Advice

Handling a Forgotten Assignment

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assignmentIt’s that point in the semester, when there’s too much to do and too little time. Also that time when some assignments just kind of slip through the cracks. Here are some guidelines to handling a forgotten assignment:

 Step 1: Apologize, without excuses. Saying, “I’m really sorry, but I had a ton of other work for this other class,” makes it just sound like this class isn’t that important to you. While you may feel this way, it’s not a great way to get any sympathy from the professor or TA. Instead say, “I’m sorry, this totally slipped my mind, but I take full responsibility for the lateness of this assignment.”

 Step 2: Get the assignment done and in as soon as possible. Show the professor that you really do care about this assignment, even if you know you won’t get full or any points on it. It shows that you care more about the information than the grade and tells the professor that you are really dedicated to understanding the material.

 Step 3: Don’t expect full credit, but do try for extra credit. In handing in your assignment late, you don’t deserve full credit. Likely, the professor explained the policy for late work in the syllabus. Consult it and then discuss with your professor how to make up the lost points through any sort of extra credit.

 Step 4: Remember this feeling. It will keep you writing up to do lists or updating your assignment notebook!

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.

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!

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.

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!!

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:

budget calculation

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.

Dear Pledge – Candidate – New Guy

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I hope this letter finds you well. At this point, your rush week should be a distant memory. Hopefully you signed a bid at your dream house and are starting to get settled in. By the way, did you have a good time at Pref Night? How nifty was it to have a party thrown in your honor even if one of the older brothers had to find a date for you at the last second. Don’t worry though; by spring formal you should be more acquainted with the fairer sex on campus and thus, capable of securing your own date.

At any rate, as you read this letter through blurry eyes, I just wanted to talk to you for a spell about the upcoming weeks. You see young sire, you are entering into the exciting time called the pledge period. Now I understand if that term sounds foreign to you as I am aware that many forward thinking fraternities now refer to this period as “candidacy”. However, make no mistake; despite the terminology, its all the same concept. Your goal is to prove to the elder members that you are worthy to become a full brother and carry on the tradition of the chapter through initiation.

So  lets get the ugliness out of the way early. You have probably heard a good deal about the dreaded “H word”. There is a reason that many houses have gotten away from using the term “pledge”all together; because it is usually associated with the practice of hazing. And while hazing today is far less severe than it was in say your father’s day, there are still a few knucklehead chapters who insist on sustaining these barbaric rituals. You may be asking yourself, “Why do guys subject themselves to this type of embarrassment and ridicule?”In many cases, people let their desire to initiate blind them from commonsense. Don’t let this be you my friend! If asked to do anything you’re not comfortable with or that may cause you harm, walk! No organization is worth losing a limb or worse, your life. Well, maybe the Illuminati, but the hooded figure in the corner just said that the Illuminati doesn’t even exist, so…..

How about we switch gears and talk about what you SHOULD be doing during this period. For me, my pledge period was similar to the College 101 class the university forced me to take. It was a crash introduction course to the chapter and the fraternity as a whole. It is your pledge/candidate/new member educator’s job to teach you the crucial points of the fraternity. These lessons include, but are not limited, to the fraternity motto, history, key members, Greek alphabet, songs, chants and symbols. Your learning initiatives also need to extend to learning about your future brothers as well. Take the time to learn their names, majors, dreams, aspirations and favorite fraternity moments as you’re bound to hear a bounty of epic tellings. Here’s a tip; just as you do in your normal courses, be sure to take notes as there will be quizzes and probably a final right before initiation.

I think I’ll end this particular letter here as I don’t want to ruin this fun time for you. I’ll leave you with the words that were told to be by my pledge master, Mad Dog, all those years ago:

“The main thing to remember here, is that its all about fun. You could be the best pledge in the world by knowing your history, knowing all the brothers and winning the pledge class president position. You could date a girl in each sorority. Hell, you can even literally bleed the colors of the fraternity. But  if you didn’t have fun…was any of it worth it?”

Sincerely,

YOUR esteemed alumnus, JW.

 P.S. Don’t get caught not wearing your pledge pin!

Tips to Keep Organized at School

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1. Get a wall calendar.

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You can find a wall calendar with anything you can think of!  Get one to go with your décor, of your favorite animal, or of your favorite TV show… the possibilities are endless!  Once you put up your wall calendar, mark down all the important things: exams, breaks, paper and assignment due dates, advising appointments, career fairs, etc.  This will help you keep track of everything you have going on each month in an orderly and easy way!

2. Pick up some baskets/desk organizers.

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You can use baskets anywhere: on top of your dresser, on shelves, on your nightstand, under your bed, etc.  Use them to organize your school supplies, electronics, chargers, toiletries, hairbrushes and accessories, jewelry, and anything else you’re not sure where to store!  Desk organizers are great for storing pens, pencils, markers, scissors, and other desk essentials!

3. Get a whiteboard and put your upcoming assignments/to do list on it.

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This is a great way to keep track of your weekly assignments, chores, and errands.  Hang it somewhere in your room that you will see it all the time! You can color code by categories for added organization.  And check off things as you get them done, it’s really satisfying to see your list get smaller and smaller!

4. Set alarms/calendar alerts on your phone for important events and appointments.

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If a new event or appointment comes up, put it into your phone’s calendar and set an alert/alarm for it to make sure you don’t forget.  The little reminder can really come in handy and save the day when you’re out and about!  This is a great tool if you make an appointment when you’re not home and can’t immediately write in on your wall calendar or white board.

5. Get a lanyard and/or key chain for your student ID, keys, and other essential cards.

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Keeping your ID and keys in the same place will make things so much easier for you day to day.  You can keep them in your bag or around your neck when you leave so you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing these very important items.  Eventually you’ll get in the habit of grabbing for your lanyard/keychain and it will become second nature; goodbye to the days of getting locked out of your room or apartment!