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

Summertime image source

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.

Intern image source

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.

Travel image source

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?

Summer Job images source

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.

Summer Classesimage source

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.

Relaximage source

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!

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.


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.


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.



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!

13 Best Halloween Reads of the Season

kill shot coverIf you’re anything like the typical college student, you LOVE Halloween! There is nothing better than dressing up and celebrating with friends. But Halloween is more than just costumes and pumpkin carving. This is the best time of year to let yourself get caught up in a spooky, suspense filled novel that will get you in the Halloween spirit. Here are a few of our favorite Halloween reads that you can find right here on Knetbooks.com.

1. Hidden Order by Brad Thor: Well known author Brad Thor knew what he was doing when he wrote this thriller. This book is great for those who love action and suspense.

2. The Whispers by John Connolly: A thriller from the Charlie Parker series, this text will have readers on the edge of their seat reading about underground smuggling operations, drugs and powerful ancient evil.

3. Extinction by Mark Alpert: Soldier-turned-scientist Jim Pierce must find his daughter who has gone MIA because she was able to crack a serious military secret and is being hunted by a Chinese assassin.

4. Black List by Brad Thor: The black list is a guarded list only seen by the president and his secret team of advisers. When your name is on it, you don’t come off until you’re dead. Scot Horvath, counterterrorism operative, must find out who has added his name to the list and have it removed before he gets killed.

5. Kill Shot by Vince Flynn: This is one you have to read for yourself. This intense thriller details the adventure of CIA hit man Mitch Rapp who is being targeted for taking out some of the most dangers criminals in France.

cemetery lake6. The Hanging by Soren and Lotte Hammer: This suspense filled novel details the mystery of several local murders that turn a small town into a sinister, secretive place.

7. Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo: What appears to be a tragic car accident turns into a potentially much more sinister, targeted hit of an Amish deacon and his three children.

8. Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave: This thriller is not your everyday “flawed hero” story. Full of mystery and surprises, Cemetery Lake will keep you guessing the whole time you’re reading.

9. A Simple Act of Violence by R.J. Ellory: Ellory’s best serial killer novel will keep readers enthralled in the mystery of several Washington D.C. murders.

10. Safe House by Chris Ewan: This thriller shows that even the closest knit communities can hide dangerous secrets.

11. Blood Game by David Lyons: Federal Judge Jock Boucher has two men’s deaths on his hands and has found himself in mortal danger. This suspense filled thriller will not disappoint.

12. The Killing Hour by Paul Cleve: Once you pick up this suspenseful thriller you won’t be able to put it down. Filled with murder, romance and mystery, this novel is one of our favorites.

13. The Survivors Club by Lisa Garden: Three women who were able to overcome being victims by helping to catch the man who changed their live forever, are now suspects in his vicious murder. This suspense filled book will keep you guessing the whole time you read it.

The scariest read of all? Your college textbooks! Take the terror out of ordering books when you find great deals and rent your books from Knetbooks.com I hope this list helped you to find the perfect read to fit your frightful fancy. Have any other suggestions of thrilling, suspense filled Halloween reads you think others might like?

Summer Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

If you’re tired of explosions, superheroes, and hectic action in your summer movies, then head down to your local independent theater and see The Place Beyond the Pines.

The Place Beyond the Pines

The film stars Ryan Gosling as Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stuntman who learns that he has a son with a former girlfriend named Romina (Eva Mendes). Without a way to provide for the child, Luke concocts a plan to rob banks on his motorcycle. Bradley Cooper plays Avery Cross, a police officer pursuing Luke. As the story unfolds, the paths of these two men cross in more ways than one.

This is the second collaboration between Gosling and writer/director Derek Cianfrance, their first being the critically acclaimed Blue Valentine. Cianfrance makes his presence felt in both the script and onscreen; his writing is broad but focused, his direction realistic yet captivating. I particularly enjoyed the setting of Schenectady, New York, partly because I live about thirty minutes from there. It’s a sort of sleepy, wooded area that is captured brilliantly and fits perfectly within the story.

The Place Beyond the Pines features some excellent performances from a well-cast group of actors and actresses. Gosling in particular shines as stuntman turned bank- robber Luke Glanton. He is at first menacing with his imposing physique and numerous tattoos, yet loving and soft-spoken in his scenes with Mendes and his infant son. Newcomers Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen also provide excellent support, as do Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper.

That said, the script is definitely the strongest part of the film. This isn’t a traditional, formulaic Hollywood plot. Rather, it is a realistic story told over years and generations. My friend described the plot as “Shakespearean,” and I think this description fits well. You might think you know where it’s going, but trust me, you’ll be surprised. In many ways the film is a tragedy, inspecting what happens when otherwise good people reach too high. And yet I think that there is a certain hopefulness that runs alongside with the tragedy; the idea that even if we make mistakes in life, there is a chance of redemption–if not for us, then for those who come after.

No, this is not a pulse-pounding action thriller with bullets and bodies flying left and right. There aren’t any super powers or incredible special-effects. The Place Beyond the Pines is an sombre, honest study in family and legacy. If you’re looking for a break from the summer blockbuster, start here.

Hollywood News: Separating Fact from Fiction

While peering into the lives of people in far off, almost surreal places and tuning in to the expressive narration of a sharply dressed news anchor, we’re all hopelessly entranced by a troubling modern phenomenon. We don’t necessarily have a keen eye for the important – we have a thirst for the dramatic. With the click of a button, I now expect to be warmly greeted by the mesmerizing smile of one of CNN’s absurdly attractive spokespeople. The top story – most likely a shamelessly dramatized natural disaster or grisly crime. Hour after hour, the rest of the world’s events are banished to thin, barely readable captions running along the very bottom of our screens.

Interviews with carefully chosen victims (perhaps others’ accounts aren’t as “gripping”), stories of amazing escapes, and edited, slow-motion clips of chaos absorb the attention of America’s top news network for days on end, until the “hype” subsides. Grave events are suddenly made to look like a box-office hit – a source of shock and entertainment. A cheapening of reality inevitably occurs. People’s privacy and dignity are rarely preserved in times of such televised disasters.

News NetworksAs we know, the media is anything but objective. Its status as a source of information is often confounded by its distasteful handling of stories that are especially sensitive. At a point, it becomes unclear whether viewers are empathetic or simply fascinated by cataclysmic events. How is it that we so often complain of political bias in the news, but we remain ignorant of the kinks in the very fabric of Western media culture? We don’t know any better. From early childhood, we have been conditioned this way. Through the media’s eye, we gain a glimpse of Hollywood – a world based on entertainment value.

No matter our disposition, those of us who grace buzzing college campuses across the United States have the opportunity to alter the social climate. When we slip out of the uncomfortable heat of May and shed the cocoon of the cap and gown, we take on the role of professionals – independent parts of a complex mechanism. We have to gain awareness of our tendencies and occasionally pose some questions. Ignorance is a threat to our generation. Our second life – the one behind the screen – is a crucial part of modern self-discovery.

Part 1: Top 15 College Uniforms

There are hundreds upon thousands of colleges and universities that participate in college football, but right here, I will list some of the top uniforms in the game today. There have been many new uniforms released within the past year. Many of them are produced by Nike. Nike Pro Combat jerseys and they certainly have a new style and look awesome. Adidas and other major brands have produced many college uniforms as well. This is part one of just a 2 part series where I will list teams 15-8. 

15). Rutgers University

Rutgers new Nike Pro Combat jerseys look great. Nike utilized the black, red, and white color scheme that Rutgers has always had but in a new way. They have three new Nike jerseys that consist of all black, all red, and all white. These uniforms look great compared to their older jerseys which seemed a little outdated.

14). Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys also have these new Nike Pro Combat jerseys. These jerseys have a more metallic jersey but again, Nike has done a great job with the futuristic look. A very metallic look with the silver and burnt orange.

13). Wisconsin Badgers

Adidas produces the Badgers newest uniforms. There is just a flat “W” on the front of the jersey along with the same “W” on the helmet in red. I think the style is very sharp and that’s what stands out on these red and white jerseys. One of their uniforms is all red with a black helmet which looks great.

12). Wyoming

Wyoming uses an awesome camouflage in their newest jerseys. They incorporate the camouflage in the majority of the shoulder pad area. Yellow, blue and grey camo along the shoulder pads along with all white jerseys is a really cool look.

11). University of Missouri

Nike is the producer of these jerseys. Something that stands out in these is the large helmet decal/logo. The large yellow tiger on the black helmet really stands out and it makes the entire uniform.

10). Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines are a team with classic jerseys; very similar to a team that I will name in part two of this series so there wasn’t much changing. What changed was again, the sharpness of these jerseys. The navy blue and yellow will forever remain the colors of Michigan, and this is the reason these classic jerseys rank number 10.

9). Utah State

Utah States newest uniforms are one of my favorites. They also went with the Nike Pro Combat uniforms like many other college teams have. Navy blue, white, and grey uniforms are also hung in their locker rooms. The navy blue jerseys are my favorite, along with the navy blue helmet. Nike seems to have done a great job with every college they have been a part of.

8). West Virginia

West Virginia made huge changes to their jerseys for this 2012 college football season. These jerseys are an all grey uniform with blue stripes. Like every team they stuck with their traditions colors but added a lot of style into these new jerseys. Not only do they have the grey uniforms but they are also equipped with blue, yellow, and white uniforms as well.

These listed are a few of the best uniforms in my opinion in college football for the 2012 season. I just ranked teams 15-8, and will have teams 7-1 in Part 2 of this piece. Stay tuned!