“When I asked my son about the pile of receipts, he only shrugged and said he was told he should hang onto them,” said Sparks. “That’s when I realized the next step was missing, what should he keep, why would he need it and when can he toss it?”
She went on a search for an organizing system that would be easy to follow; instead, she found complex systems ideal for homeowners with lots of categories, or student organizers that only focused on class schedules and homework. Sparks designed her own system geared to young adults adjusting to college life and those with their first full time job.
“Students spend so much time and focus getting into college, but once they are there, they suddenly realize they aren’t equipped to get through life as a working college student,” she added. “The Student Life Jacket is designed to help them understand the why and how of managing financial papers, personal information and other original documents that they haven’t been responsible for until now.”
Most students are wired in to laptops, mobile devices and an endless array of apps, but original documents, such as birth certificates and social security cards can’t be stored virtually, according to Sparks.
The organizer provides tips and guidance for topics including Money, Getting Around, Housing, Social Life and Health & Wellness, followed by a file pocket for documents that relate to that section.
She also included a variety of forms for emergency information, roommate agreements, road trip checklists and other ‘motherly advice’ including straight talk on everything from student loan debt to tattoos.
With two children in college, Sparks has had plenty of practical input from them and their fellow students. “I discovered that so many students are trying to figure it out as they go and are feeling overwhelmed. It’s been great to incorporate their input into the finished product.
Cell phones get lost and laptops crash, so having information you can refer back to in the Student Life Jacket is a lifesaver,” she said.
The Student Life Jacket is available through the website, http://www.TheStudentLifeJacket.com.
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Author, ghostwriter, copywriter and editor, Susan M. Sparks launched her business, ASAP Writing Services, in 2009. She has been a writer and photographer for over 25 years for newspapers, the web and as a contractor for the U.S. Navy. A CHINFO award winner for news coverage, Susan now assists entrepreneurs and small business owners on writing and marketing to grow their businesses.