Entertainment

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!

The One Band You Need to See Live This Summer: DMB

Dave Matthews Bandsuntimes.com

With the spring semester quickly progressing, college kids everywhere are scurrying to make summer plans. Some travel, while others rent beach houses or relax at home. But personally, I like to go see live music. There’s no question about it: summer time is concert season. The warm weather makes for a comfortable outdoor experience to listen to some of my favorite bands. Yet, one band stands out far above the rest, and that’s the Dave Matthews Band.

I’ve seen DMB live ten times thus far, and I’ve never left a show disappointed. The environment at every show is electric, regardless of the venue, but summer shows are always the best. The lawn tends to be filled with college-aged kids looking for nothing but a good time. Once Dave Matthews gets on stage, the place simply erupts. Before the band even plays a single note, you just get the feeling that you’re about to see something special. And you always do.

DMBgorgeamphitheatre.net

For a band that’s played approximately 2,000 concerts over the course of about two decades, the energy of each performance is unbelievable. From Carter Beauford, the drummer, to Boyd Tinsley, the violinist, each member goes all out every night. Dave Matthews’ eccentric personality shines through in every performance, as he takes frequent breaks to talk to the crowd and thank them for coming, even sharing a story or two.

As a self-proclaimed Dave Matthews fanatic, the joy I get at these shows is hard to put into words. Yet, people who don’t even listen to the band come to the concerts and have a great time. The atmosphere and the music itself are perfect for any warm summer night. So if you’ve never experienced it, the one band you need to see live this summer: DMB.

Dave Matthews Banddiffuser.fm

 

 

Top 3 Must Watch Watched Netflix Shows

I caught you. I know your dirty little secret.  It’s okay that you’re watching Netflix instead of studying like you’re supposed to be. Hey it’s cool, I’m not judging. I, myself have procrastinated for hours with the help of Netflix. So, today I decided to share with you my top 3 most watched Netflix shows.

Netflixwww.google.com

1. New Girl- I love Zooey Deschanel’s quirky charm so it’s natural New Girl is one of my favorite TV shows. New Girl is about a down-on-her-luck school teacher, Jessica Day, who moved in with three male strangers after she caught her boyfriend cheating on her. Each episode focuses on the growing relationship between the 4 roommates and the hilarious situations they somehow manage to get tangled in. If you love quirky and corny jokes then this is the show for you!

New Girlwww.tvrage.com

2.  Mad Men- Okay, I admit it…I am currently counting down the days till the season 7 premier of Mad Men on April 11th. I can’t help it, I’m addicted. Mad Men is an AMC original series about a Top New York advertising company in the 1960′s. It follows the lives of both the men and women who work in the office. This series is filled to the brim with office scandals, heartbreak, 60’s fashion and extraordinary pick up lines. If you love a good love pentagon then make sure you check this show out.

Mad Menwww.epicdash.com

3. Sherlock- If you’re attracted to chiseled cheek bones then you will definitely love starring at Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s Sherlock. The modern adaption puts you side by side with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they scramble to solve mysteries. Each episode is 2 hours long and full of clever, extremely witty and surprising endings. Be careful, you’ll get hooked. Goodbye GPA, Hellloooo Benedict.

Sherlockwww.goolge.com

 

Beating Winter Break Boredom with Books

reading by fireFor most students, fall semester is coming to a close and winter break is upon us. While this time of year is packed full of gearing up for next semester and getting ready for the holidays, sometimes we need to take time for ourselves and relax. For many students, that means curling up with a hot beverage and immersing themselves in a good book. If you’re one of these people, try these awesome books this winter break:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles. This is a coming-of-age story about two boys in prep school who become best friends. While building their friendship, there is a lot of competition in athletics, academics and even friendship. With competition comes a competitive attitude, and it sets up the conflict of the story. This is Knowles’s best-known work, and has won several awards.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. First written in 2006, the story is a moving tale about the power of reading in Nazi Germany. When foster child Liesel and her brother are on their way to a foster home, her brother dies and Liesel keeps a book to remind herself of him. There’s a catch, however. She doesn’t know how to read. Her foster father teaches her how, and after a book burning ceremony, Liesel starts “collecting” books. Then everyone’s life changes when they start hiding a Jew from the Nazis. The power of reading binds fugitive Max and Liesel together.

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht. Set in the Balkan region of Europe, a young doctor recalls her relationship with her grandfather and the stories he shared with her. It’s aptly named for the story he tells her of a deaf and mute girl from his village, who befriended a stripped zoo escapee. While the main storyline is about the Balkan wars and how doctors dealt with them, it’s also about a woman who, no matter how old she is, can always remember her grandpa.

Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck. This is the first book in a four-book series. High school student Kelsey Hayes gets a part-time job at a circus in town, where she lays eyes on a beautiful white tiger named Ren, one of the performing animals. She’s in for a surprise, however, when Ren shows that he’s actually an Indian prince under a curse. Along with her tiger guide, Kelsey risks everything to break the ancient prophecy. Can she do it?

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter. This too is the first book in a series known as Shadow Falls. Born at Midnight is about a young girl named Kylie Galen, who ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result, she gets shipped off to a troubled teens camp. In reality, though, the camp is full of supernatural beings. Add boys into the mix, and Kylie’s life becomes anything but normal. Can she figure out where she fits in, and if she’s part of this group too?

Have a recommendation of your own, or an opinion on one of these books? Let us know in the comments below!

The Top Apps No College Student Should Live Without

app

Our generation has time and time again been labeled as technology obsessed young adults. Our elders often scold us for always being on our phones and tablets. We are constantly criticized for not paying attention and spending too much time downloading the newest apps or creating a profile on some hip, new social media site. However, over 70% of high school graduates in 2012 enrolled in a college or university, and more of us than ever are actually graduating college and going into a high paying career field. Say what you want, baby boomer generation, but in my opinion, our generation isn’t doing so bad. Although technology often gets a bad rep, for the modern day college student, it is a useful resource that can make all of our lives MUCH easier. Check out these top rated apps that every college student should have.

Quizlet: It’s no secret that no matter how early you start studying, you’ll still end up waking up at the crack of dawn the morning before a test wishing you had studied more. The Quizlet app allows students to access flashcards and many other study tools from their phones that they can use for test preparation on the go.

My Fitness Pal: Fight off the freshman 15 with this handy application. Track calorie intake, exercise times and even receive support from other users trying to lose or maintain their weight.

Mobile Banking: This is a big one for us college students. If your bank has a mobile app, make sure you have it! I have the PNC Virtual Wallet app and I would be completely lost without it. You can transfer money between your accounts, check your balance in real time and even get quick cash from mom and dad!

Mixologist: Aka free bartending classes. This app has unlimited drink recipes in various categories that will liven up any party. My personal favorites? The low calorie and holiday drinks categories.

GroupMe: To those without iPhones, this app is a life saver. Before I got the 5s, I was a droid user and hated when I would get added to an iPhone created group message. They came to me in separate, annoying tests that drove me crazy! With GroupMe, you can stay in the group text loop without needing an iPhone and without wanting to pull out your hair. It’s also great for group projects or to talk to more than 10 people at once. My sorority pledge class has one to help us all stay in the loop!

Moocho: This fairly new app is gaining popularity quickly among the college scene. Moocho is made specifically for saving college students time and money.

Groupon: Whether you’re looking for a cheap spring break getaway or the best deal on a massage, the Groupon app is tailored around saving you money on your favorite products and services.

I personally have each of these apps and don’t know how I survived before them. Know of any more awesome apps that college students shouldn’t be living without? Let us know in the comments section below.

3 Tips to Surviving Boring College Classes

boring college classes
It’s true, some college classes are just extremely BORING. You could be a writing major in a biology class, or vice versa. You find it hard to pay attention, even more so if it is an afternoon class. You look out the window, think about what you’ll have for dinner, or start to daydream about the guy you met Friday night. While you’re distracted, however, you could be missing important information that will make or break your grade! Use these three simple suggestions to get the most out of your class time:


Take a small snack and a drink with you to class
. Unless your instructor tells you otherwise or you’re in a computer lab and those are the rules, you’re allowed to bring a small snack and a drink with you to class. Have a favorite cereal bar? Pack it in your bag. Also, invest in a thermos or a cup that can keep your liquids cold, like a Tervis. This allows you to keep your mind focused instead of letting thirst and hunger distract you.

Sit in the front. You’ve heard it a million times, but it is totally true. Studies have shown that people who sit in the front and middle rows of a classroom learn the most because they are more likely to stay focused. Sitting in the back causes too many distractions, and if you are in a big classroom, there is a chance you could sleep or end up people watching. Cut out this extra distraction and aim for the front of the class.

Get plenty of sleep. That means avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine late in the day. Also, limit your intake of electronic consumption, meaning limit your television, internet, or gaming time.  Shut everything down, including your body, and get a good night’s rest.

Have any other suggestions for fellow victims of the dreadful boring college classes? Let us know in the comment section below!

Having Fun Without Going to College Parties

college party

If you watch any television show or movie about college, they always portray it the same way: students go away to school and do nothing but party and drink all day and all night. Although there will be college parties, you don’t have to go to them just to be apart of the college social scene. Here are some tips for keeping yourself busy away from all the partying:

Join or create a club.
Every college campus has several student organizations you can join, or if there aren’t any you like, create one! You’ll be surprised by how much you have in common with people. If you build it, they will come, and the same goes for joining an organization. It looks good on resumes and it keeps you busy. It’s a win-win!

Create a study group.
Here’s a secret: you don’t just have to study with your “study group”! Invite your group over for a movie night, or go out to a restaurant and bond. Going to college is a chance to form lasting friendships with new people. Experience it!

Stay home.
Who says you even have to go out? Stay in and read a book you’ve been meaning to read, or catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite shows. Everyone needs some down time every once in a while. This is the perfect excuse!

Attend campus events.
Although it may seem like everyone but you is going to college parties, this really isn’t the case! You would be surprised how many people like to have fun the good ole fashioned way. Almost every campus has sober events throughout the week you can go to and meet people. Don’t be afraid to go to on campus concerts, free movies or game nights in order to find a social scene with your same interests.

Do these tips help you? Have any others for us? Let us know in the comments below!

Freshmen Year ‘Don’t Miss’ Campus Events

Every year at every university there are various campus events that no freshman should miss out on. For any incoming freshmen wondering what to do with their time, here’s a list of some great events that you need to see for yourself:
waterballoon fight
Homecoming Football Game: I’m using the term homecoming lightly here. Some schools have special high turnouts for the very first football game of the school year, while others focus more on their homecoming game later in the semester. At my University, a huge blue and yellow parade of freshmen traditionally marches across the campus all the way to the stadium for the first game of the year. The phenomenon is not one to miss, and especially not one to miss being a part of!
Fall Semester Concert: For some students, this might be their first concert all together, but whether it’s your first, or hundredth, I highly recommend going to your school’s fall show, no matter who the performer is. Go with a group of friends, relax and have fun!
Club Fair: For many schools, there will only be one of these a year, so don’t miss out! Even if you don’t think you have any interest in campus organizations at all, you might find one, or a dozen, that you’ve never heard of before and want to try. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you sign up for a club at the fair, you are not committed. If you’re even remotely interested in the concept of an organization or its cause, just go to its first meeting, and find out for yourself.
Syllabus Week: Unfortunately, this isn’t a fun occasion, but don’t let any upperclassmen convince you this first week doesn’t matter for classes. Many professors will begin work the first week of class, and you may even start learning new material. Don’t skip this!
Any events specifically for freshmen: There’s a very wide variety of these little get-togethers, and yes, some of them may be boring. However, most are not. They offer a great chance for you to start getting to know your classmates early, so don’t miss out!

College schedules vary greatly, so check out your university’s website to see what is happening on campus! Nothing fun ever happened to the guy who stayed home every day, and you’ll always remember your freshman year, so start making some good memories! For other freshman year must haves don’t forget to check out our Quick List here. Know of any unique or interesting events hosted by your school? Tell us about them below in our comments section.

Knetbooks Kickstart Sweepstakes!

Looking forward to a new semester? Or maybe you shudder at the thought of buckling down once again for a year full of textbooks and all-nighters. Either way, knetbooks wants to help you kickstart your school year by giving away 15 daily prizes in our Kickstart Sweepstakes! Whether you need a coffee break or just some new music in the background, we are here to help you adjust. We will select one winner each day from July 30-August 13 to win a $25 gift card of your choice, from the following companies.  To enter the sweepstakes visit the knetbooks Facebook page, or simply follow the link below. And as always, visit knetbooks.com for the best deals on college textbook rentals along with FREE shipping on every order!

Kickstart Sweepstakes Blog