The Beauty of the To-Do List

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“She NEEDS to sort out her priorities.” – Ron Weasley (about Hermione Granger) in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (film)

to-do list Making a to-do list helps you sort out your priorities and make sure everything gets done on time. The best way to make a to-do list useful is to follow these few tips:

  • Write your to-do list BEFORE you start working. Adding on items after finishing each assignment won’t make you feel accomplished, but it will make you feel overwhelmed.
  • Give each item a priority number or status. Saying “Item no. 1” reminds you that this item should be done first before you do anything else. Less important items that can be done later in the week should be lower on the list.
  • Allot time limits if necessary. If you know that you will spend 4 hours working on 2 problems in one class, it might be better to say decide to spend 45 minutes per problem before asking the professor or TA for help.
  • Color Code your list. Give each subject a different color so that if you find you are overwhelmingly working on History tonight you might be able to take a break with that one Stat homework in between.
  • Make sure to include when an item is due. Some higher priority items might be due later than lower priority ones, but might get lost in the mix.

Having a to-do list will keep you organized and on-top of all your work, so don’t forget to do your to-do list!!

4 Ways to Make a Healthier Pizza!

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1. Use a whole wheat tortilla as the crust.

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This is a healthier alternative to a traditional pizza crust, but is just as delicious! Put your sauce, cheese, and desired toppings on and then put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle some garlic powder and basil on top for added flavor. You can adjust the cooking times depending on how crispy you want your crust to be.

2. Make a personal pizza on a portobello mushroom cap.

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This makes a great snack or pair it with a salad or some other side to make it a meal. This is a very healthy, low carb alternative to a regular pizza and it is very tasty! You can get very creative with this option. Use any sauce you want: marinara, Alfredo, or pesto and it will be delicious. Then top with some low-fat shredded cheese or fresh mozzarella and any toppings you want. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. It is super easy and a great way to satisfy your pizza craving!

3. Pick up some whole wheat flat-bread pizza crusts.

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You can find these premade crusts in stores (the package pictured above is from Target). All you have to do is add your sauce, cheese, and toppings and toss it in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and you’ll have a delicious and crispy thin crust pizza! Use lots of veggies for toppings for added nutrition and tastiness!

4. Choose your toppings wisely.

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You can easily cut calories without sacrificing taste by picking more health-conscious sauces, cheeses, and toppings. Go for a simpler tomato sauce and stay away from sauces that use heavy cream or cheese. Pick up low-fat cheese or fresh mozzarella, which is actually one of the healthier cheese options because it is low in sodium, has no carbs or sugar, and is rich in protein. Fresh mozzarella is also really delicious and melts perfectly! Choose fresh veggies for added healthiness and nutrients.

Fall Fashion For Fellas – The Hoodie

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You remember the moment you laid eyes on as if it were yesterday. You had just received your acceptance letter in the mail, concluding one of the most anxious two to six weeks in your young existence. Elated and beaming with pride, your mother drove you to the college bookstore, furnished you with her credit card, and told you to “pick a few things out”. Alongside the baseball cap with the school’s initials embroidered in Old English and the overpriced binders with the official university seal on the front, you chose this item as well, thus beginning one of your most valuable relationships. To your classmates and teachers it was a just hooded sweatshirt but to you, it was a dauntless declaration of your upcoming future. Once you made it to campus, you were rarely seen without it. You wore it when you assisted in tearing down the goalpost after the “upset of the century”. It was on your back the night you first snuck into the campus bar. It kept you warm as you rode on the back of a wagon at your first sorority hayride. While you relished in its casual side, the effortless way it complemented your jeans and sneakers, you also found it had a fashionable side as well on the day you paired it with an oxford, rep tie and chinos. Through years of dinnertime pizza runs to the student union, tailgates and autumns watching the leaves cascade in the quad, it was a utility player in your wardrobe; always ready for service in a moment’s notice. As you now live your business casual life, listening to Vampire Weekend in your cubicle while daydreaming about a short time that was so long ago, you can’t help but wonder; which girlfriend’s dorm room did you leave it in.

Making Smart Money Decisions

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It’s a well known fact that college students aren’t usually the most financially stable people around. Tuition is expensive and time is short for working full time. Put those two together and you’ve got a recipe for a ramen noodle budget. There are some things you can do to make sure you’re making the best financial decisions for yourself no matter how strapped for cash you may be.

1. Document expenses
Keep track of everything you spend money on, no matter how small the cost may seem. For example, if you spend $3 on coffee every week day, that adds up to $780 per year. Make sure you account for even the smallest expenses or you could come up short in your budget. Which brings me to my next point:

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2. Make a budget
And stick to it. That second part is the hardest but also the most important. Making a plan for your spending and accounting for every dollar is the best way to stay on top of your financing.

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3. Use loans and credit sparingly
Borrow the very minimum amount that you’ll need for school even though you may be offered a higher amount. Talk to your financial aid advisor when you receive your award letter to ask for a smaller amount. Only borrow what you need. Similarly, only use credit cards when you are sure you can pay off the balance at the end of the month. No one wants to graduate with a load of debt.

5 Movies Coming Out This Semester!

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Gone Girl (October 2)

Gone Girl is based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn who also wrote the adapted screenplay. The psychological thriller follows the life of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his missing wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). Why did Amy Dunne go missing? Did Nick kill her? You’ll have to see the movie (or read the book) to find out! The film, directed by David Fincher, also stars Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, and Sela Ward.


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The Judge (October 10)

Directed by David Dobkin, The Judge has been described as a comedy-drama. The film tells the story of a lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) returning home for his mother’s funeral after years of living away from his family. He comes to find out that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), who is a judge in his hometown, is a suspected murderer. Downey Jr.’s character must then represent his father in court when he is put on trial. The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, and Billy Bob Thornton.


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Fury (October 17)

Fury is a war drama set in Nazi Germany during the last month of World War II. The film chronicles Wardaddy, a U.S. Army sergeant, and his five-man crew as they go on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines in a M4A3E8 Sherman tank named Fury. The film stars Brad Pitt as Wardaddy, as well as Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Issacs, and Scott Eastwood.


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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21)

One of the most anticipated films of the year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is based on the first half of Suzanne Collins’ novel Mockingjay from the smash hit series The Hunger Games. Francis Lawrence returns as director after a successful directing job on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, and Jeffrey Wright all return to reprise their roles. The film also stars Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.


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The Interview (December 25)

This comedy centers on TV tabloid host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen). After scoring an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who is a fan of Skylark’s show, they are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Rogen and longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg direct the film, so it is sure to be hilarious! The duo also co-wrote the screenplay with Dan Sterling. The film also stars Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park as Kim Jung-un, Timothy Simons, Charles Rahi Chun, and Rob Lowe (as himself).

How Technology is Changing Entertainment

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When we were kids, watching television programs and movies was less user friendly than it is today. There were too many steps involved. You had to physically go to Blockbuster, or your nearest rental store, to rent a new movie only to find it unavailable because too many people had already taken it out. If you wanted to view a movie on Pay-Per-View, you had to wait for the movie time to be available in order to call and order it. This seems absurd nowadays due to how easy it has become to watch whatever you want, when you want.

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As technology progresses, the internet becomes more than just a place to do research. It becomes a domain for apps, games, movies, books and so much more. We have just merely scratched the surface on the potential of the digital world. The revolutionary movie streaming programs, such as Netflix and Hulu, offer instant gratification for whatever mood you’re in.

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What can attest for the future of digital programming? With the way technology is evolving these days, it would seem that everything will go digital; making DVDs, video game discs, and even paper books obsolete. There’s no way of telling what’s going to happen to these companies that supply us with our entertainment needs today; either they’re doomed or they’re going to embrace the digital age and evolve with it. Only time will tell.

The Wonderfully Creative Abilities of a 3D Printer

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3D printers are not a new concept but they are considered uncommon compared to the everyday printer. Some of us may have never even heard of them. The name, 3D printer, is pretty much self-explanatory. It has the ability to create solid 3D objects by methods of continuously adding layers until the desired shape or object is achieved. How can we make this high tech printer useful for everyday college kids? Let’s take a look.

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Musical Instruments- Guitars, flutes and other instruments can now be made of plastic and surprisingly, I heard they are functional! Music class will never be the same. Now take that plastic guitar and rock out in-between classes.

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Art- Sculptures and other forms of art can be replicated or designed from scratch. Bring your newest creations to your next art class or build upon them by adding paint or other creative touches.

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Science- A truly unique use for a 3D printer would be in any of your science classes. Replica skulls and other bones for research can be made.

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Fashion Design- Even though the objects made are from plastic, that hasn’t stopped anyone from creating new wearable fashions. Shoes, furniture and decorative items have been created using this method.

Dear Pledge – Candidate – New Guy

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I hope this letter finds you well. At this point, your rush week should be a distant memory. Hopefully you signed a bid at your dream house and are starting to get settled in. By the way, did you have a good time at Pref Night? How nifty was it to have a party thrown in your honor even if one of the older brothers had to find a date for you at the last second. Don’t worry though; by spring formal you should be more acquainted with the fairer sex on campus and thus, capable of securing your own date.

At any rate, as you read this letter through blurry eyes, I just wanted to talk to you for a spell about the upcoming weeks. You see young sire, you are entering into the exciting time called the pledge period. Now I understand if that term sounds foreign to you as I am aware that many forward thinking fraternities now refer to this period as “candidacy”. However, make no mistake; despite the terminology, its all the same concept. Your goal is to prove to the elder members that you are worthy to become a full brother and carry on the tradition of the chapter through initiation.

So  lets get the ugliness out of the way early. You have probably heard a good deal about the dreaded “H word”. There is a reason that many houses have gotten away from using the term “pledge”all together; because it is usually associated with the practice of hazing. And while hazing today is far less severe than it was in say your father’s day, there are still a few knucklehead chapters who insist on sustaining these barbaric rituals. You may be asking yourself, “Why do guys subject themselves to this type of embarrassment and ridicule?”In many cases, people let their desire to initiate blind them from commonsense. Don’t let this be you my friend! If asked to do anything you’re not comfortable with or that may cause you harm, walk! No organization is worth losing a limb or worse, your life. Well, maybe the Illuminati, but the hooded figure in the corner just said that the Illuminati doesn’t even exist, so…..

How about we switch gears and talk about what you SHOULD be doing during this period. For me, my pledge period was similar to the College 101 class the university forced me to take. It was a crash introduction course to the chapter and the fraternity as a whole. It is your pledge/candidate/new member educator’s job to teach you the crucial points of the fraternity. These lessons include, but are not limited, to the fraternity motto, history, key members, Greek alphabet, songs, chants and symbols. Your learning initiatives also need to extend to learning about your future brothers as well. Take the time to learn their names, majors, dreams, aspirations and favorite fraternity moments as you’re bound to hear a bounty of epic tellings. Here’s a tip; just as you do in your normal courses, be sure to take notes as there will be quizzes and probably a final right before initiation.

I think I’ll end this particular letter here as I don’t want to ruin this fun time for you. I’ll leave you with the words that were told to be by my pledge master, Mad Dog, all those years ago:

“The main thing to remember here, is that its all about fun. You could be the best pledge in the world by knowing your history, knowing all the brothers and winning the pledge class president position. You could date a girl in each sorority. Hell, you can even literally bleed the colors of the fraternity. But  if you didn’t have fun…was any of it worth it?”

Sincerely,

YOUR esteemed alumnus, JW.

 P.S. Don’t get caught not wearing your pledge pin!

Pumpkin Spice Everything

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‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice! Whether you find it in your latte, candles, or cupcakes, you’ll find something dunked, sprinkled, or drizzled with pumpkin spice. Here are a few ways to pumpkin spice up your life the DIY way!

 1. Pumpkin Spice Whip Dip

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This yummy fall favorite only requires 4 ingredients! The recipe is super simple and easy so get mixing and prepare to be the life of your next tailgate party!

2. Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Never spend five dollars on a latte again with this super tasty DIY pumpkin spice latte! Get all the yummy taste with fewer calories.

3. Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies

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Try these super soft and fluffy pumpkin spice honey cookies that will leave you yearning for haunted hayrides, sweaters, and crunching leaves

4. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

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Start your day off right with pumpkin spice pancakes! This healthy recipe is sure to be a yummy treat for a cool, crisp autumn morning.

How do you get your pumpkin spice fix? Let us know in the comments below!

Cheap Eats

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When faced with the financial burden of college tuition and fees, one must stretch their budget elsewhere. There no getting around paying your college fees or textbooks, but you can stretch a dollar (or dollars) in other ways.

1. Chose meals that have a long shelf life.

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If you dorm, this may be especially useful. You may not always have the time to prepare a meal with fresh ingredients and they may spoil before you find that time. In this case, you risk losing your hard earned money. Meals that have a long shelf life are usually canned good, such as soups, certain fruits, vegetables and beans or prepackaged foods such as pasta, instant oatmeal and rice. Also, they are relatively inexpensive, costing no more than a few dollars for each item

2. Pasta, Pasta, and More Pasta

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Not only can you buy a package of pasta for no more than two dollars but you can make a meal out of it to last two or three days. It also falls under the list of non-perishable foods so there’s no worry of spoil before it’s cooked. Pasta can also give you that much needed energy as its high in carbohydrates. Ramen noodles has become a staple in many dorm rooms due to its versility and cheap price tag. A package can cost no more than 50 cents.

3. Quick Pick Me Ups

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Mothers always tell us to eat our fruits and vegetables and we should always follow their advice for they know best. Certain fruits and vegetables are expensive, especially if you may be searching for organic types. Bananas and apples, the loose variety not the bundles, are relatively cheap, readily available and easily consumed on the go. Just make sure it’s washed before consuming. Celery and carrot sticks in a to-go package is usually no more than 3 dollars.

4. Cheap Foods with a Short Shelf Life

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Keep in mind that the body needs a whole array of nutrients in order to sustain itself. With that being said, some foods may need to be consumed that do not have a long shelf life but will be relatively cheap nonetheless. Eggs for protein and versatility in salads or sandwiches, and fresh leafy greens for antioxidant and immune support such as Spinach, can be found for a few dollars per bundle.