Summer

Savoring Summer

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Summer

Now that I’ll be a senior in college this year, I look back and realize exactly how precious this time of the year really was. Instead of really taking the time to enjoy my summers, I complained about how hot it was and shut myself in the house indefinitely. Now, I’m here trying to make up for all those squandered days and nights by doing this list of things I’ve found to be effective when trying to savor summer.

Grab a bunch of friends and do something out of your comfort zone.

                     Do something different! If everyone in the group is out of their comfort zone, you’ll all have to rely on each other to make the experience what it is. I’m currently planning a picnic, and looking up cabin rentals and laser tag specials as possible activities for my friends and I!

Grab lunch from different places around town.

Try not to eat at fast food places. You’ll never know what your local town offers if you don’t step out and try. My best friend and I are currently doing this and have been opened to a world of healthy, cheap foodie gems.

GO OUT.

A lot of us can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of “summer jobs”, but when you look back on your summers when you’re older, you’ll be wishing you did a little more of this and a little more of that on the dance floor when you had the chance.

Pool, pool, pool.

It’s hot. Why not? Grab a bunch of friends, tap into your younger days with pool noodles and goggles, and head down Splishy Splashy Way.

Gym.

  I know, I know. You’re like whaaat? While this may seem like an unconventional summer idea, this the only time you’re away from the stress of school that’s usually the cause of added weight gain. Why not try to get your body right before the school year? From personal experience, working out this summer has helped me gain a new sense of confidence… AND I can walk longer distances without sweating out of my shirt which is a total plus.

Stack that paper.

  Now’s the time to really get those hours in (or build up your resume), so you can ball out during the school year without worry!

Listen: I could give you all the ideas in the world, but it’s up to YOU to make your summer! For some of us (like myself) this is the last summer until true adulthood. This may even be your last summer away from your high school friends. It’s time to own the summer before school, or responsibility, snatches it away!

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!

Must Accomplish Memorial Day Activities

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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

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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

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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!

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

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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

 

 

Real World Experience: Why You Should Intern In College

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College may be little more than a four-year party to some, but for many it’s a time to learn new things, meet new people, and live independently. Students tend to hold their undergraduate years in such high esteem that they often end up calling them the best four years of their lives. Yet upon graduation, many still feel surprisingly ill prepared to venture out into the “real world”. Even those students who graduate with a high GPA can feel overwhelmed by the pressures of the professional world, making them wonder if their academic accomplishments were ever worthwhile.

 If you’re looking for a manual on how to succeed in the real world, you have come to the wrong place. However, here’s one valuable piece of advice that may alleviate some stress once you graduate: find an internship.

Intern

  Interning in college is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your future.  An internship can open up a variety of networking opportunities and can provide you with valuable work experience in your intended field. It may also help you in determining whether the field you’ve chosen is right for you. Sure, the typical life of an intern may not be the professional life you imagined, but for what it’s worth, you could be taking a small step towards landing the job of your dreams.

Getting a taste of the real world while you’re still in school may seriously pay off in the long run.

Whether it’s mastering a certain skill, learning how to interact with coworkers, or finding ways to score points with your boss, an internship is a great way to break into the occupation of your choice without dealing with the crippling pressure of a year-round job. As college students, our summer and winter breaks provide great opportunities to work full-time. While you may be tempted to sit at home and lounge around during your time off, do yourself a favor and go find an internship. You’ll be glad you did it.

Beat the Heat This Summer

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beat the heat

Summer time is here again and we all know what that means: the heat and humidity are here too. Let’s face it, no one likes to be sticky and sweaty during their summer. That is what finals are for! Before you let the heat and humidity get to you, though, try these easy, cost-effective solutions to cool off:

Wear light colors. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it does not just mean light in the color. It means light in weight as well. Linens and cotton are perfect for this kind of weather!

Invest in cooling bands. You have seen athletes from football, tennis, even the summer Olympics with towels draped around their necks trying to cool off. Lowe’s sells an inexpensive towel for $14.98. Just wet the towel down, snap it, and you’re instantly cooled down for two hours until it needs reactivated.

Cut back on electrical use. Flat-screen televisions may look cool, but in reality, they produce a lot of heat that then gets circulated in a room. Go outside and get some fresh air, or if you insist on staying inside, pick up a book.

Cover is crucial. Just like you cover doors and windows in the winter to keep the cold out, cover doors and windows to keep the cool in. That way the A/C air will not go to waste.

Skip on cooking. Notice this says skip on cooking, not eating. Kitchen appliances will create more heat. Go to your local supermarket and get come cold cuts and cheese, or investigate some recipes that do not require the use of appliances.

Have any other quick tips for us? Let us know in the comments section below. Stay cool!

Summer Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

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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.