Author: Julie Mathis

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

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


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


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


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


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…

3 Affordable Christmas Crafts

During the holidays, making holiday crafts is a great way to relax and spend time with others. You can make Christmas crafts with items that are affordable, items that you may already have at home or are free. Here are three affordable options for Christmas Crafts.

1. Holiday Ornaments

Christmas Crafts 1

Creating your own holiday ornaments is a festive way to celebrate the holidays. You can use simple items to make the ornaments or create more intricate designs depending on how you plan to decorate your home or apartment.  You can use pom poms in a glass ball for a dazzling effect. You can use ribbons to decorate the glass ball ornaments, and you can also use embellishments that you have in your sewing kit to decorate your holiday ornaments. Also, you can decorate the glass ball ornaments with glitter, watercolor paintings, velvet, rhinestones, polka dots, and faux fur. Ornaments are a great addition to any present, especially if they are personalized.

2. Christmas Wreaths

Christmas 2

You can make Christmas wreaths using numerous creative and inexpensive ideas. You can make Christmas wreaths out of multicolored felt balls. You can also make wreaths out of faux fur or velvet and rhinestones. You can also use yarn to create an entire wreath and you can make a poinsettia wreath entirely out of multicolored paper. You can even make a wreath out of items from your backyard. You can use hot glue to adhere pine cones, acorns, and sticks together and then paint the wreath. Using ribbons, glitter, and yarn are other creative ways to decorate a wreath.

3. Holiday Cookies

Christmas 3

It’s a lot of fun to make creative holiday cookies. You can make iced sugar cookies, maple-walnut spice cookies, peppermint pinwheel cookies, toffee chocolate chip shortbread, rocky road brownies, chocolate peppermint patty cookies, and cranberry white chocolate cookies. Also, lemon bars, peppermint bon bon cookies, pumpkin cream sandwich are all other creative ideas for holiday baking.

Any of these three affordable Christmas crafts are great add-ons to any presents and show you spent time on the person. Merry Christmas!❄🎁

4 Tips for Thanksgiving Break Bliss

Thanksgiving Break can be a very blissful time for most college students. If you’re lucky, you can bring home all your laundry and have mom cook you real food. It’s the much-needed break you get right before the stress of final exams. Here are 4 tips for Thanksgiving Break bliss.

1. Take Naps

Thanksgiving Break naps

Since it is getting close to finals, taking time in the afternoon to take a break and get a nap in will help you stay refreshed. Throughout the semester, you have worked hard studying, researching and/or writing. You should try to take a break for at least an hour or two a day from your schedule to rest for finals. It is best to begin studying some several weeks in advance for your finals. You need all of the sleep you can get to do your best after spending most of your time and energy on your studies for the last three to four months. Let’s be real, taking a nap never disappoints!

2. Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving Break parade

A great way to celebrate Thanksgiving before the meal is to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv. If you oversleep that morning, you can tape it and watch it later. If you wake up in time to watch it live,  watch it with family and friends. It’s interesting to see what new floats and entertainment that is used every year for the parade to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s also a good way to forget about class for a while and embrace your inner child.

 3. Spend Time with Family

Thanksgiving Break family      

If you are traveling home for the Thanksgiving Break, it’s great to spend time with your family since you have been away from home all semester. You can help out with the cooking, enjoy the fall weather, watch football or play games while catching up with everything going on in each other’s lives.

4. Decorate and Get Ready for Christmas

 Thanksgiving Break Christmas decorating

Since Thanksgiving is followed up by Christmas, you can spend some time over Thanksgiving weekend picking out a Christmas tree. It can be a bonding experience with your immediate family to decorate the tree and your house together for the upcoming holiday. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go shopping with your family on Black Friday early and get the best deals on Christmas, or just wait for Cyber Monday to avoid the crowds. 🙂

Taking time to spend time with your family and friends during the holiday is a great way to get a break from school before finals. We hope these tips help you have yourself a blissful Thanksgiving Break…

P.s. Still need a textbook to study for finals when Thanksgiving Break bliss ends? Shop Knetbooks for cheap textbook rentals!

Popular Magazines for College Students


Whether you prefer to read yours on your kindle or you like reading the physical copy, there’s something awesome about picking up a new issue of your favorite magazine! Here’s a list of popular magazines that interest college students. Stay up with the latest fashion, health and entertainment news to stay sane in between classes, midterms and finals!

Teen Vogue


Teen Vogue magazine has great ideas for back to school shopping and dorm room decorating. The magazine also has the latest fashion trends and stores to find the latest styles with ensembles. If you need help finding your own style, Teen Vogue helps you discover the latest fashion ideas and collections for each season. There are also beauty tips included in the magazine and the latest celebrity styles.



Vogue magazine has the latest information on high fashion. The magazine gives insight on the culture, the latest beauty trends, and the season’s best styles. If you are looking for a classic look, Vogue has the best styles. The latest information on movies, books, and theatre is included in Vogue. There is information on parties, travel, homes, and weddings. You can also copy these styles with the help of other magazines that include stores that have the latest imitation of these high fashion trends at the best prices. You can go to class in style by finding the best styles in Vogue.



InStyle magazine has all of the best fashion, beauty, celebrity, hair, culture, and how to’s. The fashion section of the magazine has everything you need to know about the latest clothing, bags, jewelry, shoes, and the latest runway looks. The magazine includes the latest celebrity news and fashion trends. There is a Hollywood makeover, wedding beauty, and star couples. You can learn how to style your hair with tips. There is a how to section on pony tails, bangs, updos, pixies, and celebrity hair styles. There are also tips on how to style curly, wavy, long, medium, and short hair styles. Different hair styles, textures, and lengths require different methods of hair care. There is also information on health and fitness, nails, skin, and make-up ideas. Also there is also the latest information on books, movies, tv shows, and social media. Also there are great recipes included in the magazine. There is also information on home and decorating.



Self has the latest health and fitness information. You can learn to make the healthiest recipes for an on the go schedule as a college student. The recipes are usually fast and easy to make. There is also information on exercise techniques that help you relieve stress and stay fit. Some of the exercises do not take that much time from your busy schedule. The magazine also the latest beauty and fashion trends included in the magazine.

Benefits of Being Single in College


While you are in college, choosing to be single can be appealing for many reasons. While you are studying in school, staying single gives you more time to focus on issues that you are uncertain about in your life. Several college students are often unsure of their major and their future. Staying single during college gives you time to explore what your interests are and help you find out what you value most with less distractions. You have more free time to participate in extra-curricular activities and events in college too when you’re not worrying about making another person happy.  These activities can allow you to focus your energy on finding creative ways to express who you are and help you meet new people that can help you choose a major, if you are uncertain.  The school work in college is rigorous and since relationships are often emotionally draining and time consuming, choosing to be single is the best option for some students. College often sets the tone for some people to not take life seriously by being single and living a partying lifestyle. You can get off track by giving into some of the peer pressures of being single and living the typical college student’s lifestyle. When analyzed differently, you can decide to choose to be single as a way to take life more seriously through your studies combined with self-study and reflection. You can show leadership by being a student that does not let others tell them what to think or believe and take their studies seriously. Your time in college can help you find out what your beliefs, values, and opinions of the world are.  Choosing to be single can benefit some in this quest.

Choosing a Major

Spending more of your time with lots of different people that major in different areas can help you learn more about other majors to decide for yourself what is the best major for you to choose. You can spend more time with others to find out what their overall opinions of what the majors have to offer, what the course work is like, and how the major has help them find success and find happiness. You have more time to spend with your family and friends. Family and friends can often help you find the stability that most college students need and often cannot find in unsteady dating relationships.  College is a time of uncertainty in of itself for most people as they are trying to make their way in the world, and as most relationships come and go the relationships only become a distraction from your future success. It is best to find social groups that offer unconditional support and friendship to help you find your way in life. Some students leave school because of relationships; they get married and have children. When this occurs, most people do not finish their degree.  Your future can be greatly affected by decided to let one person dictate your future when you might not make the same salary by dropping out of school and the relationship might not last.

Discovering Who You Are and Finding Your Future


You should have full control over your future and make choices for yourself. College teaches you the importance of thinking for yourself and outside of the box. When you are presented with a series of difficult life choices, college teaches you not to compromise who you are to find true happiness and success that no one can take away from you.  Discovering you who are as individual with the gifts that you are given helps you to appreciate life and see more clearly what life is all about. When you follow what the crowd or one person wants you to be, you lose your sense of self and your whole world can fall apart. Learning to be by yourself and be devoted to your studies helps you not to let anyone or anything stop you from achieving your dreams and use your knowledge to help improve this world. At the same time being single helps you learn to think more of others than of yourself, you learn to think more about how others think feel and what they perceive about the world and not only of how or your significant other view the world.

Helping the World


Being single gives you invaluable time to let your opinions stand out and let your voice be heard apart from the typical views of others and not let the world tell you who you are. You learn that there is more to life than love and romance as you focus on other aspects of the world while you are being educated. College offers you a platform to help change the world, and you can best use your opinions as an individual for the ultimate good of yourself and others if you chose to do so. Many colleges can provide you with opportunities to travel by yourself or with a group to help out the less fortunate as well. If you were interested, not being involved in a relationship can make it easier to pack up and leave for such an opportunity. Being single in college is a sacrifice, but it is worth it in my opinion.

The Selection Series Review

The Selection


When you’re in college, giving your mind a break while keeping your brain active can be accomplished through outside reading. A great way to get your mind off your school work and relax is to read books that use the creative and imaginative aspects of your mind. One of the new series of books that has recently become popular and can be purchased at most all bookstores everywhere is The Selection and Elite series by Kiera Cass. The series is about royals in a caste system that use a selection process to court potential suitors and choose one to marry. In the selection books, America Singer, the sixteen-year old protagonist joins a selection of woman in a competition to marry Prince Maxon.

The Challenge


The selection is similar to a beauty pageant combined with an intellectual challenge as the girls are given rigorous assignments by Sylvia to both present to and impress King Clarkson, Prince Maxon, and the public. The girls are required to give presentations to the public where they address social justice issues to demonstrate how they would make the best possible decisions among an elite group of women if they were chosen by Prince Maxon to become the new princess. These assignments would remind the reader of how hard it is to prove your ability to reason on an individual basis in college presentations and papers that are to reflect similar thoughts and goals that can be compared to the arduous tasks the girls in the selection are forced to undergo. Their main task is to prove that they are well-bred by displaying proper etiquette at social functions hosted for royalty from other countries to show their diplomatic skills. These events include balls that the women in the selection host. As they put on the social event, they are given different roles that work on specific aspects of the social events as they strive to become the leading hostess through their social interaction with their guests. In the midst of all of the social functions, there are rebel revolutionaries that strive to terrorize and harm the royals. At one point in the Selection series, the women in the selection are to host a social event which is then interrupted by an outbreak from the revolutionaries. America Singer’s life is in danger and she has to use her intellect in the same way she does in the competition only this time it is applied to a real life situation as she is forced to think quickly to survive in these instances.

The Competition


The code of conduct is very strict between men and women in the palace, which makes the competition more interesting. America becomes distraught in a horrific scene where Marlee is punished for her misconduct with a male suitor where she is publicly beaten and shamed. At the end of the selection, Maxon surprises America as he lets her see Marlee again. America Singer is not your typical female heroine. She is outspoken and she does not play a typical character as she is very different in her thinking and views, since she is a highly intelligent and creative character. She is not as worldly in light of the that fact that she does not care as much whether she wins the crown or not while the other girls are more vicious in their competition and desire for the crown, such as Celeste. When America finds Maxon in a romantic scene with Celeste after she had an intimate and romantic moment with him, she becomes very upset. Celeste presents a more evil aspect of the competition than the other girls present as she strives to steal Maxon from the other girls and manipulate him by using more of the physical nature of their relationship against him. Women can relate to this aspect of the complexity of relationships in the books because it is both very realistic and imaginative. America begins to wonder about the nature of men herself after this event because Maxon appears to be somewhat of a fickle play boy. The other girls in the competition include Elise, Celeste, and Kriss as they add complexity to the story by presenting striking contrasts to America’s personality. Elise and Kriss seem to care more about the trivial aspects of winning the title and the crown than America does. Elise tends to doubt herself out of frustration when the competition becomes gradually more challenging and Kriss seems to care more about the gossip among the girls. America has more of a personal relationship and connection with Maxon than the other girls do. The other girls tend to focus on and be distracted by other extraneous factors that play into the competition, but are not as significant overall in the making of the final decision.

A Surprise Ending *spoiler alert*

America’s outspoken nature gets her in trouble with the King, though she wins the heart of the public’s approval through her bravery and actions. She is forced to not take the King’s criticism to heart about her overall contribution to the worldliness of the royal scene. Surprisingly, through the genuineness and humbleness of  her personality, she wins the crown. Cass makes the series interesting by presenting a series of arguments and fights between Maxon and America with a surprise ending where they get married. Since America Singer plays a unique role in The Selection series as she is both a royal and a down to earth character, she becomes an admirable character that captures the readers’ attention and favor.

All About Sorority Rush


Whether you are a freshman or about to finish college, sorority rush is a great way to meet new people and make connections. Most colleges begin rush either a few weeks before school starts or a month or so into the fall semester. The entering freshman class receives the opportunity to get to know more students during their first year by participating in sorority rush even if they decide not to pledge.

Pick up an Application


Students are to visit student life and pick up an application to start the process of rush. The application requires the students to attach a photo, along with a description of their academic and extra-curricular accomplishments, their year in college, their major, and their GPA. The sororities look for the most well-rounded students that excel in both academics and extra-curricular activities, since the sororities compete with one another throughout the year to strive to make the best impression on next year’s group of new potential members. The sororities use this application to select new members as they review their interactions and interviews with the potential new members each night of rush.

Prepare for Rush Week


Rush lasts for a week and is a rigorous process that requires the potential new members to communicate efficiently with numerous sorority members per house, dress properly, be knowledgeable about each sorority and describe how the new member would benefit the organization as a whole. At the start of sorority rush the potential new members are divided into small groups with a Rho Gamma leader. The Rho Gamma directs and guides the potential new members through the process. The Rho Gamma presents their experience going through rush to the new members, in order to encourage them as they prepare for each night. It is usually best to have some idea of which sororities you are more interested in than others before starting rush. Also, it is best to have some connections with others that have already been through rush before to ask for advice and to have connections with a sorority or fraternity before deciding to pledge. Some of the women’s sororities are actually known as fraternities and new members should be knowledgeable of the distinctions between each sorority.

First Night of Sorority Rush: Open House


The first night of rush consists of an open house. The first night is usually the most difficult experience because the new members are just becoming adjusted to talking to at least four or five members per house in a relatively short amount of time. On the first night, potential new members should make a good first impression by describing their academic and or extra-curricular accomplishments. It is best to already know about the philanthropy and the interests of the sorority or fraternity beforehand, but if not you can still do well as long as you strive to make a significant effort to learn about the organizations as you go through the process.

Second Night of Sorority Rush: House Tours


The second night is the house tours. On this night, the sororities try their best to impress the potential new members with singing, performances, various hands on activities, and introductions to the philanthropies. This is the time when the potential new members should pay the most attention to detail as they are to present themselves as confident in their future membership through their knowledge of the sororities’ and fraternities’ interests and expectations. The potential new members should try to be even more engaged in conversation as they interconnect their own interests and accomplishments with the views and standards of each sorority or fraternity. You can be invited to up to three houses until the final night.

Final Night of Sorority Rush: Pref


The final night is pref night and at this time you can only be invited to up to two parties. This night is known as the most critical one-on-one experience of all the nights during rush between the members and the potential new members. At this time, the members are trying to make the final decision as to which potential new members will receive a bid to join the sorority. The potential new members should try to persuade the members as to why they believe that they could make a difference in the sorority or fraternity and more importantly that they are more interested in the organization than the other girls.

Bid Day


The sororities will only choose the girls that they are more convinced will be involved in the sorority and that are genuinely interested in joining. Some of the pressure can be taken off the potential new members as they realize that the members are trying harder to convince the new members as to why they should join their organization and that all they have to do is describe how interested they are in Greek life. Rush is worthwhile because you make new friends and learn how can improve college life by joining a sorority. Bid day is a once in a life time experience and if you make it that far you have proven how you belong in an organization that exemplifies true leadership and sets a positive example on campus.

Comment below with your sorority rush questions or experiences!

First-Year Peer Mentoring


In order for college students to be successful in their future careers, they should strive to become achievers that rise above and beyond traditional standards. One outstanding option to attain the skills that are required for students to accomplish their career objectives while they are studying in college is to participate in peer mentoring. There are numerous college campuses with peer mentoring programs. The advantage of choosing to become involved in a peer mentor program, as opposed to other volunteer programs, is shown through the fact that students do not have to go outside of the college campus to help others.

Students can participate in peer mentoring programs as seniors to help guide freshman as they enter and embark on the journey of the college experience for the first time. The freshman class greatly needs proper advice from their peers that have already been through the college experience and have excelled in their studies. Peer mentors can provide information on campus life, the surrounding area where the college is located, studying tips, researching, and essay writing. These are all components that are crucial for students to become acquainted with as they start college in order for them to become successful during their first year. By receiving assurance from seniors, freshman students receive the confidence they need to find their place in college life and in this world.

Once you choose to become a peer mentor during your senior year of college, you become more experienced at proving your abilities to the world. You can prove your capabilities to your colleagues, your future employers, and your peers by applying the knowledge you received from your education to real life experiences that go beyond becoming a successful student, as you also prove that you have become an outstanding representative of your community.When you become a senior and are about to graduate, you should look back on your college experience and want to offer all that you learned to help others become successful because you were also once in the same uneasy position as the freshman at one time. Once you peer mentor college freshman as a senior, you will gain the leadership skills you need to succeed in the future and these skills will enhance your resume that future employers will review. Choosing to be a peer mentor helps students make the first and greatest transition in becoming a future success and you can make a difference by volunteering.

Comment below with your thoughts or experiences on first-year peer mentoring!