Author Archives: Angelina

5 Tips To Improve Your Writing

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Essays are a huge part of college. No matter what you’re studying, there is bound to be at least one class in which the instructor assigns an essay (sometimes several). If you don’t mind writing, then it may be a piece of cake to crank out a five page paper. However, if you aren’t a big fan of writing and put it off until the last minute, it can be a nightmare. Either way, there are several important tips every college student should know to make your writing the best it can possibly be.

1. Find A Quiet Space

It is more difficult to study, do homework, prepare for exams, or write if you are sitting in a crowded, buzzing Starbucks. I used to bring my laptop there, thinking all of the other writers and readers would inspire me, but I only ended up distracted by the sound of steaming milk, coffee orders, and not-so-quiet conversations. When you’re in a quiet environment, such as the library or a study lounge, you’ll focus better. I also recommend to leave your living space to minimize typical distractions (roommates, television, etc.). If you tell yourself you are physically going somewhere to write, you will take it more seriously and be much more focused when you are in that environment.

College Library Writing Computer

Photo © College Library Services

2. Review, Review, Review

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen friends and fellow students make, is that they don’t take the time to re-read what they wrote when they have finished. However, reviewing your writing is so important! Avoid yourself the embarrassment of turning in a paper with simple mistakes (spelling, punctuation, and grammar). A lot of professors actually dock points for simple mistakes such as these. Reviewing it can also ensure that you have covered everything you wanted to in your paper and that it all makes sense. This is also the chance to read it aloud to hear how it will sound to your reader. Keep in mind who your reader is (your professor), and write it for them.

College Paper Essay Writing Editing Review

Photo © Go College

3. Remove Unnecessary Words

People sometimes add filler words to their writing to make it longer, which is clever (and I’ve done it too), but it’ll only make your writing sound immature. When you edit, delete these filler words, including “that,” “so,” “and,” etc. Sometimes you may not even realize these writing habits until you review your writing. Also, search your paper for repetitive words. Trying replacing words used often in your paper with synonyms to still explain your point without sounding redundant.

Word Filler Writing Editing

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4. Add Detail

Depending on what class and topic your essay is for, it might be a good idea to spice it up a bit with some added detail. It’s good to be informative in your writing, but to really grab a reader’s attention, add some adjectives to make your writing descriptive and easy to visualize.  Write everything as if you’re really seeing it in front of you as it happens. J.K. Rowling and Tolkien had great success because their visions translated so well to paper with their descriptions.

College Student Writing Laptop

Photo © Instructional Tech Talk

5. Use Another Pair Of Eyes

Whether it’s a friend, classmate, or your instructor, have someone else read your writing. If they’re confused about something, that’s cue that revisions need to be made. Ask them for their honest feedback and to get out their pen to provide editing suggestions. You could even take it one step further and have them write down what they think the main idea of each paragraph is. If they have a different idea of what you were going for, it’s your chance to fix it.

Worst Thing I've Ever Read New Girl Writing Paper Editing GIF

Photo © Miss Bizz

Look for inspiration by taking a closer look at some of your favorite author’s writing. What in particular do you like about it? When you find the answer, learn to incorporate that into your own writing. The more you practice and try to improve your writing, the easier it will become to write. This skill will be helpful not just for college, but for any career as well.

How have you improved your writing skills? Share with us in a comment below!

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Spring Break On A Budget

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

Every year, I daydream about a beautiful, warm, tropical place that I can fly away to, but then I remember that I don’t exactly have the money for such a trip. Working full time and going to school is something a lot of us are familiar with – along with not being able to pay for a flight to Miami and a hotel room for five days. However, just because you cannot afford to have a luxurious Spring Break, doesn’t mean you are completely out of luck! Here’s a few ideas to have a memorable Spring Break while on a budget:

1. Alternative Trips

Some universities are awesome and have packages for Spring Break trips. I go to Texas State University and they offer a week long mission trip. I’m considering to go on the trip because they take us around Texas to help out at shelters, and then drive us to Louisiana to help there. Not to mention, our nights are free to do as we please! Free New Orleans trip AND you get to help out so many people in just a few days!

Spring Break Volunteer Homeless Shelter

Photo © St. Francis House

2. Drive Around

Explore your state (or states nearby)! There’s no reason you have to fly to get away. It’s so much cheaper to drive. Grab two or three friends, split the cost, and don’t splurge on fancy hotels. Plan some favorite activities and you’ll realize the company is really what makes a vacation fun.

College Students Driving

Photo © College Marketing

3. Vacation Bundles

Like always, Google can be your best friend. There are a ton of sites that offers packages and plans for college students to go on a trip for spring break! Some of my friends have used Student City because they offer safe, reliable, and convenient vacation packages that have everything included in the price. Oftentimes, the more you can bundle, the more you can save.

Student City Spring Break Vacation Package Bundle

Photo © Student City

4. Plan Ahead Next Year

It may be too late for this year, but if you have some solid friends that you know you’ll still love next year, it’s SO much cheaper to plan ahead and to pull your resources. You’ll get flights way cheaper, along with hotels. I planned a trip to Thailand for next December, and my flight is dramatically cheaper than if I were planning this trip for a few months away!

Spring Break Calendar Plan Ahead

Photo © Houston ISD

So, don’t fret! If you plan ahead and work within your means, I promise you can still have an amazing Spring Break!

Leave a comment below and share with us your plans for Spring Break 2015!

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5 Must-See Movies For Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter  Blogger Biography

Love is in the air! And what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by watching movies about love? There are tons of romantic movies out there, which may make it that much harder to decide on the perfect one for you and your valentine to cuddle up to this Valentine’s Day, so I have compiled a movie list of some of my favorites to help you out.

1. The Notebook

This movie is the ultimate romantic movie of our time! You can’t go wrong with the love story of a poor young man and a rich young girl who are forced to separate, but whose love never wavers. Warning: be prepared to shed many tears if you haven’t already seen this movie.

2. Casablanca

If you and your valentine are more into classics, this is the movie for you. This movie is a romantic drama film set during World War II. The story is about the love of the protagonist, Rick, and his lost love, Ilsa, who is in town with her husband. But the story is also of the drama that surrounds their love at this time and place in history as Ilsa must escape the country with her husband.

3. Love Actually

For a more lighthearted and funny romantic film, check out this movie. Although it is based around the holiday season, it’s still absolutely acceptable to watch in February (and all year round)! It follows the love stories of a variety of people of different ages and at different levels of love. Ranging from a young boy in love with his classmate who he has never spoken to, to a newly married couple, to a woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her – this movie has it all.

4. Dirty Dancing

One of my favorites, this movie tells the story of a young girl who is starting to realize the world isn’t as black and white as she had believed it to be. She discovers a different life style when she goes away on vacation with her family and meets Johnny, a “bad boy” dancer played by Patrick Swayze. Not only is the story great, but the soundtrack to this film is also quite amazing.

5. 50 Shades of Grey

For those of you who want to actually go to the movies this Valentine’s Day, this new movie opens on February 14th. Based on the very popular novel by E.L. James, this much-anticipated film has created a lot of buzz.

Any of these five films are a great choice for this Valentine’s Day. If you choose any of the five movies above, it’ll surely make your day more romantic.

What’s your favorite romantic film? Tell us in a comment below!

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3 Ways To Cure Those Winter Blues

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Do you have a case of the winter blues? The winter season, especially this time of year when spring is right around the corner, can make you feel so drab when you’re indoors so much, the sunlight is minimal, and the weather is so cold! There are many ways to get over the winter blues. Here are three suggestion to help you boost your mood during the rest of this winter season!

1. Exercise

Exercising helps your body release endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals that help trigger that positive feeling you get after your work out. If the weather isn’t too cold, try going for a jog outside with some friends. The fresh air and company will definitely alleviate the depression from being indoors all day. If the weather is too cold, open up all the curtains, turn on all the lights, and do a video workout from YouTube! My favorite workouts from Youtube are videos from Blogilates.

College Students Exercising Outside In The Winter

Photo © cdn

2. Brighten Your Wardrobe

If you are surrounded by pops of bright color, then you’ll feel that bright energy of spring and summer. You can always add a splash of color to your wardrobe any time of the year! It is crucial to make sure to add some color to your gloomy days. Go all out and pair bright colored pants with a bright top! If that’s a little bit of too much color for you, wear a bright coat, scarf, or purse. Just seeing vibrant colors will make a big difference to brighten your mood!

Bright Color Fashion Wardrobe Clothes Style

Photo © huggy monster

3. Light Up Your Life 

Sometimes all you need is a bright space to make you feel happy. Get a new lamp or add some decorative lights around your room or bed to do some light therapy. If you want to take it up a notch, light some candles to bring in more light and a relaxing vibe. When selecting candles to light, pick candles that have spring or summer scents.

College Dorm Room Light Decoration Winter Blues Therapy

Photo © lights4fun

It may be hard to believe, but spring is coming! Hang in there during these last few weeks of winter, as brutal as they may be. What do you like to do to help cure the winter blues? Leave a comment below!

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Hosting The Best Super Bowl Party

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Social Life/Relationships, Sports - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

Super Bowl XLIX will likely be the most widely watched Super Bowl of all time. It has everything from two superpower teams going head to head, to wild controversy, and historical significance. The Seahawks are looking to defend their claim to the title they won last season.The Patriots are taking on their former coach, Pete Carrol, and Tom Brady is looking to join his idol, Joe Montana, with four super bowl wins. If the Patriots win this one, Tom Brady and Bill Belichik will likely go down as the best ever quarterback and coach combination in the history of the National Football League, even though their legacy is tainted by the media-dubbed and hyped controversy, “deflategate.” Whether you believe the claim that the Patriots somehow cheated by deflating their footballs or not, the hype has certainly helped to build up anticipation for the game.

Watching the Super Bowl, also means having (or going to) a Super Bowl party. Even if half of your friends don’t like football, the Super Bowl is a time that everyone loves to get together to watch. If you have either volunteered or unluckily been elected to host a party for your friends or family, you may want to make sure you have some of the essentials.

1. Food

Your first option is to make all the food yourself and make sure all of everyone’s favorites are present, but you would then will have to clean up all the mess after. Your second option is to order takeout/delivery to spend less time preparing and to have everyone pitch in money to help out, but complications could arise, such as mixed up orders, late deliveries, and nobody having bills smaller than a ten. Your third option is my favorite – pot-luck dinner! In this scenario, everyone brings over what they like and you almost always end up with delicious leftovers because everyone brings so much! Usually everyone cleans up together and everybody is happy. Stick to easy-to-make and eat finger food like hot wings, burgers, pizza, scallops in bacon, pigs in blankets, meatballs, carrot sticks, crackers, cheese, etc.

Hot Buffalo Wings Super Bowl Party Food

Photo © City Menu

2. Transportation

Before you invite 10+ people to your house, make sure they all have places to park their cars! If you live in an apartment in the middle of town, you may want to switch the venue to someone who lives in a more suburban area or at least near a parking garage/lot. I would recommend to have your guests organize a car pool or take public transportation if possible. Also if anyone needs to stay the night, it is good to make preparations for them to crash on your couch and find a way home the next morning.

Public Transportation City Public Bus

Photo © Affinity Medical Technologies

3. Other Entertainment

Just because your guests are at a Super Bowl party does not mean they actually want to watch football. They may just be there for the company, food, or funny commercials. I recommend having other things to keep them occupied if this is the case, such as light music and party games in the other room. One popular idea to keep watching the game interesting and extra fun, is the game called Super Bowl Squares. Everyone participating picks squares on a grid, usually 10×10. Each axis is assigned one of the teams and the rows and columns are randomly assigned numbers 0-9. At the end of each quarter, a winner is chosen based on the last digit in each team’s score. So if the score at halftime is 33 to 24, whoever chose the square at the intersection of row 3 and column 4 is the winner! Usually people play this game with monetary prizes, with everyone participating pooling their money, but there could be alternatives as well. For example, if your friend’s also have a fantasy football league, this is one way to determine draft pick order for the next season (first pick goes to whoever won the square for the final score).

Super Bowl Squares Game Seahawks Patriots

Photo © Saving Advice

Now you’re ready for your very own Super Bowl party! Who do you want to see win the championship? Leave a comment below!

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