You don’t want any mold growing where it shouldn’t be!
Our pick: Dorm Shower Tote

4. Laundry Bag
Here’s another item you need to get your stuff where it needs to go. A laundry bag let’s you carry a lot of items all at once — and, let’s be honest, you’ll probably need that with how often you’ll really be doing laundry. Find a cute one like our pick to show off your personal style.
Our pick: Darling Owl College Laundry Bag

5. Safety Lock Box
You’re going to be bringing a lot of important items with you to college and sometimes you need a safe space to keep them all. Invest in a compact lock box to keep items like your passport, checkbook or other things that you don’t want to be kept out in the open.
Our pick: Mini Vault in Yellow


Major Monday — Criminal Justice

August 18th, 2014 by

cjAre you a dedicated citizen who wants to help uphold the law and keep the peace? Are you passionate about making your community a better place? If so, you might want to consider pursing a criminal justice major!

A degree in criminal justice can be earned at the associate’s and bachelor’s level. The main difference between the two degrees — other than time — is that you will get a broader knowledge of the American justice system with a bachelor’s degree than you would at the associate level. Typical courses you would take include criminology, the U.S. criminal justice system and criminal law.

What to know before you apply
Inquire as to whether your program will teach you general knowledge about criminal justice or if the classes you are taking will prepare you for a specific career. Also, be prepared to complete an internship in places like your local police department, the FBI or in a human rights organization. Students who pursue this major should be interested in all aspects of the law — from law making to enforcement to the psychology behind criminal activity.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers and detectives earned an average of $56,980 per year in 2012. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned an average of $48,190 per year in 2012.

> For more information on what it takes to have a career in criminal justice, take the pre-education course on to find out if it’s the right field for you before you get to college!


Freebie Friday — Purple Briefcase

August 15th, 2014 by



In our continued pursuit of hooking you up with companies that offer amazing products for high school and college students, allow us to introduce you to Purple Briefcase.


We think Purple Briefcase is amazing because of the hundreds of videos, specialized tools and job board that it has to offer members. Their resumé tool allows you to build multiple versions of your resumé, as well as an unlimited number of job searches.

A site like Purple Briefcase is exactly what you need to stand out from the crowd and gain the skills you need to compete in today’s world.

And we want you to WIN access to this amazing site! 

One lucky winner with get a DELL Venue 7 16GB Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Tablet so that he or she can access a free one-year subscription to the Purple Briefcase site.

Ten more lucky winners will get these fun sunglasses (because their future is so bright they have to wear shades!) and will have a free one-month access to Purple Briefcase.

To enter for a chance to win, just fill out the Rafflecopter app below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. Enter the Purple Briefcase Giveaway before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 8/21/14. Eleven winners will be chosen shortly afterward and announced before 8/29/14. The winners must respond to the email he or she receives in order to claim his or her prize. Any prize winner not responding by 9/29/14 will forfeit his/her prize. Entries will only be accepted through the Rafflecopter application and before the deadline date.



Step outside your comfort zone

August 14th, 2014 by


Source: Pinterest (

Whether you are marching down the hall for your final year of high school or checking into your dorm for freshman year of college, we know it is the first scary step to getting everything you’ve ever wanted.

Keep stepping out. Keep stepping up. Your biggest dreams are accomplished by putting one foot in front of the other.

> Make this coming school year the best one ever — and take NextStepU along with you. 


Book quotes that taught me about life

August 13th, 2014 by

Ah, books. For me, they are a marvelous escape to which I:

a) don’t have to talk to real people,
b) can pretend I am somewhere else and,
c) can learn some valuable life lessons.

Some of those life lessons really stuck with me. So, I’ve put together my top 3 quotes from books (in no particular order) that I’ve read that have made me think twice. But be warned: I don’t read “cool” books. I am a big advocate of young adult fiction and I am a firm believer that they are capable of offering some of the most insightful advice you can get. Also, yes, of course John Green is on this list. Deal with it.


1. “Life is not a wish-granting factory.”
Where it’s from: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
What I learned: Um, *preach* to this quote. I don’t think it’s ever too early to learn that things don’t always go your way. You are not entitled to anything just for existing. What you earn out of life is exactly what you put into it. I try to remember this every time I have to do laundry because I know that if I don’t put in the effort to go down into the basement and do it myself, I will run out of underpants. (Note: this quote applies to much more than just underpants).
Why you should read it too: If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s likely because you are skeptical about all the hype. But cynics — hear me out! After reading this quote, can you not see for yourself that this book is, in fact, entirely cynical itself? And not just cynical, but wise and engaging and heart-breaking all at the same time? You will FEEL and it will be awful and terrible but just trust me and do it already, okay? (Okay.) ;)


2. “Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss….but every once in a while, you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”
Where it’s from: “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen
What I learned: I know what you’re thinking, “oh, vom, this sounds like a romance quote.” Which, fine, in context it is. BUT the big picture idea of this is has so much more meaning. What I took from this quote is to remember that, with anything in life, you should never settle for less than extraordinary. And that statement goes two ways — yes, you should expect it, but don’t forget to be iridescent yourself. Be different, weird, passionate…and never let anyone or anything tell you that’s not okay. Also this quote was said by a grandpa and you have to listen to grandpa advice, it’s the law.
Why you should read it too: Full disclosure: I read this for the first time when I was in 8th grade. However, I have read it many times over since and it still gives me the same *feels.* This book is all about looking past the surface level and, to be honest, that can sometimes be a reminder we need every once in a while. So please, if you pick it up, look past the age of the main characters and make it apply to your life.


3. “I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.”
Where it’s from: “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusack
What I learned: Holy existential epiphany Batman, this quote is deep! To give some context, this quote is said by Death, as in, the Grim Reaper. Yeah, that guy’s the narrator of this book. It does make sense as the book takes place in WWII Germany, but still, it can sort of throw some people for a loop. Regardless, I adore this quote for a number of reasons. One, the fact that Death can consider humans beautiful. Seems counter-intuitive, but he’s a lot more complicated than you think. And two, it brings up the very good point that we (humans) are not one-dimensional. You don’t have to be one thing because you’re not. It’s impossible. It’s something that’s good to keep in mind when figuring out, say, your future. You have to make choices but remember: you don’t have to be one thing forever.
Why you should read it: Like I said, it’s narrated by Death. Don’t you want to know what he has to say?

LauraS_150Written by Laura Sestito. Laura is the Editorial and Production Coordinator at NextStepU and graduated from Nazareth College. 

> For more about college life, go to



Trendy Tuesday — How to dress like a professional

August 12th, 2014 by

business-professionalFinding appropriate attire for your professional life can sometimes be a struggle. You want to look your best, but what’s appropriate and where do you draw the line?

Miami-based stylist Nikole Powers shares three tips on how to look professional, polished and chic at the office or wherever your day job lands you.

Tip #1: Layers are essential

Got a top that you absolutely adore but don’t think is office-friendly? Make it work-appropriate by layering up with tanks or camis. “A neutral camisole is essential to office dressing for any body type,” says Powers. Adding layers helps your wardrobe go that extra mile by being appropriate for work and play without giving you a reprimand on the job.

Tip #2: Check your hemlines & necklines

An office environment is very different from that of a high school or college campus. While you can get away with wearing pretty much anything while you’re at school, your clothing choices — and how appropriate they are — will be put into consideration once you reach the professional world. That means more than just modifying your outfits with a long tank top to cover up — it might mean investing in some more work-appropriate clothing.

For general length guidelines to stick to, Powers suggests, “Any [skirt or dress] more than a half inch above the knee is inappropriate and should not be worn.” In regards to neckline, she insists that “necklines should never show cleavage [and your] back and bare shoulders are [mostly] off limits too.”

Tip #3: When in doubt ask yourself…

“…Would my boss wear this?” Use this question as a guide whenever you find yourself wondering if your choice of clothing is appropriate or not. Keep in mind, this can be different for every sort of job; some office environments are more casual than others while others require strict guidelines on a daily basis. See if your workplace offers fun incentives like casual Fridays for employees who donate to a worthy cause, or wearing the company’s logo T-shirt for a day if you reach a certain milestone.

The best way to learn how to dress appropriately for your job is to follow the example of others. And, at the end of the day, always dressing to impress never hurt anyone!

> For more career tips and tricks, visit to start your path to success today!


Major Monday – Accounting

August 11th, 2014 by

iStock_000004752194SmallDo you work well with numbers? Are you organized and have good communication skills? Then you might want to consider a career in accounting!

According to the College Board, this major is typically offered at both the associate’s and bachelor’s level. The difference between the two degrees, other than time, is how broad of an education you will be getting. For example, if you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will be learning about general tax principles and policy whereas with an associate’s degree, you will be focusing on a more specific realm in the field of finance and accounting.

What to know before you apply
Upon graduation from an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you will likely be putting in extra time to receive your Certified Public Accountant license. This means that, even if you have a job in the field, in order to move up in the ranks or to open your own firm, you’ll need to put in the time and effort to earn this extra certification. The test required to receive a CPA license can be costly and you have to complete and pass all of the tests within an allotted amount of time. However, by earning this certification, you have the ability to earn more money and have open your own practice.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors earned a median pay of $63,550 per year in 2013.

> For more information about the field of accounting, you can take an accounting pre-education course at