Author: Alexandria Ramos

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.

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!

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!

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.

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!

Social Media Done Right

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When you’re feeling #bored, many of us gravitate towards social networks to fill time. With the aid of numerous iDevices, your social networks are never far away. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are fun and easy ways to stay updated on what’s going on with your family and friends (especially once everyone has returned to their respective campuses!), share important events, and even advertise. However, with great technology comes great responsibility and it’s easy to step over the line when it comes to social media. When in doubt, follow a few ground rules to make sure you’re not over-sharing.

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1. Never share personal information

This one is a bit of a no brainer, but it needs to be said. Every now and then an overzealous recent grad will receive their first real paycheck and post a picture of it to their Facebook page. Hashtag face-slap. Anything that has your account number and routing number (aka checks) on it can be used to hack into your bank account. Other tidbits of information that should never be shared are pictures of your driver’s license, credit cards, home address, phone number; anything that can be used against you.

Online life concept. Business Woman looking upwards while workin

2. The internet is forever

Once you post something, just remember that you can never “un-post” it. Sure, you can delete a tweet or an image on Instagram or even that Facebook status where you described your boss solely with expletives. But in this age of information, it’s all too easy to screenshot or save any post. So even if you think it’s deleted from cyberspace, anyone could still have proof it existed.

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3. Grandma-proof your posts

As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t be comfortable with your grandmother seeing what you are posting, you might want to think twice before hitting that “post” button. This certainly narrows the field of acceptable posts quite a bit, but just remember that future employers, your professors, college admissions offices, and quite possibly your grandmother will see what you say on social media. Don’t give Nana a heart attack. Don’t be that grandchild.

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4. If you can’t say anything nice…

Just don’t say anything at all. What are we: five year olds or college students? Judging by some of the things we say on social media, it’s hard to tell. We are all old enough to be able to mediate ourselves and learn to respect the opinions and viewpoints of others of others, and with the exception of hate speech, there is nothing wrong with voicing our opinions as well.

 What do you think? Are we sharing too much on our social networking sites? Share you thoughts in the comments below!

Late Nights, Early Mornings, Less Sleep

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Between early morning paper writing and late night study sessions, a good night’s sleep often comes as an afterthought to many college students. Before you grab that energy drink or espresso to pull another all-nighter, take the consequences into consideration.

 1. Cognitive and Memory Problems

Don’t let all your studying go to waste by missing out on sleep! Lack of sleep has been linked to memory problems and difficulty with problem solving. These issues can be permanent and brain deterioration can occur if sleep deprivation is long term.

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image source: wisegeek.com

2. Pre-Mature Aging

Those dark under-eye circles you get after pulling an all-nighter are doing more damage than you may think. Human growth hormone, which is responsible for strengthening skin, bones, and muscles, is produced during slow-wave sleep. If you never reach this form of deep sleep, your body has less of a chance to produce this hormone.  Lack of sleep also causes your body to increase production of cortisol: a hormone that breaks down collagen. This causes skin to lose its elasticity.

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image source: healthcaretips.co

2. Weight Gain

Your hormones also get thrown off kilter when you don’t get enough shut-eye. Production of the hunger hormone ghrelin is increased when you get less than six hours of sleep causing you to have a larger appetite than normal.

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image source: healthbeautyou.com

 3. Heart Problems

Lack of sleep has also been linked to several other heart problems such as irregular heartbeat, heart disease, and high blood pressure as well as diabetes and stroke.

Love

image source: medclient.com

While the occasional late night is sometimes unavoidable, proper time management could help you add on a few more precious minutes (or hours) of sleep. How do you make sure you get a good night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources:

 Feature, Camille. “10 Surprising Effects of Lack of Sleep.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss>.

 Klein, Sarah. “Sleep Deprivation Effects: 8 Scary Side Effects Of Too Little Shut-Eye.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 6 Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Aug. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/scary-sleep-deprivation-effects_n_2807026.html>.

Avoid Your Comfort Zone!

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College is a time for exploration and enlightenment. High school was fun, but
there will be many more opportunities to explore things that you may not have ever
considered before.
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Take an interesting elective class: Use electives as a way to explore subjects that you
may not have been exposed to within your major. Try a science class if you’re a
humanities major. If your major is in the liberal arts, try out a math class. Who
knows? You might even find a field you like even better than your current major!

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Explore a new extra curricular activity: If you are normally drawn to the arts, try a
new sport! Intramurals are a great way to try out a sport without the stress or
commitment of playing on a college team. Similarly, if you’re usually athletic, try out
something artsy! If you’re not quite ready to hit the stage, many school productions
always need help backstage with painting sets, props, etc.

Getting out of your comfort zone will allow you to make new friends, meet different
kinds of people with different viewpoints, find new things to do, and go places
you’ve never been!

How do you stay out of your comfort zone? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Ways to Show Love to the Earth This Summer

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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

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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!