Staying Academically & Professionally Oriented During Summer

Filed under: College Life, Education, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Summer is notorious for college students to “take a break” from school, chill out a little, and relax after having relatively high stress levels. But, sometimes we can get a little too laid back, not realizing that even though it’s summer, we still have homework. Yes, homework during the summer – and I’m not talking about summer school (but that does count too!). No matter if you’re a senior, freshman, junior, sophomore, or recently graduated – it’s crucial to always be focusing on the future of your academics and career, even when you are in need of a serious life-pause.

If you need a little inspiration on ways you can continue to work towards your life goals, here are some ideas:

1. Create A Vision Board

This is a strategy a lot of people in well-known positions use, including celebrities. Get a bulletin board and pin to it all the places you want to be able to go, all the things you would like to do, and pictures of what you want your life to look like. Every time you see it, you’ll feel that little spritz of motivation to keep focused and stay strong. It’s a good reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Find A Support Group

Since you’re on Twitter and Facebook most of the time anyway, put that time to good use and find social groups and accounts to follow that support 20-somethings trying to find their way. Type in a few keywords, such as “college,” “postgrad,” “motivation,” and you’re on your way. Not hooked into social media? Type those same words into Google to bring up a variety of local support group you can join for meetings. You can share your struggles and successes with each other, share resources, and network.

3. Make A List

Create a list of all the things you have accomplished thus far. It’s super easy to get stuck in that rut of negative thinking by focusing on all the things you have to do, things you haven’t done, and things you should have done by [insert age here]. Change this around and make a list once a week of things you’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Tried a new meal at a restaurant? Add it to the list. The little accomplishments will measure how well you’re progressing. In addition, whenever you catch yourself in the rut of that negative thinking, stop yourself and replace it with a hopeful, optimistic thought.

4. Work On A Portfolio

Depending on your major, a portfolio is a crucial piece to have on hand for interviews, or for handing over to a career advisor at your university. A second pair of eyes never hurts, and if you already have one going, add to it, update it, and keep it fresh. Taking a look at it periodically is another great reminder of what it is you’re working toward.

5. Interview Someone With Your Dream Job

Is there someone in particular you strive to be like? Reach out to interview them, find out how they got where they are, and draw your inspiration from your new muse. Can’t get there contact information? Look for someone who has a position similar. Make sure when you ask them about their job, you find out how they stayed motivated. It never hurts to gain new ideas.

Do you have any secrets for staying driven? Share them with us!

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Summer Camping Hacks

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

If you’re like me, you went camping with your family when you were a kid. And you loved every second of it. Being from New Hampshire, I kind of had to learn to love the outdoors. There is so much the outdoors can offer, which is a good thing since it can bring you closer to nature and further away from your couch.

For those of you who aren’t like me and have little experience sleeping in a tent and cooking meals over a campfire, turn to this guide for some summer camping hacks to make your transition into the wild a little bit easier. And don’t worry; your couch will still be there for you to crash on after you’ve had your fill of nature.

Foam Floor Tiles

Just because you pitch a tent in a flat area of land does not mean it will be comfortable to sleep on. Tents provide no cushioning between you and the ground. A lot of people like to use air mattresses but those can be bulky, time consuming to inflate, and sometimes expensive. If you want to save money and space in your car, you can buy some foam floor tiles to provide a flat cushion to roll a sleeping bag out on.

The Jug-O-Light

Need a lantern, but don’t want to spend the money? Or maybe if you forget to pack the lantern… Fill up a gallon container with water and attach a headlamp to it with the light facing in. The entire jug should light up by reflecting the light.

Campfire Crescent Rolls

Got a craving for some crescent rolls, but you don’t have a stove because you’re in the middle of nowhere? Don’t worry – you can make crescent rolls on a stick over a fire much like you would with a marshmallow! You can even fill them with marshmallows and chocolate for a delicious and flaky spin on the classic ‘smores.

Portable Hanging Hooks

Get yourself that belt you’ve had since you were 14 but have since outgrown and left hanging in your closet, and put it to some use! Wrap a belt tightly around a tree, insert some hooks, and you’ve got yourself a place to hang wet clothes, pots and pans, or anything else you can think of.

DIY Fire Starters

Let me first start off by saying that fire is not something to play around with by any means. Forgetting how dangerous it can be is how forest fires are often started. But camping just wouldn’t be the same without a toasty, nightly campfire to gather around. Instead of using lighter fluid, consider using an egg carton filled with charcoal briquettes. Simply place the carton under the dry firewood and light both sides; you’ll have a good blaze within minutes. Also, Doritos can be used as a very effective kindling too.

Smoky Bug Repellent

First find some sage. You can either buy it in a grocery store or in a specialty plant store before your trip, or if you’re lucky you might be able to find some near your campsite. Bundle up the sage with some sticks and stick it in your campfire. As it burns, the smoke will deter insects without all those nasty chemicals.

Hopefully these summer camping hacks can make you a pro-camper in no time!

Share your camping hacks with us in a comment below!

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Dealing With Unemployment Blues

Filed under: College Life, Graduation, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

All college students have pretty high expectations of what is ahead of us after graduation. Since we were children, we’ve had this idea embedded into our brains that we have to go to college so that we can get good jobs. But what many of us learn when we graduate college is that finding that job post-graduation can take quite some time. Sending in resume after resume without a single response can really become quite depressing, and it’s easy to fall into a rut. However it’s important to not only to stay positive during your search, but to also enjoy the time you have off.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with those unemployment blues:

1. Be Proactive, But Not Obsessed

Sitting in front of your computer screen all day looking through hundreds of job sites and emailing resumes can take a toll on your psyche. It’s important to get out of the house and move around. You still need to live your life, so do not dwell just on job searching! Go take a walk, enjoy some sun, and remember to take job hunting one day at a time.

2. Set Small Daily Goals

Don’t make your everyday goal be “find a dream job.” The odds of that happening right away are not too great and you’ll just stress yourself out more. Make small daily goals for yourself such as “send out five resumes” or “find three companies I’d like to work for” so that they are things that you can actually accomplish each day and feel productive doing so.

3. Take Advantage of Free Time

Take advantage of all of the free time that you now have as you are in that in-between stage. Plan out an allotted time each day to continue your quest for a job, but also take time to do things you enjoy. Go to the beach, go out to brunch, or enjoy a nice book. These are things that we take for granted when we have all the time in the world, but once you’re working a 9:00am to 5:00pm job, these will be the things you miss most. Don’t dwell on the fact that you are still unemployed and instead relish in the fact that you have the opportunity to do all these things.

4. Don’t Pressure Yourself

This can be a really stressful time and we put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves to succeed in our search to find the perfect job. However, in the long run, these few jobless months won’t mean that much. Don’t compare yourself to others and think you’re the only one who hasn’t found a job yet, or that what you find is not as good as what someone else may have been lucky to land. Don’t stress yourself out, be content knowing that you’re trying your best and giving it your all.

Most important of all, don’t lose hope. The right job for you is out there and you will find it eventually. Good luck on your search fellow graduates!

Share your job hunting tips and advice on how to stay positive with us!

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6 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Summer is a wonderful season for a college student. Classes are usually over, there is generally more free time, the daylight hours are longer, what’s not to like about summer? Well… maybe the heat?

If it gets to be too hot, and you’re in need of some cooling relief, try these ideas:

1. Freeze Your Pillow

If you have a larger pillow, this might not work if your freezer is pretty packed, but smaller pillows work perfectly. Cover up your pillow with a plastic bag and then stashed in the freezer for several minutes. Or, there’s always the option of going full-blown infomercial and buying the Chillow. Either way, you will rest-assured have a pillow to help minimize those night sweats!

2. Change Your Sheets

If your bedroom gets stuffy and warm in the evening, the best bet is to go for silk and satin sheets and blankets. They’re smoother and tend to stay cool, unlike cotton and flannel which are better for the winter months since they retain heat. Bonus: silk and satin are better to help prevent split ends and frizzy hair!

3. Neck Wraps And Headbands

If your workplace tends to get pretty warm, or you’re heading out for the day in the heat, try a stylish neck wrap, which you can stash in your freezer before you head out. They’re available for purchase, or you can make your own with this tutorial.

4. Bed Ice Packs

When I was abroad in Georgia, my host mother taught me this trick, which I should’ve figured out long before. Get an ice pack and freeze it so that it’s ready by the time you’re heading to bed. Place it under the sheets at the foot of the bed, or wherever you feel would be most beneficial. I definitely recommend this tip!

5. Take A Cold Shower Before Bed

Most doctors don’t recommend taking a shower with only cold water, so make the water tepid for most of the duration. Turn the temperature to cold for about 15 seconds right before stepping out. This way you’ve got a head start on beating the heat before slipping into bed. Showering before bed is a good idea in general because, especially in the summer, it rinses away all the sweat lingering on your body. And no one wants to crawl into a bed feeling sticky and sweaty!

6. Have Fun With Water!

Invite some friends over, set up a sprinkler or slip n’ slide, and have some fun in the water! Socializing, cooling off, and acting like a kid makes for a great distraction! If you want to have even more fun with it, fill up a lot of water balloons or water guns and play tag! You’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget how hot it is. For a post-water treat: Popsicles!

Do you have any secrets to staying cool in the summer? Share with us in the comments, or let us know how our suggestions have worked for you!

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Dos And Don’ts To Packing For Studying Abroad

Filed under: College Life, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

I am lucky enough to be one of the student’s from Texas State going to Spain this summer to study abroad! I’ve been so excited for various parts of the trip, but as it gets closer, anxiety has definitely set in because I have had to start thinking about what I should pack! There’s only so much room in a suitcase, but I also want to make sure I’m prepared since I’ll be so far away from home!

I put together a list of my do’s and don’ts for my trip to help guide you when (or if) you take an abroad trip! Of course, these are things that are important to me, so you can always customize your list when the time comes!

Do’s

The most important things to pack when studying abroad are:

1. Passport/ID

This one seems pretty obvious, but I feel like I have to mention it because your passport is the number one important thing that you need to bring on your trip. Before you leave, make copies of it and your ID. Take copies for yourself, but also give family members copies of them, just in case something happens! It’s best to be prepared.

2. Camera

Whether it’s disposable, or a digital camera, bring one. Don’t just rely on your phone! This way you avoid running out of storage or damaging your phone. Also, the quality can sometimes be better.

3. Several Forms of Money

I plan on bringing a debit card, credit card, travelers checks, and also getting some Euro’s before I head to Spain. The last thing you want to happen is for something to get stolen and it be your only form of money. Keep these forms in different places around your luggage, and in the hotel safe!

4. Adapters

Pay attention to what country you’re traveling to and find out if you need to buy a special adapter. I need to bring one because of my hair devices and phone charger. Don’t wait until you get to the airport to buy one, it’ll be way over priced!

5. Comfortable Shoes

As much as I want to look good out on the streets of Barcelona and Madrid, I also know that their streets are mostly cobblestone and I’ll be doing a lot of walking. It’s way more important to be able to walk the next day, than to get a compliment on your shoes!

Don’ts

This list is just a few things people have advised me not to bring abroad. I agree with them and will pass them along to you:

1. More Than One Hair Device

This one is easy. Choose if you want a straightener or a curling iron. For those like me, who like both, just choose one! You’ll be thankful when your suitcase has more room!

2. Expensive Jewelry

You don’t need to bring any of your expensive jewelry. Especially if it has sentimental value. Leave it at home so you avoid the risk of losing it or it being stolen.

3. Lots of Shoes

Your best bet is to look over your itinerary and figure out exactly how many pairs of shoes you’ll need, and then don’t pack more than that. I’m bringing a business casual pair, a comfy pair, and sandals. Shoes take up so much space, and they aren’t a necessity.

Hopefully you’ll get to experience studying abroad, and if you do, hopefully this list helps you get started with your packing!

Share your packing advice in a comment below!

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