• What you do in college can define the future of your personal and professional life. With so much on the line, a lot of students get stressed and lose track of what’s important. If you’re worried that you won’t […]

  • ThumbnailCambridge, Massachusetts is America’s educational capital, home to a range of important institutions including Cambridge College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in […]

  • ThumbnailIndianapolis – the Racing Capital of the World – is a popular tourist site, particularly due to its numerous sporting events. The most well-known events that draw in sports fans are the Indianapolis 500, NHRA U.S. […]

  • ThumbnailMuch of the dynamic nightlife in Long Beach, Calif., resides in popular hotels like Long Beach’s Queen Mary Hotel, with its Observation Bar and Art Deco Lounge on board. The Observation Bar was once the First […]

  • ThumbnailTop NFL players can make staggering amounts of money. Determining exactly how much they make is often difficult, though, because they have multiple revenue streams including their salaries, bonuses, and […]

  • ThumbnailWith so many things to do in Minneapolis, trying to plan your own list of “must see places” becomes hectic and downright confusing. But if you stay close to a landmark like the East Lake Community Library, built […]

  • ThumbnailIt’s tough being across the river from one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. But, here are 10 affordable reasons to spend more time exploring Newark, NJ, than the Big Apple.
    Budget-Friendly […]

  • Reject the international corporate giants and celebrate independent businesses on your next visit to Monterey. This Californian city was built on mom-and-pop operations, and many of them are still standing today. You can be sure your tourist dollars will stay in the city when you choose the following independent firms.
    Stay in Top Boutique Hotels
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    Choosing boutique hotels in Monterey over the big chains is one of the best ways travelers can support local firms. These independent establishments have personal touches and a unique charm that make them really appealing for tourists.

    Take Hotel Abrego, a non-smoking hotel with custom-designed guestrooms kitted out with Italian linens and free Wi-Fi access. If you’d prefer to be closer to the water’s edge, try Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, an opulent hotel on Cannery Row which received Forbes’ prestigious Four-Star Award in 2013. Monterey is also home to the spacious Hotel Pacific, whose lavish guestrooms feature four-poster beds, separate living and dining areas, and opulent bathrooms with both showers and tubs.
    Eat in Independent Restaurants
    The chain restaurants scattered across the United States are dependable, but not exactly inspiring. If you’re tired of eating at establishments with the same old dishes, then it’s worth trying Monterey’s many independent restaurants.

    Restaurants in hotels generally have a bad reputation, but Crazy Horse Restaurant in the Bay Park Hotel bucks the trend. It’s been voted the best salad bar for the past nine consecutive years, so vegetarians are in for a treat. That doesn’t mean that carnivores are neglected though: the natural beef burgers, juicy steaks, and hearty pastas will satisfy meat eaters.

    If you’re in the mood for a romantic night out, try Montrio Bistro or Restaurant 1833. Montrio Bistro was once a firehouse, but today oozes cool with its focus on organic produce and sustainable seafood. Restaurant 1833 also has a rich history. Housed in the heritage site Stokes Abode, this gourmet restaurant reinvents casual dishes in seven unique dining rooms. These high-end establishments are both Fodor’s Choice restaurants, recognized for providing “remarkable experiences in their price range, destination, or category.”
    Shop in Quirky Indie Boutiques
    Look to Monterey’s independent boutiques for the best souvenirs of your Californian getaway.

    Art lovers flock to Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is home to the galleries and studios of more than 100 local artists. The family-owned stores are the perfect place to find apparel, wine, and gifts that are just a little bit different.

    Alvarado Street in downtown Monterey also has a vibrant independent spirit. It’s home to Hellam’s Tobacco Shop, the longest trading cigar shop on the West Coast, custom jewelry specialists Gasper’s Jewelers, and hip boutique Karma Fashion Lounge.

    Even the famous Cannery Row strip has its fair share of independent retail outlets. You’ll have to wade through the big national brands, but mom-and-pop operations like Rosie’s Apparel & Toy Store, Sharky’s Shirts, and Vajra Collection make it worth the effort.

    Have we missed any of Monterey’s great independent businesses? Let us know in the comments.

  • ThumbnailHistory isn’t a dead, boring subject in Savannah. Visitors to this intoxicating town are surprised how its history comes alive.

    Stay in the Historic District

    The Hilton Garden Inn Savannah places guests in […]

  • When you think of the country’s most historically significant cities, the first one that comes to mind may not be Springfield, Missouri. However, that may change when you discover all the little-known historical facts about Springfield as well as its many fascinating attractions that commemorate the historical sites in and around the city. As you make flight reservations and book hotels like the La Quinta Inn Springfield South, keep in mind that, once you’ve learned about the rich history of Springfield, you will likely long to discover it for yourself.
    Discover the Legend of Route 66
     

    The extraordinary, beloved Route 66 that has become a part of our national legend actually has its origins in Springfield. The city is recognized as the birthplace of Route 66. It became known as the “Mother Road,” and it was the first fully paved, numbered highway in the country. The Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven is not only a historically significant hotel, but also it has a fun, fifties-style look that helps visitors feel that they really have stepped back into history.
    Observe the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
    The event that is now known as the Trail of Years is one of the most tragic events in our history as a country and culture. That is when over 16,000 Native Americans were forced from their homes by the American government and forced on a treacherous trail where many died. Part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail runs directly through Springfield, and you can walk it and observe this somber historical site. Part of it can also be traveled by car. It’s an important educational site, and you may go with a tour guide so that you learn as much as possible from the visit.
    Learn About Folk Heroes
    The once-infamous site of the Wild Bill Hickok – Davis Tutt shootout is also located in Springfield. Davis Tutt was an unassuming cowboy. However, in July of 1865, he had a run-in with gunfighter and gambler Wild Bill Hickok, and the two had a shoot-out with two pistols drawn in a public duel. Sadly, Tutt was shot and killed. While Tutt also shot at Hickock, he missed. You can go to the site of the Wild Bill Hickok – Davis Tutt shootout in Springfield and learn more about it with the downtown audio tour, and Tutt’s grave can be visited at the Springfield City Cemetery.
    Stay Near Where History Was Made
    When you are planning your trip to Springfield, you will likely want to stay near some of the historical attractions that the city has to offer. The University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center is near multiple historical sites and the Discovery Center of Springfield. The American Inn Ozark and Arbor Suites Medical Mile are near the Commercial Street Historic District.

    I’m trying to build an ultimate resource on things to do with the historical aspects of Springfield. If you’ve been to Springfield and explored any of its historical sites, please add your thoughts and other tips below!

  • ThumbnailOnce you’re done with your Bachelor’s, you want to throw a party, not just because of the accomplishment, but because you’re done with school. Finally.

    But, in a career world where most candidates can include a […]

  • Pamper Yourself with Spa Treatments
    Nothing sounds more relaxing than sitting under a cabana on the beach, reading a book, listening to music, or enjoying the sound of the waves. In a small resort town like Sunny […]

  • Nothing can deflate an ego or jab you through the heart more than a romantic relationship gone bad. Rejection is never easy, but it’s especially tough when it comes from the person you’ve built so many of your fantasies and life dreams around.

    Let’s face it, we live in a world that idealizes love, romance and relationships. It feels good to be part of a couple, even when we really like who we are and enjoy our own company. So when a breakup happens, it tends to set into motion many of our insecurities, self-doubts and obsessional thinking.

     

    Your Brain on A Breakup 

    As a NYC psychotherapist, breakups are one of the top problems Dr. Robi Ludwig, Psy. D., helps patients work through in treatment. Why? Because breakups hurt! They hurt emotionally, they hurt physically, and are often used as one more way to prove one’s lack of “lovability” in the romance department.

    Researchers have long been fascinated by why these unwanted breakups affect us the way they do. Most people understand feeling rejected and dejected are common experiences. So is the feeling of being unable to let go; even when you should and really want to. Family and friends might push you to get over the relationship-gone-bad and just move on, yet brain researchers have a new understanding about why this may be easier said than done; especially during the first few months after a relationship ends.

     

    It’s Ok to Miss Your Ex- Science Says So

    The following studies to determine how breakups affect the brain were done on unmarried college students, but they still give us some insight into why these events are so emotionally tough to tolerate. MRI’s, known as functional Magnetic resonance imaging brain scans, show some interesting activity in several specific areas of the brain, when the rejected individual sees a photo of their ex. The scientists who conducted this study found the same areas of the brain lit up including the insula and anterior cingulate cortex, known to be associated with the experience of physical pain.

    And there may be a physiological reason for craving our ex, too. MRI’s recorded brain activity of people who recently experienced a break up, but still felt love for their ex. When viewing photographs of their former partners, activity in the area of the brain associated with reward and motivation, specifically, the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and addiction. The love lorn experiences cravings for an ex, in a similar way that a drug addict craves drugs.

    The evolutionary explanation for this could be nature’s way of protecting us. In the wild, our chance of sidestepping predators, are increased when we are part of a group vs. alone. Social rejection may have at one time been an actual threat to our physical survival for our early ancestors. If this is true, it could explain why it’s so difficult to let go of an ex and move on.

     

    The Light at the End of the Tunnel

    The good news is, despite the short term pain caused by breakups, the longer term findings show most people are resilient and recover from them. Other studies show brain activity in the craving parts of the brain also decreased as time goes on. The similarity to addiction may give those experiencing a break up, a framework to better understand the intensity of their feelings. As is true for addicts dealing with addictions, it helps to have a supportive network, where you can find a group of people you can rely on for emotional support.

    It’s important to have people you can turn to when you’re tempted to call that ex and/or just regress in general. And if people, places or activities associated with your past relationship or your ex, trigger your cravings, it might be best to avoid them all together, and add some new routines into your life repertoire.

    Breakups although painful, shouldn’t be viewed as failures. They should be viewed as lessons. There is always hope for a loving future. Why not view the pain from a break up as growing pains instead? Growing pains to the gateway of a new and improved life, you’re about to venture into.

    (Author note: Dr. Robi Ludwig, Psy. D. is a nationally known psychotherapist and award winning reporter. She has been appearing on broadcast media since 1997, and is sought after for her psychological insights on a wide range of topics.)

  • Image via Flickr by James Willamor

    Known throughout the South as the Magic City, Birmingham, Alabama offers a rich collection of culture and history. But, you don’t have to be rich to visit; here are four tips for exploring Birmingham on a budget.
    Stay Outside Downtown
    The closer you stay to the city center, the more expensive the room rates. You’ll find great deals on hotels in the neighborhoods outside the downtown. The Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham / 280 East – Eagle Point is about a 35-minute drive from downtown Birmingham and costs much less than downtown hotels. This hotel offers spacious and modern guest rooms, and a free breakfast in the morning.

    If you’re not up for the drive to downtown and prefer something a little closer to the action, book a hotel near the Birmingham Airport. Hotels in this area, like the Comfort Inn Airport and the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport, are about $50 cheaper than downtown hotels and are only about a 13-minute drive away from downtown attractions. The Mountain Brook and Homewood neighborhoods are additional options for finding affordable hotels near Birmingham.
    Hop on the Dart Trolley
    Exploring the downtown area is easy and cheap on the Dart Trolley system. The trolley offers three routes, shuttling tourists and locals around the downtown area. Prominent attractions along these routes include, the Civic Centre, Museum of Art, and Civil Rights District. The Dart trolley runs every 10 to 20 minutes and costs just 25 cents per ride.

    Birmingham also has a fairly extensive public bus system, for guests staying outside the downtown area. Single-ride fare for the bus costs $1.25.
    Take in the Culture
    You can’t visit Birmingham without taking some time to visit the city’s Civil Rights attractions. The Civil Rights Institute, in downtown, features powerful exhibits including life-sized images and voice recordings of civil rights protesters and leaders. The institute accepts donations for admission on Sundays and during the rest of the week admission costs $12 per person. Across the Street, you can walk in the footsteps of past Civil Rights marchers on the Civil Rights trail.

    For a unique cultural experience, take part in a letter reading at the Birmingham City Jail where Martin Luther King led a non-violent protest against racial segregation.

    The Sloss Furnace Landmark and Museum is a 100-year-old former furnace plant that showcases the history of making iron. Tours of the museum cost $3.
    Enjoy the Hospitality
    The culinary flavours of the South are unmistakable. Make sure to include plenty of local dining during your trip. Reserve a table at the highly rated and award-winning Highlands Bar & Grill. This restaurant is best known for its stone-ground baked grits and local-raised country ham.

    For some after-hours excitement, head to Five Points South for live music or the Avondale Brewing Company for some local draft beer.

    Keep these tips in mind during your visit to Birmingham and you’ll find you have extra cash to spend. Maybe you’ll want to order a second helping of grits and biscuits!

     

  • Have you ever wondered how people manage to juggle a full-time career and a full-time college education? Many college students juggle work and school every day, especially nursing students. Chances are that you […]

  • [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image via Flickr by audio-luci-store.it[/caption]

    Online colleges and universities have seen an unprecedented spike in enrollment in recent years. According to a study by The Sloan Consortium, 6.7 million students are taking at least one online course as of the fall 2011 term — a considerable spike of 570,000 more online students from the prior year. With more and more students looking to online programs to pursue their education needs, the selection factors are becoming more specific. Here are a few key factors prospective students use to determine in which program to enroll.
    Accreditation
    Accreditation is like a stamp of approval for higher education institutions. This distinction tells prospective students that the school or degree program in question has been proven to meet certain academic standards. Accreditation is also usually a good indicator that most graduates of the program leave being prepared to enter the workforce.

    Most colleges will indicate their accreditation status on their websites. Students should be diligent in researching the accrediting organization to make sure the credentials are legitimate.
    Transfer Credits
    Before enrolling in an online program, students should check the curriculum and college credit compatibility with other institutions. This information is important for students who anticipate transferring credits before graduation, or who have credits to transfer in from other universities. The last thing you’ll want is to find yourself three semesters into your schooling before finding out your credits won’t transfer completely to or from another university. Many schools also accept non-traditional credits earned from professional experience, military training, and national testing programs.
    Rates and Statistics
    When prospective students shop around looking for the perfect online university, certain numbers should jump out at them. Graduation rates, average student loan debt, and specifically student loan default rates speak volumes about a school’s effectiveness. Low graduation rates likely show that the program in question has a weak academic support network for students or that students are dissatisfied somehow.

    Student retention rates, post-graduation employment status, and loan default rates quickly separate the bad apples from the golden ones. These items are important, as only about a total of 59 percent of students seeking a bachelor’s degree earn it within six years at their institution of choice.
    University Reputation
    Students want to know that employers are willing to acknowledge their chosen university. Students can look into the university’s reputation by asking enrollment staff to share feedback from employers who have hired graduates of the school. This feedback can come in the form of surveys, placement statistics, and personal communication. Another great way to gauge a university’s reputation is to see what current and former students say on social networks.
    Student Services
    Just because you’re looking into online degrees, you’ll still want the help of academic and financial advisors throughout your student life and beyond. Prospective students should ask themselves whether the school they are considering is able and willing to offer the support services they need to succeed academically.

    Look for career service resources, library services, and a writing center among other student services. Knowing there is a community of support committed to helping you succeed can make a huge difference, especially since being online can sometimes seem so anonymous.
    Program Details
    When selecting an online college, it’s important to understand what will be required to complete your coursework for your preferred program. For instance, traditional college courses can be offered online, and are led by instructors, which requires students to attend at set times, while other schools offer courses that are asynchronous so your schedule can be more flexible.

    You may prefer competency-based programs that allow students to study and learn the material at their own pace. The university provides the necessary resources, and students simply advance through the coursework as they progressively show that they’ve mastered the material.

    Furthermore, some programs combine online and traditional programs, which allow students to attend lectures online and in person, adding to the flexibility factor. Students should look at the details of the program to see which type it falls into. That way, they’ll know up front what level of time commitment will be required of them to graduate.

    This list touches on some of the most influential factors students use to decide in which school to enroll. What are some of your most important selection factors? If you have experience attending one of America’s top online universities, please share any advice you may have in the comments below.

     

  • ThumbnailThe Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality quiz that has been in use since 1962. There are four different personality preferences and everyone leans one way or the other. They’re either introverts (I) […]

  • Hello LTCL Team,

    I want to write a new article about pursuing various careers in healthcare and which path might be right for students. I’ve been kicking around the title, “5 Things You Should Know About the Healthcare Field.” Let me know what you think and I’ll get started. Thanks!

  • I have a new article titled, “4 Saving Goals After Graduating” – it basically covers some financial milestones college students should plan for after graduating (paying off student debt, buying a car that’s not a junker, etc.) Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll submit for review.

    • Hi Miles! Sorry to get back to you so late. That article definitely sounds interesting and relevant to the readers of LTCL. Do you think that there is any way to make it funny, so that the scary topic of finances doesn’t come off as “too serious” but you still share your tips?

      Obviously it’s an important topic that needs to be discussed, so if…[Read more]

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