Warning Signs of An Eating Disorder: What to Look For and How to Help

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Taking care to stay fit and healthy is always a good idea. But when the concern of weight gain becomes and obsession, one can develop an eating disorder. Below are a few of the more common eating disorders and their symptoms.

Anorexia nervosa
Anorexia is probably the most well known eating disorder, which is characterized by an obsession with being thin which results in starving yourself.

Symptoms may include:
– refusal to eat
– irritability
– excessive exercise
– abdominal pain
– dry skin
– dehydration
– thin appearance

Binge eating disorder
Quite the opposite of anorexia, binge eating disorders tend to be characterized by extreme over-eating without compensation of over-exercising or vomiting.

Symptoms may include:
– eating past the point of being uncomfortably or painfully full
– frequently eating alone
– feeling that you have no control over your eating habits

Bulimia nervosa
Similar to a binge-eating disorder, bulimia is characterized by binge eating followed by purging through vomiting, laxative use, or over-exercising.

Symptoms may include:
– eating past the point of being uncomfortably or painfully full
– self-induced vomiting
– feeling that you have no control over your eating habits
– damaged teeth
– dehydration
– excessive exercise

How to Help:
If you or a loved one has developed an eating disorder, it can be difficult to accept treatment. Insist on treatment anyway knowing that it is what’s best. Your physician can refer you to a mental health specialist.

Fall Fashion For Fellas – The Knit Tie

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knittieThough it had only been a total of five months, the length from July to November seemed like an eternity. All of the calorie counting, the five mile jogs, the back breaking bootcamp classes; all instrumental in your loss of 40 pounds. Not only did you shed the weight of a 15 foot canoe, you also lost one full inch on your neckline meaning you could finally accomplish the singular fashion goal you’ve pursued for the past year; you could wear a bowtie.

When your neckline was 18 and a half inches, your neck itself was a tad too big for the prep staple and the bow you created by following the How To Tie a Tie app on your iPhone was too small. Now however, you had more than enough slack to obtain the look you were going for. Your giddiness would soon evaporate though, when you attended your chapter’s formal meeting and realized that about 90% of the room had adopted the bowtie as their primary neck wear. You see, bowties used to be a novelty; something that drew eyes when you walked into the room. With preppiness now in vogue however, the bow is as common as the boat shoe.

Continuing the search for your neck’s individuality, you uncovered something interesting on The Tie Bar. Silk, yet not smooth and sleek but knitted and full of character. Not sharp and pointed at the end but squared and unique. Although Jake, the chapter historian may not “get” it, James Dean, Sean Connery and The Beatles sure did as all of these esteemed gentlemen have donned the knit tie. And while the knit tie isn’t something commonly seen in the 2014 quad, knits have their collegiate roots as they were all the craze on Ivy League campuses in the 1960’s; so much so that student athletes at Harvard had unique knit ties to distinguish which team they belonged to.

Think of it as a more fashionable lettermen’s jacket. The knit tie is a utility player on your fashion team. Just as it’s a conversational addition to a causal oxford, cardigan and jean combination, it is also at home with a black suit (Example: Bond. James Bond). The fratty masses may keep the bow tie; the knit is just vintage enough, just Ivy enough, just different enough to work.

Essentials for a Relaxing, Pamper Night!

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With the end of the semester getting closer and closer, you may be a bit stressed. If that’s the case, it’s time to ‘treat yo’ self’ to the relaxing night you deserve. Do it solo or have a group pamper night with friends! Here’s what you’ll need!

  1. Candles

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There’s something about candlelight that is so magical and relaxing. Pick up some candles in scents that you love and put them around your room. You don’t have to light them all at once, so pick one or two scents that compliment each other and put them wherever you like. If you’re in a dorm that doesn’t allow candles, you can get a flameless wax burner for a similar effect.

  1. A Face Mask

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There are so many different face masks out there to choose from, so find one that you think will be good for your skin and smells nice. They have masks for dry skin, breakouts, oily skin, blackheads, stress relief, redness, etc. You name and it probably exists. You’ll feel like you’re getting a facial at a fancy spa, without the hefty price tag!

  1. Scented Lotion

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There’s nothing better than soft skin that smells amazing. There are scented lotions that smell like just about anything you could possibly think of, so find some that you love. A great place to start searching is Bath and Body Works. Their selection is huge and you’re bound to find something you love. If scented lotions aren’t you’re thing or you’re allergic, there are some great, unscented lotions out there so don’t feel like you have to be left out on this one. Find a hypoallergenic, sensitive skin friendly lotion that is really moisturizing and you’ll be goo to go.

  1. Hot Chocolate or Tea

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A hot, delicious beverage is a great addition to your pamper night. You can make your own hot chocolate or tea or pick some up at your favorite café. If you like specialty flavors, like peppermint hot chocolate or chai tea lattes, there are mixes you can buy to make at home—part of the fun is in making it yourself and there’s something ultra relaxing about making your own hot beverage!

  1. Relaxing Music

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Just put on a playlist of your favorite mellow music and you’ll instantly feel relaxed! You can also find some great playlists on Pandora and Spotify if you want some help finding the perfect soundtrack for your pamper night.

  1. A Good Book or Magazines

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Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to get to or revisit your favorite book! If you’re a pop culture junkie pick up some new issues of your favorite magazines and get your celebrity gossip fix!

  1. A Cozy Blanket

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This one is pretty self-explanatory: wrap yourself in your favorite cozy blanket while you drink your hot drink and read your book!

  1. Comfortable PJs

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Comfortable pajamas are an essential here, because pamper nights are all about comfort. Ditch the jeans and let yourself truly relax!

Sticking to Your Guns

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Setting a budget can seem like a daunting task especially when there are so many expenses to keep track of. When you’re a college student on a tight budget, there’s no point in making a budget because you’re already in debt anyway. Right? Not so much. Your finances aren’t completely a lost cause and shouldn’t be put to the back of your mind until graduation. Here are a few tips to set a budget and stick to it.

1. Prioritize
Knowing what is most important to you and your success is the best way to keep your mind focused on your budget. Keep your eye on the prize (graduation) and you will be much less tempted to blow through your tuition savings on that fancy jacket you’ve had your eye on.

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2. Avoid Temptation
When you know you are at the end of your budget rope, stay away from big sales and stores altogether. Odds are you will end up making impulse purchases with money that you really should have used for textbooks instead.

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3. Count every purchase
It’s tempting to count small purchases as freebies when it comes to your budget. A box of mints here, a nail polish there, and before you know it you’ve racked up quite a bill of small purchases that you didn’t account for in your budget.

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4. Ask yourself if you really need it
Even when we have the best intentions, a budget can be ruined with buying things that you just don’t need. Let’s say you need a paintbrush for your art class. You arrive at the art supply store and you see a fancy set that you’re pretty sure Picasso himself recommended. Purchasing such a luxury is a budget blowing move that you could try to justify, but deep down you know that you could have cut easily cut costs by only buying what you truly need.

What tricks do you use to stick to your budget? Let us know in the comments below!

Proud Alumni

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alumni1.tifAs I stood in the dressing room at Brooks Brothers, trying on a new pair of corduroys to usher in the cold season, my phone began to ring. One glance at the prefix that appeared on my caller ID indicated the call was coming from the last school I received a degree from. Intrigued, I answered the phone to find a nervous undergrad with a shaky voice on the other line. “Hello Mr. Wilkerson. We have so many new things going on at the university. Do you have a moment to hear about them?” As I have worked this very job myself, I knew exactly where this call was headed. So as the student spoke of new buildings to be erected and fresh classes being offered, I primed my credit card for the eventual donation. While I’m annoyed by most people who solicit me for money (friends, wife, panhandlers), I felt a sense of honor by giving to my second alma mater, like my ten dollars solidified my standing a successful alumnus.

 Typically, when one reminisces about their undergrad years, its about the social aspects of their time at their institution. Tales of nights of debauchery at the frat house or the trials of dorm life are plentiful. Memories of exes past are the fabric from which coffee house chats are woven. The memories of the actual academic experience, however, are what weigh heaviest when determining the level of involvement one will seek as an alumni.

Did your professors display a passion for their field and by extension, your success in said field? Were the classes you took intellectually challenging and did they craft you into a better thinker? As a student, were you treated as a treasure rather than a burden? Did your school positively change your life and enlighten your future? For myself, the answer to all of these queries was an astounding yes. While my undergrad university supplied many hours of unparalleled entertainment, it was my grad school that gave me the tools needed to excel in my true adult life. It was the power of that particular degree that delivered me into a career filled with numerous opportunities for advancement and growth. So while I still wear my undergrad colors proudly, it is my grad school that I owe my career to.

SNOOZE! What to Cut from Your Morning Routine!

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Are you a snoozer? We all do it, hear the alarm, don’t really wake up, don’t really want to and hit the snooze button. Then, after about 20-30 minutes jump out of bed to realize class is in 10 minutes! What do you do?

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Here is a guide of what to do with how much time you have!

45 MINUTES:
You probably set a couple extra alarms, knowing you’d hit the snooze button – good! Keep doing that. You have time to do the whole morning routine, including a shower! Make sure you have everything you need before you leave early for class. You don’t want to show up 10 minutes early and see you don’t have your notebook or keys!

30 MINUTES:
Now you have two options. Choose between not feeling rushed and not feeling dirty.
Not Feeling Rushed: Skip the shower (if you are normally take a shower in the morning) and get everything else you need together, you can shower tonight. Make sure you’ve got the rest of your morning routine down, teeth brushed, face washed, and clean clothes on. Make the bed if you have an extra 2 minutes before you need to leave. You’ll appreciate it when you get back home!
Not Feeling Dirty: Brush your teeth and shower quickly. Think about what clothes you want to wear before you jump out. Make sure you have everything you need for class. Oh! Don’t forget to grab that breakfast bar before you leave!

15 MINUTES:
Really cutting it for time, eh? You obviously have already decided not to shower (unless you are a being of two minute showers), so head straight for the toothbrush and deodorant. Grab a set of, preferably clean, clothes. Make sure you have a notebook, a pen, your phone and your keys. Then, worry about anything else you might need for class. Head out when you can.

10 MINUTES:
Wow, you’re really living on the edge! This routine is the same as the 15 minutes, but forget about anything else you might need for class. I might stop and grab a coffee, so that you seem awake in class.

5 MINUTES:
GET OUT OF BED! Skip the clothes. College kids can go to class in PJs, right? Make sure your decent though and grab what you need for class. I might also grab some food – to give the appearance of wakefulness.

3 Cancelled-Too-Soon TV Shows for Your Next Netflix Binge

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1. Freaks and Geeks

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This Judd Apatow creation is a cult classic comedy from 1999. The show only lasted one season (18 episodes) and then it was tragically cancelled! The show was the start to many stellar careers. The cast was made up of some of your favorite actors including James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr. Set in a high school in Michigan in the 1980’s, the show mixed comedy with high school drama seamlessly and was a truly incredible, however short-lived, series. Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Joe Flaherty, Becky Ann Baker, Busy Phillips, and Samm Levine round out the cast. (Available on Netflix)

2. Undeclared

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Another Judd Apatow creation that came after Freaks and Geeks, this comedy left high school behind and went straight into college. This show also only lasted one season with 17 episodes completing the series. The show focuses on a small group of college freshmen in the early 2000s (when the show first aired). The show starred Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam, Carla Gallo, Monica Keena, Loudon Wainwright III, and Timm Sharp. Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, Amy Poehler, and Busy Phillips also make multiple appearances. Even the guest stars list is impressive. It includes Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Simon Helberg, Felicia Day, Martin Starr, Tom Welling, and Fred Willard to name a few. (Available on Netflix)

3. Arrested Development

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Arrested Development actually lasted 3 seasons in its original run before returning for a 4th and final season exclusively on Netflix on May 26, 2013, 7 years after the ending of its 3rd season. This comedy starred Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Wil Arnett, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter, David Cross, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, and Jeffrey Tambor. The cast makes up the dysfunctional, formerly wealthy Bluth family whose patriarch (played by Tambor) is in prison for fraud. His son, Michael (Jason Bateman) takes over the family business and, as a result, the family. The hilarious sitcom falls under the category known as “cinema verité” which is a documentary-similar style—think Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Recreation, etc. (Available on Netflix)

Picking Up a Healthy Habit

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With a much busier schedule and living away from home, staying healthy in college can be more difficult. With just a little extra work, however, it can be done. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make staying healthy easier:

1. Get enough sleep

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When you’re bogged down with class work, meetings, concerts, and athletic activities, it can be hard to catch your full eight hours. Make it a priority to get as much high quality sleep as possible. Stay off of your phone and social media before bedtime so you won’t be tempted to stay up watching cat videos for hours.

2. Watch what you eat

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When you’ve got a million other things to do, it can be tempting to order pizza every night instead of eating real food for dinner. Be sure to stock your fridge with food to make quick healthy meals so you’ll be less tempted to order take out.

3. Keep stress to a minimum

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It’s difficult to live a stress free life as a college student, but you can keep your stress level under control by managing your time wisely and making sure you aren’t making more commitments than you can handle.

4. Stay active

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If you can’t block off a large amount of time to dedicate to working out, find ways throughout your day to be active. Take a break while studying and do a few jumping jacks in your dorm room. Grab a friend and jog around campus, or take a quick trip to the gym.

What moves do you make to stay healthy in college? Let us know in the comments below!

In case of emergency, press the button.

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One question that I’m regularly asked by high school seniors seeking my guidance in the college search is about campus safety. Just how safe is campus? Are the security guards armed? Wasn’t someone stabbed on campus last week? All valid questions as the state of campus security seems to be the 10 ton elephant sitting on the brain of many students deciding where to spend their next four years. The safety concerns don’t end with the undergrad set however. My grad school best friend not only got accepted into a PhD program, but gained admittance to her top school. To sweeten the pot, said school was offering her full financial assistance; a pretty sweet deal until you hear the story about the student that was recently hit in the face with a brick and robbed while in the quad. Despite the amazing opportunity, my friend chose her safety first and declined the offer.

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While I recall the typical car break-ins in my younger days, it seems as if the crimes of today are of a much more violent variety. This year, my campus has seen at least one strong armed robbery, the aforementioned stabbing, a hand full of armed robberies with various arsenal and at least robbing at gunpoint which resulted in the robber being shot as his would be victim drew his own weapon and shot first. Perhaps this is all a part of attending a school deep in a metropolitan area. Still, with finals, pledge semester and a dwindling meal plan, students already have enough on their plates without having to worry about being accosted on the way to the library.

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Staying safe on campus isn’t necessarily a difficult task. As a matter of fact, our parents have been preparing us with little annoying tidbits to prevent our abduction while on the way to the Student U since we were knee high to a grasshopper. Does the phrase “Stranger Danger” sound familiar? Just as we were warned to be on the lookout for middle aged men dressed as clowns in sliding door vans, offering candy as kids, keeping an eye out for strange characters on your way to your car after your late class is equally helpful. Remember back when you were told that “police officers are your friends and they want to help you?” Well they still do, except now they’re called “campus security” and the type of help they are offering comes in the form of an around the clock, free escort service. Lastly, who could forget the all of those grade school field trips spent with your accountabiibuddy? In 3rd grade you kept each other from getting lost in the museum, but in junior year they could very well make a would be aggressor on the way back from a party think twice.

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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!!