College

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

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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

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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

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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…

Safety Tips for College Students

Being in your dorm by dark isn’t always doable, but preparing yourself for safety can be. These are safety tips for college students on campus, whether you’re leaving your late class or a party, being prepared for anything can give you some peace of mind.

Use the Buddy System

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When you’re walking home from class or a party in the dark, it’s always best to have a good friend by your side. If something were to go wrong, at least there is someone with you and someone knows where you are. An extra pair of eyes to be on the lookout never hurts either!

Talk on Your Phone

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Talking on the phone is something that a lot of us are used to doing on a daily basis. If you’re coming home from somewhere on campus late at night and are starting to feel a little scared, call someone and talk to them while you’re walking. Not sure who to call? You could call home- they miss you! Or call a friend, I’m sure there’s something the two of you could talk about. Make sure you let whoever you called know exactly where you are located. This way someone would instantly know if something happened.

Know the Emergency Boxes

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There are emergency call boxes on every campus.  If you’re out and about, make sure you know where they are in case you need to get to one. These call boxes connect you directly to campus security.  You can contact the office and have them tell you where the boxes are if you don’t already know.

Carry Pepper Spray

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Many of us have heard of pepper spray, but have you ever actually used it? Pepper spray is very useful, especially in the fact that you don’t have to actually come in contact with an attacker when you use it. Educated yourself all about pepper spray and go pick some up to carry with you on campus. It can be found at most stores.

Learn Self Defense

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Using self defense requires you to react and fend off a possible attacker. Self defense classes are often offered at your near by gym. I’ve taken a basic one before and not only did I learn to defend myself, it was a great workout and I had a lot of fun! See if one of your friends wants to find a self defense class to take with you.

These are some safety tips to help you protect yourself on campus. Don’t worry that you college campus is unsafe.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

What safety tips work for you on your college campus? Share in the comments below!

Sticking to Your Guns

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!

Tips to Form Healthy Habits

With a much busier schedule and living away from home, staying healthy in college can be difficult. With just a little extra work, however, it can be done. Here are a few tips to form healthy habits.

1. Get Enough Sleep

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When you’re bogged down with class work, meetings, concerts, and athletic activities, it can be hard to catch your full eight hours. Make it a priority to get as much high quality sleep as possible. Stay off of your phone and social media before bedtime so you won’t be tempted to stay up watching cat videos for hours.

2. Watch What You Eat

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When you’ve got a million other things to do, it can be tempting to order pizza every night instead of eating real food for dinner. Be sure to stock your fridge with food to make quick healthy meals so you’ll be less tempted to order take out.

3. Keep Stress To A Minimum

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It’s difficult to live a stress free life as a college student, but you can keep your stress level under control by managing your time wisely and making sure you aren’t making more commitments than you can handle.

4. Stay Active

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If you can’t block off a large amount of time to dedicate to working out, find ways throughout your day to be active. Take a break while studying and do a few jumping jacks in your dorm room. Grab a friend and jog around campus, or take a quick trip to the gym.

What moves do you make to stay healthy in college? Let us know in the comments below!

Fall Fashion For Fellas – The Hoodie

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You remember the moment you laid eyes on as if it were yesterday. You had just received your acceptance letter in the mail, concluding one of the most anxious two to six weeks in your young existence. Elated and beaming with pride, your mother drove you to the college bookstore, furnished you with her credit card, and told you to “pick a few things out”. Alongside the baseball cap with the school’s initials embroidered in Old English and the overpriced binders with the official university seal on the front, you chose this item as well, thus beginning one of your most valuable relationships. To your classmates and teachers it was a just hooded sweatshirt but to you, it was a dauntless declaration of your upcoming future. Once you made it to campus, you were rarely seen without it. You wore it when you assisted in tearing down the goalpost after the “upset of the century”. It was on your back the night you first snuck into the campus bar. It kept you warm as you rode on the back of a wagon at your first sorority hayride. While you relished in its casual side, the effortless way it complemented your jeans and sneakers, you also found it had a fashionable side as well on the day you paired it with an oxford, rep tie and chinos. Through years of dinnertime pizza runs to the student union, tailgates and autumns watching the leaves cascade in the quad, it was a utility player in your wardrobe; always ready for service in a moment’s notice. As you now live your business casual life, listening to Vampire Weekend in your cubicle while daydreaming about a short time that was so long ago, you can’t help but wonder; which girlfriend’s dorm room did you leave it in.

Making Smart Money Decisions

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:

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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.

How Technology is Changing Entertainment

When we were kids, watching television programs and movies was less user friendly than it is today. There were too many steps involved. You had to physically go to Blockbuster, or your nearest rental store, to rent a new movie only to find it unavailable because too many people had already taken it out. If you wanted to view a movie on Pay-Per-View, you had to wait for the movie time to be available in order to call and order it. This seems absurd nowadays due to how easy it has become to watch whatever you want, when you want.

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As technology progresses, the internet becomes more than just a place to do research. It becomes a domain for apps, games, movies, books and so much more. We have just merely scratched the surface on the potential of the digital world. The revolutionary movie streaming programs, such as Netflix and Hulu, offer instant gratification for whatever mood you’re in.

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What can attest for the future of digital programming? With the way technology is evolving these days, it would seem that everything will go digital; making DVDs, video game discs, and even paper books obsolete. There’s no way of telling what’s going to happen to these companies that supply us with our entertainment needs today; either they’re doomed or they’re going to embrace the digital age and evolve with it. Only time will tell.

Cheap Eats

When faced with the financial burden of college tuition and fees, one must stretch their budget elsewhere. There no getting around paying your college fees or textbooks, but you can stretch a dollar (or dollars) in other ways.

1. Chose meals that have a long shelf life.

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If you dorm, this may be especially useful. You may not always have the time to prepare a meal with fresh ingredients and they may spoil before you find that time. In this case, you risk losing your hard earned money. Meals that have a long shelf life are usually canned good, such as soups, certain fruits, vegetables and beans or prepackaged foods such as pasta, instant oatmeal and rice. Also, they are relatively inexpensive, costing no more than a few dollars for each item

2. Pasta, Pasta, and More Pasta

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Not only can you buy a package of pasta for no more than two dollars but you can make a meal out of it to last two or three days. It also falls under the list of non-perishable foods so there’s no worry of spoil before it’s cooked. Pasta can also give you that much needed energy as its high in carbohydrates. Ramen noodles has become a staple in many dorm rooms due to its versility and cheap price tag. A package can cost no more than 50 cents.

3. Quick Pick Me Ups

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Mothers always tell us to eat our fruits and vegetables and we should always follow their advice for they know best. Certain fruits and vegetables are expensive, especially if you may be searching for organic types. Bananas and apples, the loose variety not the bundles, are relatively cheap, readily available and easily consumed on the go. Just make sure it’s washed before consuming. Celery and carrot sticks in a to-go package is usually no more than 3 dollars.

4. Cheap Foods with a Short Shelf Life

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Keep in mind that the body needs a whole array of nutrients in order to sustain itself. With that being said, some foods may need to be consumed that do not have a long shelf life but will be relatively cheap nonetheless. Eggs for protein and versatility in salads or sandwiches, and fresh leafy greens for antioxidant and immune support such as Spinach, can be found for a few dollars per bundle.

Tips to Keep Organized at School

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!

Domination of the Nomination

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We have seen the word “nominate” a lot recently on social media. Between dumping ice on our heads to harmlessly posting three things you are positive about today, Facebook and other social media sites have become tools to do good.

            I don’t know about anyone else, but I was personally terrified of getting the notification that would inform me that I had been nominated to pour freezing water on myself. I don’t know if I should say this online (for fear someone out there might actually nominate me) but thankfully, I was never nominated. But, should I be thankful I wasn’t nominated?

            We have all been warned about the dangers that social media holds. People use social media to bully others in ways that didn’t exist, let alone happen, in our parents’ generation. “Be careful what you say online.” “Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.”  “Treat others online the way you want to be treated online.” Social media seems like a scary place with all these warnings.

            But recently, these social media initiatives have taken advantage of the global platform of sites like Facebook and Twitter to try and make the world a better place. We are now doing things like raising awareness for diseases that require research, and greatly improving the proceeds that go to this research. We are creating initiatives that require people to be thankful for what they have and put them in a better mood for the day. We are nominating people to go out and do some random act of kindness they wouldn’t otherwise do. And then, we publicize this to the world, showing the good we, as a global community, can do.

            So, as thankful as I am to not have been doused in ice water, I am excited that our global platforms, that can sometimes cause a lot of harm, can also do a lot of good.