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<em>The following essay was submitted by Alli Remily as part of our <a href="http://blog.bookbyte.com/2014/03/11/write-about-college-win-prizes/">#Write2Win Contest</a>. It was one of our favorite submissions, so she's won a prize and we're reposting it here.</em> <p style="text-align:center;">--</p> <img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2103" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/istock_000024157410small.jpg?w=200" alt="iStock_000024157410Small" width="200" height="300" />The one thing nobody ever tells you about college is how completely alone you feel. For the first time in your life, you are supposed to do <em>everything</em> on your own when just a few months ago everybody held your hand. It's scary. The thing is, you're so excited to finally get to do whatever you want, to become an adult. But it's hard, a lot harder than anyone thinks. I go to college in another state, so I don't have the luxury of going home any weekend I want and have my family cook me food and do my laundry. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. My parents always wanted me to go to college in state but I fell in love with my out-of-state college when we first visited. So going to college 5 hours by car away from my parents has taught me not to give up when things get rough. I had a terrible first year of college. I was constantly homesick, crying all the time, and even having dinner with my family over Skype instead of with people from my dorm. It was really hard for me to make friends. But I knew that I couldn't just give up and go home, no matter how much I wanted to. It'd be a slap in the face to all the people who never get the chance to go to college.

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/1000px-flag_of_michigan-svg.png"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-2081" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/1000px-flag_of_michigan-svg.png?w=540" alt="1000px-Flag_of_Michigan.svg" width="540" height="360" /></a> Back in 2006, Michigan voters put an end to race-based affirmative action through a ballot initiative. After eight years of back and forth, <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304049904579517521606356770">the U.S. Supreme Court has finally weighed in</a>, granting Michigan, and the other states that qualify, limit, or outright forbid race-based affirmative action (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington) the power to make this decision on an individual basis.

In a move that mirrors the proposal in Oregon we talked about a few months back, Canadian province Nova Scotia has voted to eliminate interest on college student loans. The legislation is a deliberate and explicit move to remove the crippling financial burden of debt from new students as they start their careers.

You might have heard that the SAT is getting redesigned again. Among other changes, the plan is to shift back to the old 1600 point scale that old farts like me took. (That's the way it was pre-2005.) It'll also be the first test available in both print and digital form, a change that seems almost comically overdue. These changes won't take effect until 2016.

Misery loves company. A new study out of USC argues that stress is reduced when the experience is shared. In other words, complaining about your ridiculous deadlines, unreasonable professors, and brutal workloads with your classmates is actually a valid coping mechanism.

This winter has brought some of the worst weather in recent memory. If you've been bombarded with snow, ice, and sub-zero winds—or even if you're just tired of hearing about them—you can find some much-needed mental respite by sitting down and planning your spring break. However, before you start booking your tickets and packing your bags, be sure to start off on the right foot financially.

[caption id="attachment_2002" align="alignright" width="272"]<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/misused.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2002" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/misused.png?w=272" alt="misused" width="272" height="300" /></a> <i>Source</i>: <a href="https://xkcd.com/166/">xkcd</a>[/caption] Oof. Cable news network HLN, originally a CNN off-shoot, has taken the page from the strategy of networks like TLC or AMC: abandoning the original concept for the station (Headline News, The Learning Channel, and American Movie Classics, respectively) but keeping the original acronym. The new, refurbished HLN is doing away with the endlessly repeated news cycle and the Nancy Grace-like "outrage news" segments, and replacing them with <a href="http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/i-can-haz-18-34-demographic-hlns-millennial-makeover/">new material targeted to the millennial demographic</a>. Apparently the people at Turner Broadcasting don't have a very high opinion of your demographic. Here are the new show titles, ranked in increasing order of absurdity:

What's worse? Being wrong on purpose or being wrong accidentally? For a Presidents' Day promotion, Groupon announced a promotion for $10 off a $40 purchase. Nothing unusual about that, except they said it was in honor of Alexander Hamilton, "undeniably one of our greatest presidents."

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/istock_000025910991small.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1995" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/istock_000025910991small.jpg?w=300" alt="iStock_000025910991Small" width="300" height="199" /></a><a href="http://uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/NATIONAL%20Fixing%20Broken%20Textbooks%20Report_0.pdf">A recent report from the U.S. Public Research Interest Group</a> took a long look at how students deal with the rapid inflation of textbook prices. The results showed that high textbook prices aren't just an extra cost for college. They can have long term detrimental effects on everything from grades to debt to the courses students are willing to take. Obviously, this hits close to home for Bookbyte, but even while we're very aware of the problems of overpriced books (and do our best to offer an alternative), the report still managed to dig up some surprising statistics.

[caption id="attachment_1992" align="alignright" width="300"]<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/bookbyte_sell_textbooks_graph.gif"><img class="size-medium wp-image-1992" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/bookbyte_sell_textbooks_graph.gif?w=300" alt="What the heck is going on in February?" width="300" height="239" /></a> What the heck is going on in February?[/caption] If you've poked around our site, specifically the <a href="http://www.bookbyte.com/selltextbooks.aspx">Sell Textbooks</a> page, you've probably come across the graph you see on the right. It's not random! It's based on actual data from our top titles from the past few years. We included it on our Sell Textbooks page to show that the market value of textbooks drops quickly over the course of the year, so it's generally a good idea to sell your books as soon as you're done with them. But that doesn't explain the weird little bump that's happening in February. What's the story there? Aside from the condition of the book, our buyback quotes are based on two things: the market value of the book and how much we have in stock. The fewer copies of a book we have in our warehouse, the more we'll offer to buy another copy.

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