Monthly Archives: September 2012

5 Survival Tips Without The College Meal Plan

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Is this your first year without a college meal plan? Fear not, here are a couple of ways to manage without spending all of your money eating fast food.

1. Cook Weekly Meals, Not Daily

Cooking all of your meals at once will make it easier for you to eat at home. If you run into a hectic week full of midterms, you can just pull out something you’ve already made! Every time you open the fridge you will see plenty of food options and not just empty space. My advice is to purchase some a lot of food containers!

College Blonde Girl Cooking in the Kitchen

Photo © ex.libris

2. Plan Your Meals!

As students, it’s imperative to be organized. Adding a white board to your fridge adds plenty of decoration and can function to plan your meals and track what to buy. This way you never run out of food, and can always plan ahead to budget your money wisely for other things like Spring Break.

3. Find Your Inner Iron Chef.

Don’t waste gas and money to buy fast food if you already have the ingredients at home. Recreate your those foods at home – or find new recipes online or in a cookbook. I guarantee you will be extremely satisfied with yourself.

Recipe Book

Photo © Chiot's Run

4. Family Night!

Get together with friends, family, or both and have a pot luck. It’s a great way to spend much needed time with your friends and take a break from cooking a full blown meal. Always remember the more, the merrier.

5. Budget Your Money

This is probably the most important tip. Spending too much money on groceries or fast food can be a problem for many students. If you spend too much, food can spoil before you eat it, while too little will leave you starving. Most students, including myself, spend around $50-60 every two weeks for groceries. That means your only spending $100 on groceries per month! Compared to the $5,000 + of the dining hall meal plans that only provide 2 main courses, peas, and soda that is pretty good.

Two Guys Grocery Shopping for Food in a Store

Photo © wka

Hope these tips help! I have been off my university’s meal plan for 2 years now and haven’t had to resort back to Ramen Noodles yet. Good luck chefs!

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Come on, Get App-y: I Wish There Was an App For…

Filed under: All Things Tech, College Life - Angelina
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There are more than 10,000 cell phone apps for the iPhone alone. Sometimes it amazes me that as many apps as there are for our cell phones, there still aren’t any for the truly important things in life, reminding me why I broke up with my ex, or help with how to fix a recipe once it already looks beyond ruined.

I wish there was an app that would distract me from thinking about certain things and people. Dreading a work event? Don’t want to think about a guy or a girl? Push a button to get a fact so shocking, it’ll switch your mindset in the complete opposite direction. Better yet, maybe someone could invent an app for hypnosis?!

I wish there was an app that would discourage me from making permanent decisions based on temporary feelings, like reaching into that cooler by the Target checkout stand and grabbing that cold Pepsi that looks so good just because I’ve been waiting in this line forever and it hasn’t moved an inch, thus giving me a lot of time to imagine drinking that sugary goodness. I’m usually pretty good at convincing myself to not buy something, but sometimes the stomach rules.

I wish there was an app that would remind me why I broke up with my ex in the first place. It would keep track of everything good or bad that happened during the relationship and then replay those bad moments in case I ever had a “maybe we should try again” moment.

I wish there was an app for fixing a recipe I wanted to try but messed up when I added half a cup of unsweetened cocoa instead of just a tablespoons’ worth. How much milk and how much sugar do I add to balance it out? Should I just quit and start over? Is there something else I can make with this very unsweet mess I’ve already created?

Holding Apple iPhone

Photo © *Mayu

Our world is progressing fast and new apps are released every day, so at least one of these can’t be far off, right? What apps do you wish were available?

 

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3 Tips for Online Classes

Filed under: College Life, Education - Angelina
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Online classes are becoming much more of a norm than they used to be. Whether you’re taking an online class to get ahead, or it is your primary education, online education can be a useful way to get credit. From my experience, whether you enjoy the subject or not, online classes can be challenging because you really have to push yourself to get the work done. In a classroom setting, the professor can tell you everyday about an assignment and how important it is, with online you have to motivate yourself. I’m going to give you a few tips that have helped me in the past to make good grades for online classes.

1. Schedule Your Time

Online classes usually don’t have a set time period where you meet, so it is easy to blow off doing the work. If you decide before the class starts what days or hours you’ll set aside to work on the class, than you will have an easier time staying on top of the assignments.

2. E-mail Your Professor

Do not hesitate to e-mail your professor and ask him/her to clarify on anything that may be confusing you. The reason you have a professor is so they can help you with the class, and you won’t get the help you need if you don’t ask questions.

3. It Is A Challenge

I’ve ran into a lot of people who were under the assumption that online classes were easier. It’s easy to think that because you never meet in a classroom that the class won’t be as challenging, but don’t let your assignments reflect this notion. Just like regular classes, every assignment you submit should be your best effort. The grades you get will go on your transcript no matter where they’re from, and if you don’t do your best, it will show in your grade.

Guy Taking Online Classes from Home Studying

Photo © AlyssaH561

These are just three tips that will help you to be successful when it comes to online classes. We’re all just trying to make good grades and get ahead, and online classes are a great way to do this if you put in the effort and time that is necessary for success!

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5 Healthy Foods to Keep in Your Dorm / Apartment

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness - Angelina
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When you go grocery shopping every few weeks, which foods do you find yourself buying the most of? If it’s chips, sugary cereals, or lunchables, you might want to reconsider where you’re spending your money. They may taste good, but they’re not the best thing to put into your body. Splurge on a treat once a week if you must, but the rest of the time, focus on the “good stuff.”

Take a look at the list below to see five healthy foods that should always be in your dorm room or apartment.

1. Soup

A well-known comfort food. Soup is cheap, takes little effort and time to prepare, and pairs well with grilled cheese sandwiches, a side salad, or even just crackers. Eat it at home, or fill a thermos for when you’re on your way to class.

Hot Bowl of Soup

Photo © dmarkj22

2. Greek Yogurt

You may have heard rumors that Greek yogurt tastes bad, but try it for yourself. I recommend Oikos and my personal favorite, Chobani. Greek yogurt can have twice as much protein as regular yogurt, which means you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied longer. It also works in smoothies, desserts, and with fresh fruit mixed in.

Delicious Greek Yogurt and Fruit

Photo © raylynntexas

3. Brown Rice

Nowadays, cancer is a huge cause of death, but studies have shown the more fiber you have in your diet, the less risk you have for getting it. Brown rice, oatmeal, and most kinds of beans will help you get this fiber in each day.

Hot Bowl of Brown Rice

Photo © musicpb

4. Fruit

Switch it up and keep a few bananas, kiwi, pears, pomegranates and/or peaches around. Buy them in bulk or ready-to-eat. It might be more expensive, but at least you’ll reach for it first if it’s already cut up.

Bananas and Peaches, Fruit

Photo © Annalisa-

5. Almonds

They reduce bad cholesterol and help you lose weight, what more could we ask for? They’re also a great in-between-classes snack, giving you that extra boost of energy you may need to get through your last class. Also try: walnuts, pecans, or cashews.

Bowl and Bag of Almonds

Photo © Nutsinbulk

Unless you shop when you’re hungry (which is a big universal no-no) it should be easy to shop healthy with a list like this in hand to guide you.

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Pajama Pants Epidemic

Filed under: College Life, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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It is an epidemic that is sweeping through college campuses all over the country. Boys, girls, men, women, everyone seems to be affected by this strange, new, yet somehow unsurprising ordeal. What is it that is afflicting the students of higher education you ask? Pajama pants, yes that’s right, pajama pants. This seemingly harmless sleepwear option has crept its way out of our beds and into our classrooms. And up to a point, I understand that fascination the student population seems to have with this choice in apparel. Pajama pants are comfortable, warm, and easy. Most students who wear them to class look as if they just rolled out of bed, because that is exactly what they did!

Now you are probably wondering, “What’s the big deal? So some students like to wear what they sleep in to class? Big whoop.” Well, here is a newsflash that some of you pajama pants enthusiasts may not have considered; as college students, we are preparing to make our way into the professional field where we will expect to be taken seriously and treated like adults. That mentality and attitude starts right here, right now, in college. But how do you expect students, faculty, or even teachers to take you seriously when you can’t even take the time to dress yourself in an appropriate manner in the morning? This is the dilemma faced by the pajama clad at every college campus. Sacrifice their sleep to look presentable, or enjoy the soft and sweet comfort of their bed as long as possible.

College Girls Wearing Pajamas Out and Slippers

Photo © Amy Watts

It is not just about taking you or the way you present yourself to the world seriously, but if you do not take enough pride in the way you look, how are you going to take any pride in your studies? In your relationships? Or even at your current job? The occasional pajama pants day is understandable, acceptable, and expected.

Beware – do not fall victim to the pajama pants epidemic!

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