Monthly Archives: March 2012

Easy to Pull-off April Fools’ Pranks

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

The day is here. The one to change Facebook statuses, tell your boyfriend that you’re pregnant and watch his face turns colors as you try not to laugh, and cover friends with shaving cream. Personally, I have never participated in Aprils Fools’ Day, even though I’ve definitely been the brunt of jokes before. So here’s a list of some great tricks and jokes to help you stay on top of the pranks this year. Maybe I’ll even dish out some of my own this year.

1. Door Strings – If live in the dorms and want to prank some other halls, then here is a great, easy prank you can do as a whole floor. First, get a ball of string or twine, as long as necessary for the amount of doors on the floor. Have at least one other person to help you get this done as quickly as possible. Make sure to do this when you know the floor will be relatively uninhabited (3am – 5am is usually the best!). Simply tie the string in a strong knot around the first door. Then attach the string to the opposite door handle and tie a knot on that one, keeping the string taut. I prefer to leave one string between two doors and keep it at that instead of keeping all the doors attached to one another. If done properly, the room occupants should have quite an issue opening their doors in the morning.

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2. Fake Lottery Ticket – If you haven’t been following, the Mega Millions lottery is upto $640 million. The fake lottery ticket could be golden to pull on those of your friends who have been buying a bunch of those lottery tickets. Purchase fake lottery tickets here if you aren’t able to make your own. Each fake ticket appears to win $20,000 or more. The look on your friend’s face when they think they have won the lottery will be priceless.

3. April Fool’s Laugh- Pick a victim and keep warning your victim that April Fools’ Day is coming. Talk about a few practical jokes that you can think of and let it be known that you WILL be pulling a prank. Develop a chuckle or something similar if possible. When April Fools’ Day arrives, smile secretively whenever you see your victim. Nothing else will be necessary; the nerves of your victim will be totally shot while waiting for this supposed prank to happen.

Want to read about some more awesome April Fools’ pranks? Check out this site; they’ve got a list of easy to do and hilarious tricks that will work great with very little preparation.

Happy Pranking!

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Job Opportunity: Become A Textbook Franchise Ambassador!

Filed under: Contests and Promotions, Post Grad and Career - BookRenter Team
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by BookRenter Textbook Franchise Manager, Joshua Panwala

Summer Session Application Deadline: May 1st
Fall Session Application Deadline: July 15th

We know that in college, saving money is tough, and making money is even tougher. That’s why we have launched the Textbook Franchise Manager program – a chance for you to get paid, while passing along BookRenter savings to your friends and classmates! You could make $50 in just 3 easy hours, if you have what it takes.

It’s simple!  There’s already a BookRenter Franchise at your school.  All you have to do is complete ten marketing activities and you’ve earned your 50 bucks.  How much easier can making money get?

The only requirements to this job are dependability (can we depend on you to get the job done in the requested time frame?) and the ability to speak well in public.  You might ask, is that all?  Yes!  It’s that easy!

Not only can you make a quick 50 bucks, but you can get your friends involved too. will hire up to 30 students for this position and pay each of you for the work you’ve done.

Don’t pass up this fantastic opportunity for college students with the drive to succeed, vast networks, and boundless energy.  The spots are filling up, and time is running out, so apply TODAY!

To submit an application, email your resume to For the complete job description, click here (PDF).

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A Volunteer How-To

Filed under: College Life, Volunteering and Giving Back - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

Extracurricular requirements can play a pretty big part in our college career. Whether or not we’ve done any volunteering shows future employers not only what we’re passionate about, but also that we took on the extra effort, even though we may have already been swamped with our class load or part-time job. Luckily, there is no requirement for how long you have to volunteer at an organization (although it is preferable that you stick with it for longer than, say, 3 weeks); they can always use the extra help.

What’s even luckier is that there are many organizations central to a lot of different cities, so no matter where you are for school, if you find one you like, you can stick with it long after you’ve graduated! Like, for example…


This non-profit organization’s mission is to match a mentor with a mentee age 6-18, and help improve youth self-esteem through one-to-one relationships. Mentors and mentees hang out once per week and do fun things like rock-climbing, white water rafting, and attending sports events. Bonus: they even offer college credit!


If you volunteer for the Humane Society, you have the opportunity to walk and play with the animals. Photo by Travel Salem.

If you’re living in the dorms and policy says you can’t have an animal, the Humane Society is your ticket to cuddling up with a furry buddy. Volunteers are the keys to adoption at the Humane Society. Who exercises the animals and makes them more sociable and adoptable? Volunteers. What better way to spend your free time than helping a critter find its new home?


Another non-profit organization that supports the people and programs that help adults learn to read and write, ProLiteracy works not just in the U.S, but internationally as well. Volunteers help with G.E.D. preparation and English as a second language, and assist middle schoolers/high schoolers with test preparation in reading, writing, and mathematics.

What you should know before volunteering:

  • When you find an organization you like, be up front on your volunteer application. Let them know what your time commitment is and of any schedule restraints you have.
  • Sometimes you’re going to get a little dirty! Unless you choose to volunteer in a nice clean office, you might get a little muddy or a little hairy. For example, if you don’t want to chance ruining your favorite pair of Levis, you might not want to volunteer at a horse ranch. Try to find an organization where you’ll be less concerned with what you look like, and more concerned with the mission at hand.
  • Attitude is everything. Find an organization you actually like, otherwise it won’t be as pleasant an experience as it could be. Remember you’re there to help in any way you can, so if you show some enthusiasm, there’s always the possibility of a letter of recommendation, or even a job offer down the road.
  • Don’t assume that just because you’re one person, you can’t make a difference. No, you aren’t Superman, but as cheesy as it sounds, you might be exactly that to a youth at risk, or an animal needing advocacy. One person can get a lot done, so don’t underestimate yourself and your ability to contribute!

How to Connect:

If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, head over to They’ve got a whole archive of opportunities so you’re bound to find something you like.

Good luck with your search!

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Sometimes a Computer is Necessary for Class…

Filed under: All Things Tech, College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Stan Whitcomb
Stan is a freshman at Santa Clara University. He is currently undecided, but is leaning towards a major in computer science. He is new to the blogosphere but is a seasoned writer (thanks English class!). In his free time, he likes to Dougie with his hallamtes and he is an avid Frisbee player.

Laptops are considered a bare necessity in college these days. I can count on one hand the college students I know who don’t have a laptop. We use them to email our parents, register for classes, and help us with our homework (and help us procrastinate from doing homework!). Unfortunately, these wonderful machines can be a help and a hindrance if we bring them to class.


Photo by Stephanie Asher

First off, most people who own a computer can type faster than they can write. This can be helpful when you want to take a lot of notes quickly and don’t want a sore hand afterwards. In addition, with typing, you no longer have to worry about problems like illegible handwriting. Great for those of us who take avid notes, look down, and realize that we can read about one of every five words we wrote.

In a recent study, students who used their laptops for note-taking and in-class activities scored higher than the students who took notes the traditional way. There were, however, two catches in the experiment: the students were policed heavily in regard to their use of the internet, instant messaging, and gaming and the class that students were in was geared towards laptop use.

If both of these parameters are not met, we see a negative correlation between laptops in class and test scores, according to this study and others. The moral of the story is, we need discipline if we want to use our computers effectively in class (I personally suggest turning off your computers Wi-Fi capabilities in class if all you are doing is taking notes. This strategy has done wonders for me).


Initially, there is the whole dawdling issue. With the internet, you have basically infinite potential for bumbling around looking for something funny or interesting online. This could be through Tumblr, Facebook, Stumbleupon, or even old fashioned Google searches. The point being, these sites are timewasters and take up a portion of your concentration. You may think that you can listen to a lecture and look at memes. But recent studies show that multitasking and performance share an inverted relationship. Another downside to typing your notes deals with your memory. There is something about writing that allows you to remember it more easily, and thus not have study your notes as much. The same cannot be said for typing unfortunately. When the same can be said for typing as writing, I know my computer will be out every class, timewasters aside.

So now you have it out on the table. If the pros outweigh the cons, take your computer to class  (I encourage it!). However, if you know that halfway through your lecture you are going to start scrolling through your news feed, perhaps closing the laptop for a second will be a better option.

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Book a More Budget-Friendly Table! 6 Awesome Places to Eat near N.Y.U.

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team

You’re blazing through mountains of textbooks cramming for tomorrow’s exam when all of a sudden a loud, grumbling noise snaps your brain back to reality… because your gut is demanding to be fed. Thing is – you’re sick of cheap takeout and peanut butter sandwiches. You’ve been hitting the books hard and want to reward yourself with a little bit of civilized culinary goodness. You’re casting off the New York City University campus tonight and going out for a night on the town.

Manhattan is a Mecca of great grub, and once in a while, you deserve a treat! Even if you’re on a budget like most college students, the fabulously situated NYU campus has oodles of eateries that satisfy your belly without making your wallet cry… as long as you don’t make it a nightly indulgence 🙂 .

Check out some of these delicious spots all within a 2-mile radius of your beloved New York University—most serve up a swank meal for under 20 bucks, not to mention tons of tasty treats well under $10.

1- Alta: Located at 64 West 10th Street, this Italian restaurant serves up delicious and reasonably priced meals, with entrees spaced out from $5.00 to $18.50. Go ahead – toss that stashed up 20 bucks at a heavenly braised short rib! You only live once. And at just 0.63 miles from campus, the leisurely stroll back to your room can be the perfect way to walk off that decadent meal.

2- Mon Repas: Who says you can’t find sweets for cheap? If you’ve got a craving for crepes and galettes, look no further than Mon Repas on 50 West 8th Street. A short 0.55 miles from campus, this bakery boasts savory and sweet deliciousness starting at $5. (And they consider $8 high end.)

3- Caracas Arepa Bar: Venezuelan-influenced and New York-perfected, this hidden gem is sure to get the salivary glands going. Only 1.63 miles from NYU at 93 ½ East 7th Street, Caracas Aerpa Bar is home to the best $5 arepa around. Not feelin’ arepas? Their menu spans $4.50 for tajadas to $22 for a meat platter. Don’t know what an arepa or a tajada are? Maybe you should sign up for Spanish next semester J

4- Dos Toros Taqueria: Craving Mexican? Only 0.83 miles away from school, this yummy hot spot located at 11 Carmine Street offers some of the best tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and guacamole around. Prices ranging from $2.98 for a basic taco to $7.81 for some carne asada, Dos Toros definitely has some appeal for students on a budget.

5- Artichoke Basille’s Pizza: Ahh, pizza. A cornerstone of college cuisine. Cheesy, gooey, and saucy, what’s not to love? Dominos and Pizza Hut are alright, but when you want to break away from the basic chain restaurants, walk yourself down the road about 0.52 miles to this neighborhood jewel. Located at 111 MacDougal Street, you can feast on a completely enormous slice of pizza for $4 or feed your dorm with a humongous pie for $26-$30.

6- Yakitori Taisho: あなたはもう、空腹ですか? Or in English, “Are you hungry yet?” This Japanese joint serves specialty cuisine ranging from $2.95 for Shirasu Oroshi, or tiny fish with radish, to $13.50 for some yakitori (food on a skewer). Yakitori Taisho is about 0.52 miles from campus, located at 5 St. Mark’s Place.

And there you have it! Conveniently located, budget-friendly food in the NYU area. Say goodbye to Raman noodles and the same old student union meals and hello to exotic and scrumptious meals right outside your doorstep! Remember, a happy stomach makes for a much more lucrative and enjoyable study sesh.

(Not an NYU student? Bookmark these tasty babies for your next visit to the Big Apple – you won’t be disappointed!)

© Pavel Sazonov –

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