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Top 5 Summer Plans for College Students

Summertime image source

With finals approaching, this means one thing… summer is around the corner! As a college student you have to get out there and do something with yourself. So, my recommendation is to consider these top 5 summer plans for college students

1. Intern

Unfortunately you’re not in high school anymore so interning is a must.  It is very important to secure a great internship for the summer because this allows you to make connections, get experience and most importantly help your future. You never know where a summer internship may lead… it could possibly give you a career with the company one day. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Intern image source

2. Study Abroad

College is the best time to travel! Summer is even better because you’re not missing out on anything from the school year so it’s the best of both worlds. Take a look at this eCampus blog: Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad, you can see a few of the many benefits of studying abroad. My recommendation would be to take a fun class you wouldn’t normally take at your university, maybe even one that is specific to the country you are in. This will definitely enhance the experience of your trip.

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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!

No Regrets: The College Friend Turnover Rate

When I first found my freshmen year roommate, I had the naïve perception that I would be rooming with her all four years.  I thought we would be best friends, perhaps bicker a little at times, but overall get along fairly well.

Needless to say, I was wrong.

I’m still friendly with my freshmen year roommate.  When we lived together, we had a lot of the same friends and hung out at the same places.  But when sophomore year rolled around and I had decided I would rather not live with her again, I noticed I was also hanging out with a new group of people.

A family friend who went to the same university as me (who had actually graduated before I got there) told me that after her sophomore year she completely “threw out” her old friends and found new ones.  I didn’t think that would happen to me.  It sounded far too drastic.

Turns out, that’s exactly what happened.

After sophomore year, following some inner turmoil, I realized many of my friends were not the friends I thought they were.  Almost simultaneously, a new group of girls reached out to me—ironically, they were to be my future sorority sisters.  Since I was an unaffiliated sophomore, I simply hung out with them outside of Greek events, until I ended up joining.

Sometimes the best thing to do in college is try your friends on for size.  You’ve probably heard this advice given with regard to dating around your campus, but I strongly believe it also applies to friendship circles.  I know from a far off standpoint it seems like such a huge jump to make, but sometimes it’s a necessary one.

My freshmen year roommate is still great friends with our mutual friends from our first year—and I’m still friendly with all of them, but I don’t consider them my closest friends.  Sometimes there isn’t a turnover rate with friendships, as in my former roommate’s case, and that’s perfectly fine, too.

As for me, I’m pretty glad it happened.  If I had stuck around with the same group all four years, I never would have met these equally amazing girls.  It’s always good to stray away from your core group of friends just to experiment, whether it’s through your extracurricular activities, classes, or sports—but that doesn’t mean you have to change anything permanently.  I don’t consider my change of friends permanent, seeing as I still talk to my “old ones.”  But they have become what is probably the most important element of my life on campus.

So don’t be afraid if you find yourself hanging out with new groups.  As long as you make the effort to keep up contact, you can always still have a connection with the friends you’ve had for longer.  The change doesn’t have to be a cold, hard shift from one group to the next.  In fact, it’s a common college experience:  healthy, helpful, and normal.

How to Find Fun at Home During the Summer

Being home for the summer is often way different than being at college. When you’re away at school there is always something to do. When you’re home for summer, a lot of times things slow down. It’s not that you don’t know how to have fun in your home town; after all you did grow up there. It’s just that in the last nine months of school, you have likely discovered a whole new world of fun and excitement that is hard to match. I have thought of some ideas for local fun that although might be different then your style of fun from college, it will leave you enjoying yourself all summer long.

The first thing that I discovered last summer is the local farmers market. My town host one every other Saturday. My first impression was that it was just going to be a bunch of fresh produce stands, boy was I wrong. There was live music, homemade jewelry, and even decorations I could use to spruce up my dorm next year! I had such a great time that my mom and I have created a new tradition every other weekend. It’s something we can do together that I think we both look forward to.

Next, throw a bon fire! My friends and I take turns hosting bon fires all summer long. So far this summer I have already been to four and I’ve discovered that no matter how many people show up or how dead your town seems to be, bon fires bring friends closer together. When it’s a smaller group especially, you can talk about anything and relax in a comfortable atmosphere. If you’re worried about people getting bored, all you need is a football. The boys can throw a football around for hours while the girls gossip around the flames. To add to your atmosphere play music and have smore stuff ready to go. Relaxing nights like this with close friends are the ones I always remember when I’m away at school.

Third, go support a local team! My town has a minor league baseball team and the games are always fun to go to. If you don’t have sports in your town at this level, revisit your high school and catch a game there. It’s always fun to watch a good game. If there are no live sports going on, check your T.V. don’t be afraid to invite over some close friends for a game and some pizza. You’ll be sure to have a good time especially if it turns out to be close. A great opportunity for this type of entertainment will be coming up at the end of July with the 2012 London Olympic Games.

There are so many easy entertainment ideas you can do with a close group of friends. When you’re with your closest, it’s always sure to be a good time no matter what you’re doing. Although the scene might not be quite as hopping as your college town, it’s definitely only as dead as you make it. Strike a match in your fire pit and call up some buddies; I know tomorrow you’ll be reminiscing on a great night.

On a Date or Dating Your Cell Phone?

We all do it, in fact it’s become an unconscious habit. We check our phones, update our Facebook status, and even use our phones as a pseudo watch. Advances in smart phone technology have helped transform our cellular devices into an extra appendage! Although it may be difficult, we need to remember that face-to-face communication trumps all and sometimes it’s okay to put the phone down.Cell Phone Dating

I used to be offended when my dad would snuff “I’ll just wait until you’re done texting” before he would carry on with the conversation we were having. I would get so defensive, stating “but dad, I’m still listening! I can do both!” But what I didn’t stop to consider was the message I was sending him but directing my focus at a screen instead paying attention to what he was saying. Multi-tasking ability aside, I was being rude. We all think that we can do a million things at once—check email, walk and text, check the time, respond to a text, etc. but we should stop and smell the roses! If someone is standing if front of you—regardless of who it is—resist the urge to let your fingers do the talking and give them your undivided attention. How would you feel if you were trying to tell a story and someone found his or her little screen to be more interesting than you?

Here are my top situations when it’s best to hold off on the “oh so important message” blinking on your device:

Meal Times: We all want to feel important when surrounded by others. We want to feel in the loop and well informed. But texting at the dinner table, or table for that matter is just not okay. Consider the message you are sending. You’re supposed to be breaking bread, not making people want to break your phone. Save this time to converse with your family or friends, and wait to text your crush back for those extra 10 minutes, it won’t kill you! Bringing any device out during dinner shows that you aren’t interested in the people or the conversation. Show you care by taking part, and send your next words with friends play after you clear your plate—think of it as extra brainstorming time.

One on One Conversations: If someone is trying to talk to you—it doesn’t matter what time of day, in the morning, or the way to class, in the hall—resist the urge to play with your phone. Odds are you are only in short conversation; there is no need to see if time has passed, or if a new email has come through. Unless your talking partner explicitly asks for a contact, keep you’re electronics locked safely in your pocket. The art of conversation is sacred. If you have to reach for your phone to feel comfortable, chances are you need more one on one practice making small talk.

During Class: So we all know the drill. You are sitting in class, the clock is behind you and you’re desperately awaiting the end of this lecture. Now sneaking a peek at your “watch” that conveniently has a keypad and large-scale screen is okay every once and a while, but texting the whole time? That’s a violation of every college rule. It’s important for you to catch up on last night’s activities and hear the gossip that’s floating around, but did you forget you’re paying for each second you’re in class? Why waste it or something that can wait? Your texts will still be there, your gossip still intact. Plus won’t you feel cooler when you have lots of messages waiting for you, inside of getting out of class to an empty box because you already read them all? The professors get mad, you miss notes, you lose your place, wouldn’t you be doing yourself and all of us a favor if you just left your iPhone in bag for the whole 50 minutes? Try it. See how it feels. Do you notes look different? Did you do better on the test?

At the Movies: Enough said. How is anyone supposed to sufficiently watch “The Vow” with all the glaring phone lights going off in the theater? Everyone wants to watch their movies in peace, so let’s eliminate the problem and invite miss chatty Cathy to the movie with you so you don’t feel the need to text her in the middle of it!

So remember, there is a time and place to be on your phone. You can hurt someone’s feelings by always being glued to your keypad and you may miss important details if you’re always plugged into technology instead of reality. Remember to switch off and live in the moment—talk to friends, don’t text them. Phones don’t last forever, and neither will your friends if you spend more time tweeting than talking.

-Ring Queen

I’m reading Financial and Managerial Accounting

The Key to a Perfect Football Tailgate

Tailgating is a great way to bring people together: eating, drinking, playing games, and cheering for the home team. Or if you’re anything like me, it’s about the experience and the fun. There’s something awesome about 30,000 people all having a great time on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It’s entertaining to watch and even more entertaining to be a part of. Whether you go to Alabama, Ohio State, or Florida Atlantic, tailgating is an American Pastime that most will fondly remember well past their rowdy college years.

The Grove: The Ultimate Tailgate

Here are some tips for creating the perfect tailgate:

  1. Bring an R.V. An R.V. can solve many of the problems that go hand in hand with tailgating; like waiting 30 minutes to use a port-o-potty that probably requires a penicillin shot after use. It can also provide a vital safe haven for those suffering from “tailgating fatigue.” An R.V. will also allow you to watch the other football games while you wait for your team to kickoff.
  2. Bring a Grill. You just can’t tailgate without food. Most people stick to cooking the usual burgers and hot dogs, but this doesn’t mean you should settle for that! Slow cook some ribs for 3 to 4 hours (try Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce) and enjoy them after a day of corn hole or flip cup. You’ll thank me later.
  3. Bring a Football. Tossing around a football on gameday is a common thing to do, even if your athletically challenged like myself. This is a great way to meet girls (try the “go long” scheme) and a great way to bond with your family or buddies.
  4. Bring Cornhole Sets. This game is becoming increasingly popular for football fans because it’s fun, competitive, and doesn’t require much movement. It also allows you to play an entire game without setting down your drink.
  5. Bring Face Paint. Tailgating has become a competition lately, with every fan trying to prove their self as the ultimate football fan or ultimate tailgater. You must paint your face to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Besides, it’s harder to tell that you’ve been drinking all day when your face is painted red.
  6. Bring your Family. Ok maybe grandma shouldn’t be around watching you drink from noon to 8 PM. But when you have the opportunity to bring your family, do it. It will be a fun day that none of you will soon forget. I once witnessed my friend tackling his 45-year-old mother on concrete while playing “touch” football. Thankfully she was a big lady took the hit like a champ.
  7. Bring your Rowdy Friends. You know that guy that gets on your nerves because he uses his outside voice at all times? Bring him along with your tailgate crew. It’s easier to wander into new parties throughout the parking lot when you have a group of obnoxious fans. Don’t let a group of 70-year-old tailgaters party harder than you.
Alabaster