college life

Getting Into Bluegrass

Can you remember the last time you heard a great Bluegrass song? Bluegrass music is one of the least understood genres of music in my opinion. From its roots in African traditions to its codification by Bill Monroe, the history of bluegrass is fascinating. Most people don’t realize how much some bluegrass resembles music they already like. However, telling people about bluegrass tends to result in them nodding off. So instead of writing about all that boring stuff, I’ve decided to recommend some songs! I’ve based my recommendations on genres you might already be into, starting with…

Classic Rock

Connoisseurs of this genre will accuse me of generalization when I lump all classic rock together, and truly they’re right. But this is a bluegrass list, not a classic rock list. Therefore, I think it’s appropriate to group it into one category.

Bluegrass

Me and my Guitar by Tony Rice

Besides the album art, this record is nearly perfect. Me and my Guitar really steals the show! Tony Rice, widely considered the father of modern bluegrass guitar, opens with a gorgeous guitar solo. The song format is instantly familiar to any rock fan. Rice’s voice resembles rock legends like Elvis more than I’d like to admit. Lyrically, this song isn’t about the country, economic woes, or a woman. Instead, also like many rock legends, Tony spends a full three minutes singing about his love for his guitar.

Melodic Pop

Are you a Katy Perry or Taylor Swift fan? Well, according to the internet you can’t like both of them. But if you at least like one of the two, then I have the song for you.

Bluegrass

Rye Whiskey by The Punch Brothers

Rye Whiskey is an old bluegrass standard drinking song. For me, it hits all the notes of a Black Eyed Peas song. If that comparison seems dated, you can tell how long it’s been since I’ve had an interest in pop. This song is instantly familiar to anyone who’s recently listened to the billboard top 40. Rye Whiskey follows the traditional 4 chords of pop, but it also has a gorgeous 3 part harmony vaguely reminiscent of the chorus for Twenty Two by Taylor Swift.

R&B

If you love R&B, you probably love it for the gorgeous singing and that funky, rhythmic beat. This song might not be Beyonce, but it’ll probably scratch that same musical itch

Bluegrass

Nashville Highrollers by Owen Campbell

Owen Campbell had his 15 minutes of fame after a video of him taunting the judges on Australia’s got Talent went viral. Since then, he’s fallen back into relative obscurity but his music career is still thriving. An incredible slide guitarist, Campbell creates a cacophony of rhythm akin to R&B’s funk and blues roots. Campbell’s mastered voice and instrument create a wall of sound much in the same way R&B artists do with their voices. With only 25,000 monthly listeners on spotify, does Campbell deserves many more? I think so. Give this song a listen and decide for yourself.

After checking these out, are you interested in bluegrass? Do you disagree with my assessment of any of these songs? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!

 

How to Easily Create a Reading Nook

Reading Nook

Like most avid writers, I am also an avid reader. I have read hundreds of books, including everything from romance novels to educational texts. While I never have trouble finishing a good story, something that does become a challenge is where to read and store these amazing books. As a veracious reader, it’s natural to want a place that’s comfortable and one you can call your own. What you need is a reading nook! If you don’t know what that is or need help setting one up, here’s how to create your very own reading nook!

Find the Perfect Place

Before you can even think of supplies, you need to find the best place to set up. Find a quiet place that makes you feel relaxed. Whether it’s a corner of your bedroom or a bigger space in your basement/attic, find a place that works for you. Many quite places are secluded areas, but be sure it’s not so secluded it becomes hard to access. Remember that you’ll need to be able to bring tons of books into your nook with ease. 

Essential Elements

Now that you have a perfect place, it’s time to get the perfect supplies! First, let’s start off with the seating. It’s important to find a comfortable chair or cushion because you will potentially be sitting for hours reading these novels. A cheaper option for this is simply buying big pillows or cushions. You’re basically set if you buy one to sit on and one to lean up against the wall. Before you buy, make sure the material is to your liking; you won’t want to sit on something scratchy. A possible pricier option is buying a bean bag chair or a small piece of furniture. Bean bag chairs can be extremely comfy, and pieces such as chaise lounges add character as well as comfort. While setting up your seating area, add some smaller pillows and blankets to increases the comfy factor. Using decorative pillows also helps you create your own personal style.

The next element is storage. Getting a small bookshelf to hold books you’re currently reading is essential. A bookshelf also offers table space for needed coffee cups and snacks. If you’re someone who reads better with music playing, a small bookshelf provides space for a portable radio/speaker . Finding the perfect shelf without breaking your budget shouldn’t be difficult. Your local consignment shop will likely have options, or hit up a garage sale and scout out one that works for you. Try to remember it doesn’t need to be brand new, it simply must hold your favorite books.

The final element, but far from the least important, is finding the perfect lighting. The perfect lighting is key because you need to see what you’re reading without straining your eyes. It also adds to the mood you’ll feel when sitting in your newly created nook. For a softer vibe, a cool idea is to buy bright string lights or Christmas lights to hang above your reading nook. A simple table lamp placed on your bookshelf is sufficient as well. Lighting is also an opportunity to show off your personal style! You may want to find a lamp that is your favorite color or represents your favorite themes. Either way, buy something that makes you smile because after all, this is your space.

You’re now all set! You have your perfect spot, a comfortable place to sit, storage for your reading collection, and great lighting fixtures. It wont take long until you notice how much more enjoyable reading is using your new nook. Do you have a perfect nook you like to read in? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

Traveling Cheap While in College

Traveling cheap

Last week, my partner and I went on a very nice vacation to New York City. As normal as that sounds, it’s something I thought would be impossible only one year ago. After all, my parents weren’t about to pay for a vacation in The Big Apple if they weren’t going. However, there were a few little tricks I discovered which made vacationing on my meager, college tour guide income possible. Follow these five simple tips on traveling cheap and go places you thought you never could afford!

Tip 1: Avoid Hotels!

I initially balked at the idea of vacationing in New York simply because I thought a hotel would be too expensive. As it turns out, I was right. However, we didn’t stay in a hotel and really no college student living on a budget should ever stay in a hotel. Look around for a cheap Airbnb, or try staying at a hostel. After all, you’ll simply be sleeping there. It doesn’t need to be a five star Vegas suite to comfortably rest your eyes for a few nights.

Tip 2: Make sure the place you’re staying at has a kitchen and cook your meals.

I can’t say enough about how much cheaper this one mantra made our trip. Food in big cities is expensive, no matter how cheap you try to make it. If you get a cheap sandwich and a drink, that’s easily a good ten dollars. Multiply that by three meals over five days and you’ve got an uncomfortably high expense of $150 per person. Unfortunately, that estimate is also on the lower end for big cities. By giving up eating out for most meals and buying groceries instead, we spent about $50 on food for a full week.  Now that is traveling cheap! If you follow this advice your meals might not be the most glamorous (lunch was a bagel with peanut butter and an apple most days), but hey, you’re here to see the sights. You can get plenty of better, more affordable food back home.

Tip 3: Find out what’s free, and then do it.

Free concert? Add it to the list. Free museum hours? Mark them down also. Free street fair, street performances, or bar trivia without a cover charge? Mark all of them as to-dos. Just because something is free doesn’t mean it’ll disappoint. If you play your cards right, you can even weasel your way into some paid activities for free (or at least for cheap). For instance, The Met in New York only has a suggested admission price. Do I feel guilty about only paying ten dollars for two people? A little, but it’s hard to feel anything other than awe when you’re staring a 4,000 year old egyptian mummy in the face, especially when the experience didn’t break the bank.

Tip 4: Budget for your trip, then follow through with it.

Know how much you want to spend and stick to it. Before the trip, try to plan out all anticipated costs in advance. You’ll want to know what’s essential before you start splurging. For instance, if your ticket to see the sights is in the form of a $35 subway pass, you need that more than you need a street kebab. It’s not only essential and worth budgeting for, a subway pass also won’t give you food poisoning. Once you’ve planned out all your important and unavoidable expenses, you can take what’s left over and use it towards feeding your need for instant gratification. Keep in mind unexpected expenses are part of traveling, so be sure to save a little cash to cover unplanned travel needs.

Tip 5: Remember to Have fun

Budgeting is great and all, but your vacation is about having fun. If you get caught up trying to save every dollar possible while traveling cheap, you’re likely going to miss out. It’s important to give yourself some spending money so when an unexpected opportunity arises, you can get out there and have fun. If you can afford to cut loose, then why not splurge a little? After all, life can’t always be about scrimping and saving.

Traveling is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be outside of your reach. While most college students face a tight budget, proper planning and thrifty ideas can make traveling cheap possible. While the thread count of my Airbnb sheets might not have stood up to the expectations of some ritzy New York travelers, we shared the exact same view of the mummies inside the Met.

 

How to Deal with College Stress in 5 Minutes

How to Deal with College Stress in 5 Minutes

I wish someone had warned me how stressful college can be. No one tells you about all the bad parts of college, only the fun parts like tailgates. Especially that the stress level gets bigger and bigger each passing year. Between juggling school, work and attempting some type of social life, there is also extracurricular activities like clubs and sports.

I’ve had my fair share of meltdowns and panic attacks from all the stress and worrying about the stress will (I can guarantee) make it worse. Most of the time our stress is from thinking about what we need to do instead of actually doing it. I’m not saying that we don’t have a lot to do but instead of trying to avoid all the stress, sometimes its better to face it head on. To get me through these times, I follow these tips that can take only minutes to do, to help me survive this.

Just Breathe

Take a quick second to reevaluate yourself and just breathe. Everything can be overwhelming at times but in those moments, you need to take a step back. Sometimes we take on too much in college and take a moment to breathe can give you clarity on how to handle stress.

Eat a Snack

The act of eating something can decompress stress levels and boost energy levels overall. Sometimes when we are also feeling a little tired, the act of chewing can refresh our bodies and wake us up.

Listen to Music

I am a big music junkie, I need music for everything I do like the showering, driving in the car, and even during studying. Music provides to me what TV does for other people. It clears my mind and it makes a good background noise for when its too quiet without the distractions of TV images. Music is a great way to get lost and let your mind take a break when you need to.

Smell Something Soothing

I don’t personally do this but I have friends that will spray something or go smell something to calm their nerves. I don’t know if this fully helps but I figured I would add it in, what do you got to lose? The scent of something like citrus or vanilla calms your senses and allow aromatherapy to work. Maybe we need to stop and smell the roses sometime to remind us to relax.

Take a Walk

I hate exercising like everyone else (probably more than everyone else) but a quick walk or run can be just what you need to clear your mind. Taking a break from the stress, your body will feel energized again. I tend to take walks a lot around campus with friends to mostly vent about stress or to enjoy the view.

Laugh

It may seem silly but laughter can really be the best medicine. Laughing can boost your immune system and gives your mind break to think enjoy something other than all the work. Laughter can instantly makes my day better and makes my mood lighter and happier.

I truly believe the stress we face in college is the most stressful period in our lives. Hopefully these tips will help you or help someone else. Comment below and tell me how you deal with stress!

Why College Students Should Watch The Princess Bride

Most of us have seen the famous 1987 film, The Princess Bride, adapted from William Goldman’s book and produced by Rob Reiner. If you haven’t, you should drop everything, grab a bag of popcorn, and enjoy! If you have seen the iconic movie, you know that there are a lot of witty and emotional quotes that stay with you long after the final credits. I have seen this movie more times than I can count; my parents watched it with me for the first time when I was ten years old. Even then, I was captivated; I loved the romance, the adventure, and the comedy. As the years went on and I re-watched the film, I got more and more out of it. When I am feeling lonely or sad, this is the movie I watch; it has gotten me through many difficult times. The more you watch The Princess Bride, the more you fall in love with the characters; I am always inspired by their dedication and their love for one another. The more my family and I watched this movie, the more it became a part of our family’s culture; we even recite our favorite quotes. Remember the following quotes; let them guide you as they have guided me. Find your own “Princess Bride”– your own movie that helps you stay happy and keep college in perspective.

“As You Wish”

This is possibly the most romantic quote of the film. Westley says this to Buttercup at the beginning of the movie, when they are living on a farm. It doesn’t take long for Buttercup to realize that, when Westley says “as you wish,” he really means “I love you.” As in real life, sometimes we do not say what we truly mean; our actions are what show that we care. Whenever I hear Westley say “as you wish,” I remember how important my actions are; I remember that I must show those that matter to me how much I care. Like Westley, many people have trouble explaining their feelings; this doesn’t mean that they don’t care. Some of my best friends have trouble saying “I love you.” This doesn’t upset me because they show me that they care. Best friends are the ones who are there to support you through hard times, and there to celebrate with you when you are happy. Love does not require words; love is shown through selflessness.

Princess Bride 1

At the end of the film, the grandson asks his grandpa to come read The Princess Bride to him again tomorrow. The grandpa replies, “as you wish.” This ending always makes me cry. Though the grandson originally puts on an act and tries to isolate himself, by the end of the story, his relationship with his grandpa has changed completely. It seems as though the two have never said “I love you” to one another; this doesn’t matter. By caring enough to come read to his grandson while he is sick, the grandpa expresses his love. The grandson is at first resistant, but he eventually comes to appreciate his grandpa. Though he isn’t originally thrilled at reading a book, it seems as though he understands what the book represents; his grandfather’s love.

“Life is Pain, Highness. Anyone Who Says Differently is Selling Something”

Westley says this to Buttercup when he is disguised as the Dread Pirate Roberts. Though he is playing with her, there is truth in this statement. When people sugar-coat life, they are usually in denial, or trying to manipulate someone. It is not helpful to pretend that life isn’t painful; this will only distance you from your problems and create unrealistic expectations. Life is full of pain; it is the pain of Buttercup and Westley’s separation that ultimately leads to happiness. Their happiness would not be possible if they had not been willing to make sacrifices. Westley works for the Dread Pirate Roberts, fights off a giant, and even survives torture in order to be with the one he loves. Buttercup stands up against Prince Humperdink and remains hopeful, even when everything seems to be lost.  

This is a quote that my parents often recite. They usually say it as a joke, in order to “mock my pain,” as Buttercup claims that Westley is doing. Though this can make me mad, I know they do it out of love; it is their way of saying that what I am going through is manageable. They have faith in me. My parents know that, sometimes, you need to make light of your struggles. Humor can be the best solution to pain; it can help you put your pain in perspective.

It is my dad who tends to recite this quote genuinely. I have inherited my father’s pessimism. Sometimes, it does feel as though life is not enjoyable. When I am trapped in a never-ending cycle of exams and papers, it is hard to gain any perspective; pain can seem perpetual. The Princess Bride has helped me escape the tight grasp of pessimism. Though Westley says that life is pain, there is hope in the way he looks at Buttercup. As much as life is painful for the couple in their years apart, life is pure joy when they are together; their love is so strong, it overpowers all pain. I truly believe this is possible; the love I have for my family exceeds any pain I have ever endured.

“Have Fun Storming the Castle!”

Prince Bride 2

After Westley is brought back to life, Miracle Max and his wife, Valerie, say this to Fezzik and Vizzini as they leave. On the surface, this is a humorous quote;  Max and Valerie somehow bring Westley back to life after declaring that he is only “mostly dead.” It is true love that is keeping him alive, although Miracle Max says that he is saying “to bluff,” and comments that they “were probably playing cards and he cheated.” At this moment, Valerie runs in shouting “liar!”  The couple bicker and Valerie tries to convince Max to help, because “true love lies expiring.” Saving Westley seems to resolve the issues between the old couple, at least temporarily. Though many viewers see this scene as simply for comedic relief, I found it touching to see the couple come together. Miracle Max and Valerie show that love is not perfect; all couples are dysfunctional. Even though The Princess Bride is in the guise of a fairy tale, it subverts all expectations. Few characters are simply “good” or “evil;” we learn about the hidden motivations behind every character. Not even Buttercup is perfect; though she does stand up for herself and remain loyal, she tends to be passive and hopeless. Max and Valerie seem to be the most dysfunctional, crazy characters, they truly have what Buttercup and Westley are looking for: a life together. As couples grow with one another, they pick up unusual or humorous mannerism. Max and Valerie may seem humorous to an outsider, yet their relationship has stood the test of time.

This is my mother and father’s favorite quote. Any time my sister and I leave home, they stand by the car arm in arm and wave goodbye, shouting, “have fun storming the castle!” This has become a family tradition. Not only does it show how much my parents love my sister and I, but also how much they love each other. Like Max and Valerie, my parents’ relationship has stood the test of time. As they grow older, they become more alike; I cannot picture them without one another. They may bicker and fight sometimes, but they are always there for one another. Whenever I leave home, this quote reminds me of the loving family I have, and the love I deserve to find. My parents– and The Princess Bride– remind me that, although life is not perfect, it is definitely filled with love.

Prince Bride 3

5 Ways to Use Free Time in College

If you’re in college right now, you know that free time only comes around every so often. When you do find yourself with some free time, here are some useful ways you can spend it.

         1. Reorganize Your Notes/Notebooks

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Organizing your notes during your free time allows you to be more prepared for class and exams. During the semester, your notes can easily get disorganized due to a busy schedule. When you have free time, go through your notebook and organize your notes by chapters, titles and themes. This will help you find your notes when you need them and you can recall the information more quickly when it gets to the time when you go to class or take tests. You can use sticky notes to sort through your notes and more easily access your notes. Rearrange your notes in sections if your notes have been misplaced in the binders. When you are studying, use your notes as a guide to write more notes outside of class from the sections covered in class in the textbook and combine them with your notes from class. Also, highlight information covered in class or mark the sections as the professor discusses the information in class so that you don’t forget. Rewrite or type out your notes if your handwriting is messy. Annotate your books with notes in the margins in class and outside of class to write better research and perform better in class. These are helpful ways to do well in school.

2. Straighten/Organize Your Books

free-time-organize-books

By the middle of the semester, your room is probably cluttered with books and notes. Collect your books and reorganize them by subjects and research topics. When you have checked out books from the library for research papers and have numerous textbooks you need to strategize and find a way to reorganize your books. Stack them together based on subject topics and categories place them on your book shelf, in crates, under your lamp stand or under your desk. Try to keep your desk clean so that you can work without clutter distracting you from your studies.

3. Update Your Dorm Room Decorations

free-time-decorate-dorm

When you need a break, take time and redecorate your room. You can add or replace pictures, posters, awards, door decorations, pillows, and other collegiate memorabilia. You can change out accessories to make your room have a completely different look. You can create new dorm room decorations if you want to make your room look creative and original. Adding different color contrasts can also make all the difference in creating or changing your room’s style.

4. Treat Yourself to the Salon

free-time-salon

When you need a break from class, take a trip to the salon and get your nails and hair done. You will relax and feel refreshed after getting your hair or nails done. If you have a busy schedule, spending time at the salon is a good way to relieve stress and help you feel your best. Guys, this is not limited to girls! You deserve some R & R at the salon as well. Girls appreciate a well-kept guy.

 5. Think of Party Themes

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Regardless of whether you are in a sorority, you can use your free time to think of party themes for your friends. Sororities typically host theme parties to make each event special by presenting different and exciting ideas. It doesn’t have to be a birthday, holiday or a particular season to host theme parties. Hosting parties can open up doors in your social life. It’s a great way to make new friends. People you invite to your party will likely put you down as an invite to their next get together! So give it a shot, throw an awesome themed party!

In college, free time is often rare. You should spend it however you like! Participating in productive activities can help you have peace of mind when you’re running around during the week. Hopefully you can use some of the above ideas to make the most of your free time this semester. Enjoy…

How to Bond with College Roommates

The start of the fall semester is starting soon, and for many college students this means new living situations and often new roommates. Although some may be living with friends, there are plenty of students and especially freshman who have yet to form a connection with their college roommates. Here are some ways to form and improve a relationship with a new college roommate.

Find a Commonality

How to Bond With College Roommates

The easiest way to bond with a new roommate is to find something that you have in common. Try broaching a variety of subjects to see where your tastes are similar and find something that you have the same opinion on or same interest in.

Go Somewhere Non-School Related With Them

How to Bond With College Roommates

If roommate relationships are restricted mostly to the dormitories, they may seem forced. If you expand your relationship with your roommate outside of the dorm and go somewhere together either by yourselves or in a group, the relationship will feel more genuine and likely become stronger.

Introduce Each Other to Preexisting or New Friends

How to Bond With College Roommates

Making friends with your roommate’s friends and them doing the same is an easy way to bond with someone. If they get along well with your friends then it is easier to include them in group activities and thus become better friends outside of the dorm or room.

Attend School Organized Events with Them

How to Bond With College Roommates

Universities make events for freshman and even upperclassman to get out and meet new people on campus. By going somewhere with your roommate you can get out and meet new people on campus, but have a familiar face there who can back you up if you need a confidence booster or help meeting new people.

Set Expectations for Behavior Within the Dorm

How to Bond With College Roommates

One of the hardest things about having roommates is that everyone has differing ideas of how duties should be spread and how each other should act in the context of the room. It is important to have an initial talk about what both parties expect so that there are no surprises down the line and you lessen the chance of someone being overly annoyed at a particular action or way of living.

Affordable Date Ideas

Dining out at nice restaurants and attending musical events are good date ideas when you are looking to impress someone that you like. However, doing this on the regular can also put a very heavy strain on one’s wallet. Going on fancy dates can show that you care about someone and that you want to make them happy with romantic gestures, however, the total can quickly add up. This is especially true for college students who often do not have the luxury of extra spending money to be thrown in wads at three-star restaurants. Just because you do not have the cash to go out to a fancy dinner every week doesn’t mean that you still can’t impress your date. While it is fun to go out to upscale restaurants frequently, sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow for it.

If you need ideas for dating on a budget, look no further as I will be providing you with some options that will let you have fun without breaking the budget.

Take a Walk or Hike

date ideas walk

Although it may seem simple, just walking around with someone can be a great way to get to know them better.  When choosing a spot to walk around, look for an area that is interesting or has aesthetic advantages. Find a place filled with culture! If you have the option, a big city is the perfect setting for a nice walk, as well as a pretty park or neighborhood. Nature walks and hikes are also a good option for those who live in close vicinity to a forest or other nature-filled area. Walking is great for you as well, as being outdoors can significantly improve your health and even lower stress. Reduced stress level can make it easier to relax and enjoy the date. Now that’s killing two birds with one stone!

Get Dessert

date ideas dessert

You may have heard people say that diamonds are the way to a girl’s heart. I would disagree, dessert is! Ice cream and frozen yogurt are always good choices, but you can’t go wrong with cake or pastries too. When seeking out dessert places, try looking for local patisseries and hidden gems. There is nothing wrong with going the classic Ben & Jerry’s route, but sometimes it can be fun to try somewhere new. It’s also commonly known that dessert improves your mood, so you are more likely to enjoy being with another person because you equate spending time with them with happier feelings. Carbohydrate-rich foods like desserts cause your brain to produce serotonin and tryptophan — chemicals that can promote your emotional well-being and thus make you a happier person

Have a Picnic

date ideas picnic

Having a picnic in a park or pretty area is a great idea for a date. It is a setting that encourages conversation and creates an atmosphere of relaxation for both parties. As far as food for a picnic, you can’t go wrong with a classic sandwich and chips combination. Bringing a bottle of wine with glasses adds a little romance to the outing and can make it feel more like a date than just lunch (if you are 21+ of course). Once again, you can’t go wrong with dessert as bringing something chocolaty or rich will end the picnic in just the right way! A picnic is a great option as it can work at nearly any time of the day. You can have a lunchtime picnic and revel in the sunlight, or set up for a dinner picnic and enjoy the sunset and the night stars.

Attend a Sports Game

date ideas sports game

Although tickets to certain games can be extremely pricey, there are often ways to get cheap tickets for a variety of different sporting events. Try taking advantage of student ticket deals as many colleges have deals worked out that will allow you to get into events and games for greatly reduced prices. Sports games are a great way to get to know someone that you may not be completely comfortable with, as you have the chance to sit and talk, with a decreased threat of awkward silence and a conversation topic (the event) already lined up for addressing. Sports events also offer a great opportunity for group dates which may benefit some individuals looking to strengthen relationships, but not quite sure how to do so. Some individuals may be nervous or uncomfortable on initial date and adding another couple or friends to the date may help to ease nervousness.

Visit a Museum

date ideas museum

Although some museums can be quite expensive and really put a dent in your wallet, colleges also do their best to make art available to students by offering student deals that make museums either much cheaper or free! Some museums will offer free admission to students within the local area while others will host student nights. Visiting a museum is a great way to get to know someone as you can learn what they value and how they think by finding out their opinions and views on art. Although museums can make great date spots, it is also important not to get too caught up in the actual art and to allow yourself to talk to your date and get to know them rather than just the art you came to see. Remember, you are there for the date; not just the art.

There are many other options when dating on a budget that can be both romantic and fun. One great tip is to try something new together as this can bring added excitement to the table. Take advantage of student deals on events and museums as these can prove to be strong dates that don’t break the bank. The most important thing when planning a date is to choose something that you can both enjoy. Although some ideas may seem like great date ideas to you, people have different tastes and your date may not be enthralled by the idea of going to a baseball game or walking around a neighborhood. When planning, be creative and thoughtful and you can easily find a great idea for a date that will not empty your pockets.

What’s your favorite budget-friendly date idea? Comment below!

Fall Semester Tips for Success

It’s about that time again where the new school year looms dauntingly overhead.  Nearing the end of swimsuits and late night rendezvous in replace of studying and hitting the alarm 3 times before rolling out of bed. Yes, it’s the fall semester and while you’re frantically rushing to class, we’re helping you retain some of that cool ocean chill all year round. Get your head in the game because it’s going to be a long fall semester.

Get Plenty of Rest

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This could be tricky but it’s doable. You’re loaded with midterms or finals and you must study to pass but you’re working or crunched for time. The only likely scenario is to study late into the night, every night, with little sleep. If your experience is similar, don’t fret. The perfect solution is to start early. In order to get plenty of rest, start studying weeks in advance. The rule of thumb is to study the amount of hours you have a class per week. For instance, if you have a class that meets three hours per week, the allotted amount of time you should spend studying that subject each week is 3 hours. By spending your time wisely, you will not feel guilty getting some shut eye early. You will already be prepared for what lies ahead that week!

Eat Healthy Foods

Fall-Semester-Eat-Healthy-Bananas

At every college campus, there is an ample amount of convenient food, but choosing the right convenient food matters. Ditch the candy, ready-made pizzas and chips for something more sustaining.  Assorted nuts are packed with healthy fats, minerals and protein to keep you full during those long lectures. It can also help keep you alert if you find yourself drifting. Fruits are also an easy on the go snack filled with brain boosting nutrients that can help curb that sweet tooth we just can’t seem to get rid of. Try eating a banana for the amino acid tryptophan; it has been linked to aid memory and is great for studying!

Hit Your Campus Gym

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Hitting the gym is a give in for optimum health, but did you know it can actually help achieve higher grades? One study found that students who frequented the gym had higher GPAs than those who did not. Those who work out regularly have better memory, better test scores and tend be better at managing their time. So don’t sweat the upcoming semester; just sweat at the gym!

I hope that you can make this fall semester a success by following these tips to get your mental and physical health into shape. Small changes to your routine can have a big impact. Try it out for yourself!

How To Prepare for Fall Semester in College

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!