5 Dorm Decorating Ideas for the Student on a Budget

College students often don’t have a significant amount of money to spend, which is why the term “broke college student” is so well known.  But, just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your dorm room feel a little bit more like home.  Here are some ideas to help you do that without breaking the bank!

1. Print pictures from Google images, Tumblr, etc. and create wall collages/designs.  Most universities give you a per-semester print quota that most people don’t use up completely.  Take advantage of this opportunity to make your dorm room more festive or homey.  Black and white pictures are classic and go with everything, so you don’t even need to print in color (usually your print quota doesn’t include color printing and if it does, each pages will be worth more for your quota).  Just print out your pictures and get creative

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  (This is the wall collage I made for my room last year!)

 2. Go to the drug store to print personal pictures; it’s usually pretty cheap there!  You can go the collage route and tape them to your wall with clear tape (or sticky tack if you’re worried about the paint on the walls) or go to the dollar store for some cheap frames; you don’t need anything fancy for your dorm room… but remember, frames take up space and your room will likely not be that big.  You can even try getting one giant frame, making a collage to put in it, and use command strips to hang it on your wall!

7-14 photo prints3. If you have a roommate, take a trip to the nearest craft supply place, like Michaels, and make a Saturday or Sunday out of creating your own posters, banners, and other decorations; you’ll be likely to find a lot of cute, cheap decorations that you can make together!  It’s a great way to bond with your roommate and make your room a home away from home.  Find a common ground, whether it is a color scheme, a pattern, or a theme you both like, and run with it!

7-14 DIY flag

(My roommate and I both love Harry Potter so we went with a Gryffindor Scarlet and Gold theme for our room Freshmen year and the above picture is a banner that we made!)

4. Get dry erase boards or small chalkboards and hang them on your door and your walls.  It’s a fun way to get your friends involved with your decorations, so just leave markers or chalk out in your room somewhere so they can write you little messages or drawings!  It’s a nice way to keep changing up your décor a little bit.

7-14 dorm dry erase5. Buy a Plastic Storage Drawer/Cart to maximize your space.  You can even spray paint the cart to go with your color scheme and get stencils to spray paint a pattern or design to really make it pop!  You can buy one of these carts at Walmart, Target, or even order it online and find a great price.  Get really creative!

7-14 painted storage drawer

5 Ways to Show Love to the Earth This Summer

As any responsible consumer will tell you, it is important for everyone to lend a hand in conserving the environment and protecting our planet. Many people think that it takes too much effort to live an environmentally friendly life, but it’s actually much easier than you think. Unless you’re planning on moving to the moon anytime soon, try out these “green” products for summer.

1. The Honest Company Sunscreen SPF 30

6-25 The-Honest-CompanySunscreen is a summer must-have, but there are many that are found in aerosol cans and chemical laden creams. This sunscreen has a toxicity rating of 1; the lowest possible score which means it contains no chemicals that will harm the environment

2. Bambeco Bamboo Beach Towel

6-25 stripe-bambootowel_300Cozy up in this soft beach towel made from all natural bamboo fibers. Completely eco-friendly.

3. Camelbak Water Bottles

6-25 32CamelBakPodium2-s3-medium_newInstead of worrying about recycling all of those packs of water bottles, just  don’t use them in the first place. Try a refillable water bottle made from BPA free plastic. A popular choice is a Camelbak bottle. They’re easy to use and eco-friendly!

4. Bikes

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If you’re traveling a short distance, break out your bicycle or walk. You’ll enjoy the nice weather and save on gas emissions

5. Clothes-lines

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Save energy by giving your clothes dryer a break and hanging your clothes out on a line to dry. Take advantage of the warm breeze to dry your clothes naturally and save big bucks on your electric bill!

How do you stay eco-friendly during the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

-XOXO-

How To Prepare for Fall Semester in College

With summer in full swing, it’s difficult to think about returning to school and spending hours in lecture halls. However, there are a few things we can do to take advantage of the summer months in order to stay ahead of the game and be prepared for the upcoming fall semester.

1. Apply for Scholarships

6-13 cap-diploma-moneyMost college students are far too busy worrying about their vacation plans to bother with scholarship applications. This lower competition makes it a bit easier to win scholarships that are offered during the summer months.

2. Find a Job

6-13 bigstock-Waitress-Serving-Food-To-Senio-47117440Use your spare time in the summer to save money from working. Extra earnings can be used for books or to pay on interest on your student loans. Every little bit counts!


3. Intern

6-13 photodune-202599-smart-business-man-with-a-laptop-and-colleagues-at-the-back-mThere are many internship programs offered during the summer. It’s easier to focus on your internship when you don’t also have to commit time to your regular classes.  One simple way to get started is by visiting sites like this one.

4. Register for Classes

6-12 stack of books2The last thing you want to deal with is trying to register for a class for the fall semester only to find it has already been filled. Especially since sometimes certain classes are only offered one semester a year. Avoid all of the inconvenience by registering as early as possible.

How do you stay ahead of the game for upcoming semesters? Let us know in the comments below!

Enjoyable Ways to Stay Fit This Summer

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Staying fit and healthy is high on your priority list, but who wants to workout during the summer? You’d much rather fill your days at the beach and your nights at bonfires. Here are a few ways to sneak in a workout without taking up too much of your limited free time!

Swim 

downloadThe main goal of summer is to spend as much time in the water as possible (or maybe that’s just my goal) so you might as well get a workout out of it. Do a few laps in the pool for excellent cardio while cooling off at the same time.

 

 

 HIIT

jump_ropeHIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts are perfect for summer because they are usually much faster than other cardio workouts. This means less time in the summer heat if you’re into outdoor training. HIIT workouts consist of short spurts of high intensity alternating with periods of low intensity. Running and jumping rope are excellent options to try!

 

 

 

Pilates

UntitledStrength training through Pilates is a refreshing alternative to the gym and will save you the trip since you can do it in your own home. This is also a great way to workout while avoiding the harsh summer heat.

 

 

 

Remember: always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program!

How are you staying fit while enjoying your summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Must Accomplish Memorial Day Activities

Memorial Weekend is quickly approaching and it could only mean one thing: Summer has officially arrived!!!

girl with flag

 

I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free!

I’m going to be honest here, for the longest time I had no idea that Memorial Day unofficially marked the beginning of summer, I was clueless for so many years! But to be fair I grew up in ‘Military City USA’ (San Antonio, TX) and yes, you guessed it, Patriotic holidays were always a big deal in my hometown. So, whether you’re spending this Memorial Day weekend reuniting with family and friends or sunbathing on the beach, it’s important to remember why we celebrate this very special holiday. Memorial Day is a day of “National Mourning” in which we honor the heroes who have sacrificed their lives to protect our nation’s freedom.

What better way to spend Memorial Day than to celebrate the lives of those who give back to those who served our country:

1) Volunteer to help replace worn out grave markers/flags of deceased veterans at local cemeteries.

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2) Wear a poppy. Purchase them from your local veterans groups (VFW, American Legion) each poppy purchase is a donation towards assisting disabled veterans in surrounding communities.

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3) Take part in Memorial Day Charity runs: It’s a fun way to raise money for your local veterans groups and current military families in your surrounding community while getting your body beach ready.

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4) Reach out to Military families. Operation Homefront and Operation Gratitude are great organizations allow you to give back to those who have given up their lives for our freedom.

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Don’t forget to honor our fallen heroes at 3 p.m. locally on Memorial Day during the National Moment of Remembrance.

Have a safe and fun filled weekend. xoxo!

6 Thrifty Ways to Enjoy Summer Break

With May came graduations, the end of final exams, packing up, and moving on to the next chapter of this year: summer break. There is finally time to relax and spend time with family and friends, but as a college student or recent graduate, many of us are still on tight budgets. Here are some low cost (or free!) ways to enjoy this summer without breaking the bank.

1. Go to a public beach Beach_Public

If you live on a coast or by the Great Lakes, this can be a perfect option for you! Many beaches are free and have free parking for residents. You can also pack your own lunch and bring things to do such as a Frisbee or a volleyball.

 

 

Picnic2. Have a Picnic

If you don’t have any beaches nearby, find a park in your area and have a picnic. Bring a few friends and make it a potluck and you’ll cut costs even more.

 

 

Hiking3. Go Hiking

Take advantage of the sunshine and head out on a hiking trail in your area. The best part about it is it’s absolutely free! Spending time outdoors can really make you appreciate the beauty around you: no wifi required.

 

 

Museum4. Visit a Museum on a Free Day

During the summer months, many museums and aquariums have free days on the weekends. These places will usually advertise events such as these on their websites and in local newspapers.

 

 

Movies5. Go to the movies

When summer heat gets too intense, take advantage of air conditioning and catch a movie. After all, it’s time for summer blockbusters!

 

 

Concert6. Catch a Free Concert or Theatre Production

Keep an eye out for advertisements for local free concerts. Many parks and small theatres have shows for upcoming bands or community theatre productions. These ticket prices are usually very low (or free!) and you can support local artists at the same time. It’s a win-win!

 

 

Share your thrifty summer plans in the comments below!

Top 5 Summer Plans for College Students

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With finals approaching, this means one thing… summer is around the corner! As a college student you have to get out there and do something with yourself. So, my recommendation is to consider these top 5 summer plans for college students

1. Intern

Unfortunately you’re not in high school anymore so interning is a must.  It is very important to secure a great internship for the summer because this allows you to make connections, get experience and most importantly help your future. You never know where a summer internship may lead… it could possibly give you a career with the company one day. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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2. Study Abroad

College is the best time to travel! Summer is even better because you’re not missing out on anything from the school year so it’s the best of both worlds. Take a look at this eCampus blog: Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad, you can see a few of the many benefits of studying abroad. My recommendation would be to take a fun class you wouldn’t normally take at your university, maybe even one that is specific to the country you are in. This will definitely enhance the experience of your trip.

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3. Get a Job

Of course the fall back to not interning or studying abroad is getting a summer job. Although, this might not be the most fun or interesting thing to do in the summer but at least you’ll be making some extra money for the school year right?

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4. Take Summer Classes

This might be the most boring option to take for the summer but it’s also something to seriously consider doing. If you did poorly in a class this semester or even dropped it, taking an online or in-class summer session class could help you get closer to earning your degree. Also if you just changed your major and are behind in credits this is a great time to catch up instead of taking 21 hours next semester.

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5. Soak Up the Sun

The last option for your summer plan could be to take it easy and relax. Maybe go to the park with your dog, hang out with friends or just lay out by the pool to get that golden tan you’ve missed all year. There’s nothing wrong with this option because sometimes after a long year of classes, taking a break is the best thing to do.

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What are your summer plans? Let us know in the comments below!

Kid President’s Finals Week Pep Talk

The end of the semester is quickly approaching which can only mean one thing…*cue dramatic music and lightning* Finals week is upon us.  Ugh, didn’t just the mention of finals week make your brain hurt? I know mine does. As the semester draws to a close, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all starting to feel a little burnt out. Hey don’t worry! The semester blues are inevitable and boy oh boy, do I have a cure for you!

Here’s a little pep talk to help lift your spirits and get you through the next few weeks.  You are welcome!

How to Earn Extra Money During College

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Let’s face it: you’re busy. But this doesn’t change the fact that your textbooks cost an arm and a leg, tuition is rising constantly, and you still need to buy groceries this week. How are you supposed to keep up with your studies as well as your expenses? Here are a few ways to make extra money without letting your grades suffer.

1. Work Study Programs

Most colleges have employment opportunities specifically for students. Work study programs usually subtract your pay from your tuition bill. A few hours a week working at minimum wage doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly. The best part is this work can usually be scheduled around your class schedule so it won’t interfere with your studies. Check with your financial aid office to see if your school offers programs like this.

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2. Sell Unwanted Items

Whether it’s clothes that you don’t wear anymore or your old guitar that, let’s face it, you haven’t picked up in years. There are usually plenty of things lying around your dorm that you have no use for anymore. Like the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Snap a few clear, well lit pics of your unwanted items and list them on eBay for a small fee (this fee is so small, you probably have enough change under your couch cushion to cover it). Another wonderful platform for selling clothing is an app called Twice available here. With this app you can sell your gently used nice clothing.

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3. Start a Side Business

Okay so maybe this one is a bit more time consuming but with the right work ethic, you’d be surprised how easy this can be. This doesn’t have to be a full- fledged business venture. You can make a decent amount of money mowing lawns or painting houses over the summer. If you have a knack for crafts, you could also make and sell handmade items such as jewelry or paintings at craft fairs or with online marketplaces such as Etsy.com. Similar to eBay, with Etsy you can pay a very small fee to list your handmade treasures for others to purchase.

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Whether you choose work study or cleaning out your closet, there are simple ways to earn some extra cash while also taking some of the strain off your parents to cover your tuition bill. What other ways do you make extra money for college? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

How to Make Your Own Infused Waters

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It’s no surprise that my Pinterest feed these past few weeks have consisted of colorful bikinis, floral prints, pastel colors, and spring décor. But my favorite trend of the season? Infused water.

For the longest time I couldn’t bring myself to drink water, it was just so bland compared to my favorite fizzy soda pop flavors. However, last semester a friend of mine introduced me to infused water, and I was instantly hooked. Infused water helps make staying hydrated fun, offers a dose of essential vitamins, gently cleanses your body and works as a natural skin care. But, the best part about it all? It’s such a quick and easy process, it takes just under 5 minutes to prepare!

Making your own infused water is quick and simple! Here’s how to make your own infused water:

Step 1: Fill a pitcher with water,

Step 2: add thinly sliced fruits, herbs or spices and ice

Step 3: chill in the refrigerator.

For stronger flavored water, prepare it a day ahead and keep it in the fridge overnight before drinking, The fruit should stay fresh as long as you keep your water refrigerated, and should be consumed in 3-5 days. That’s it! No fancy gadgets or confusing recipe cards, it’s simple as 1,2,3.

Here are a some infused water recipes that make will make your taste buds sing…

 - Raspberry +  lemon  +  mint

 - Strawberry  +  Kiwi

- Lemon  +  cucumber  +  mint

 - Blackberry  +  cherry  +  lime

 - Orange  +  lemon  +  lime

 - Strawberry + Lime + Mint

We’re always on the hunt for new flavor combinations, so snap a photo of your beautiful beverage on Instagram or tweet us your favorite recipe on twitter by using #tastebuddanceparty

 

Cheers!

Fruit Infused Waterimage source