Category Archives: College Life

Home for the Holidays: Unexpected Challenges

Filed under: College Life, Living, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

For many students, coming home for the holidays and winter break is a welcome reprise from the pressures of college. You get to eat home cooked meals, sleep in late in your own bed, and see old friends. However, students sometimes don’t realize until they get home that their expectations might not reflect reality. Being away from home for so long can make one forget their parents’ rules and expectations. Clashes between a student’s college lifestyle and the structures of home life are bound to happen.

Conflicts may arise over sleeping habits. There are few things more relaxing than sleeping in an extra hour or 2 than you normally would. However, it isn’t unreasonable to get up on time to help with chores or do a favor. Staying up late can always cause anxiety in parents, especially if you’re out of the house somewhere with friends. If your parents like to enforce a curfew consider discussing it with them to set it at a reasonable time for you to still have time to have fun and exercise new-found freedoms and responsibilities.

You may have also developed some sloppier habits while living in your dorm room. Generally, when you are home you’ll have to actually clean up after yourself, which is completely reasonable when you’re living in your parent’s or anyone else’s home. There are studies that say having a clean space can help improve your overall mood, which will improve your approach to everything from studying to getting along with your family at home. It is okay to be a little messy in your own room but the key is to not let it get so bad that it gives your mom a heart attack if she opens your door. If things start to smell, it is probably a good time to clean up.

You may have an enhanced social life now that you’ve been on your own for a while. Going out with friends all day or night is definitely fun but you should find a balance between going out with friends and socializing with family. Understand that no matter how much you enjoy being on your own, your family hasn’t seen you for weeks or months and they probably miss you. No matter how much you clash at home, they love you and want you to succeed. They deserve some of your attention too. Conversely, you probably have lots of friends in your hometown who miss you too and want to hangout before they go back to school for months. It can be hard to balance your social life back home, but it’s not impossible. Consider inviting your friends along if you’re doing something with the family.

Harmony at home is about compromise. Both the parent and the student need to recognize the expectations of the other and find a way to meet in the middle on most of them. Open and clear communication is one way to mitigate this. Keep talking to your parents. Let them know your plans and find out what theirs are. You must remember that right now is a transition time for you and your parents. You are a young adult learning responsibilities and individual freedom, but that may not always be easy for your parents to understand. Do respect their rules, but make sure you communicate honestly if you feel you are being treated like a child.

It’s always great to come home, but do remember these unexpected challenges!

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Rejoice: Rewarding Yourself After Finals!

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

 

 

 

 

Most college students right now are probably stressing out, studying crazy hours, drinking enormous amounts of caffeine, and losing precious time for sleep. Why? FINALS.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, finals may not be as stressful for you as it can be for other students. When I was attending school, the only classes I wasn’t worried about finals for were classes having to do with my major since the material came naturally. They were one less final to worry about, and one less thing to study. But for other classes, ones I wasn’t so naturally great at, I worried. I worried so much that when finals were finally over, I was mentally exhausted. The one thing I gave myself to look forward to for completing finals was to reward myself. And you should too when you’re done with finals!

Rewards, no matter how small, are a great source of motivation. You might be surprised at how efficient you can be if you have something to look forward to after completing a task. If you’ve worked hard, you deserve a break and to treat yourself!

Here are a few ways you can relax and reward yourself after finals:

1. Treat Yourself

Normally I’m not one to use food as a reward, but during finals week, I would reward myself with Caramel Apple Spices from Starbucks for each final I completed. Needless to say, my sweet tooth was happy! You can try frozen yogurt, ice cream with all your favorite toppings, or even just a juicy burger from a local diner.

2. Movie Marathon

Are there movies out in theaters you’re hoping to see? When finals are over, make a day of it and buy tickets to each one so you can see one right after the other! Bring along some friends to make it extra special.

3. Relax and Rejuvenate

The beach is one of my favorite places to unwind and relax. I find listening to the waves and feeling the sand between my toes really loosens me up if I’ve been feeling particularly stressed or stretched with work. Bring a journal or a book and some music, set up a blanket with a picnic, and relax for the afternoon. If the beach isn’t an option due to weather, then find another place you like to relax.

4. Retail Therapy

Who doesn’t secretly have something they’d like to splurge on? Whether it’s a pair of boots that cost a bit more than you’d normally spend, a flashy watch, or a cozy leather jacket – chances are if you walk through any store, you’ll find something that catches your eye. Or, during one of your study breaks, scan your favorite store online and pick out something you’ll really look forward to when it arrives.

5. Simple Works Too

If all else fails, your reward can simply be a cat nap and then waking up to a great book you’re dying to finish. Hey, we’re college students! Sleep holds its own value now too!

Good luck students on finals season! You will do great!

Share with us in a comment below how you reward yourself after completing finals.

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There’s An App For That: College Studying

Filed under: All Things Tech, College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It is not a secret that technology can be a great resource for studying for any student.  What may be a secret to you, however, is which apps are really worth your time and are helpful.  There is so much out there and it can be extremely time consuming picking out just what works for you.

Check out these tested, tried, and true apps that have worked for me and can definitely work for you too!

1. Quizlet

Quizlet has been my saving grace during the last few semesters.  This app allows you to create flashcards for any topic.  Once your flashcard set is created, you have the option of turning the flashcards into a self-grading quiz or playing games that help you study.  What I love most about this app though, is that you can type the flashcards on your computer, and then open the app and study on your phone or tablet.  I like to have the website open during lecture and discussion so that I can type in the flashcards as I go and study them on the app as I walk to my next class. Did I mention that this app is free?

2. Complete Class Organizer

Complete Class Organizer does not help you study, but what it does is just as important.  Keeping track of everything you have to do between 4 or 5 classes, extracurricular activities, and work is hard enough.  Let this app be your personal organizer.  While I have not used this app personally, 3 of my closest friends swear by it and it is definitely on my list of apps to download for this spring semester.

3. Mindjet

Putting together any research project takes a lot of time.  Trying to figure out how to organize all that information can add even more time on to that. Mindjet (iTunes/Droid) helps you take all that information and organize it in a way that makes sense.  As I wrote my honors thesis last spring semester, I cannot express how valuable I found this app to be. If you are tackling any research papers or projects, this app is for you!

4. RefMe

That research work will most likely need a bibliography or reference sheet as well.  If you need a quick reference, use RefMe (iTunes/Droid). Simply scan the barcode of the book and the app creates the reference for you!  This app is pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.

5. Grammarly

This amazing tool is both an app and a website.  Do you have a question on whether or not a sentence is grammatically correct? Or would you like to run your essay through a quick grammar check without heading over to the writing center? Grammarly is for you. I recommend this app to all college students at every level of writing. I have been using this for years and it has never let me down once.

As finals are quickly approaching, these apps should help you stay on top of studying and help you ace those exams! Good luck and happy studying!

Share any of your favorite study apps with us in a comment below!

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Celebrating Thanksgiving On Campus

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

Parades, football games, delicious food, and of course seeing family and friends are just a few things that make the holiday season so great. The other great thing is taking a break from school! But what if you live too far from home to visit for Thanksgiving? Or what if you just can’t afford it this time? Don’t assume you’ll be stuck feeling alone on Thanksgiving. It may be easy to give in to that depressed feeling, but you can distract yourself with a multitude of ways to celebrate on campus.

Celebrate Thanksgiving on campus in your own way:

1. Buddy Up

Get together with anyone you know who may also be still on campus for the holiday. You can all go out to eat together, or maybe even collaborate together to put together a home-cooked meal.

2. Volunteer

Local charities and organizations are always looking for volunteers during the holiday season. They usually need help putting together an event or dinner for the community. Reach out and I bet you they will thank you for your service with a nice yummy meal. Don’t forget the side of having accomplished something nice for others (which is what Thanksgiving is all about).

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Eat Alone

It’s okay to have a Thanksgiving dinner to yourself. Sometimes, that can be the most stress-free and relaxing way. Decide if you want to cook or just get takeout! You can take all the time you need to choose a good Netflix movie and enjoy! Don’t forget the dessert too!

4. Go Out, Get Busy

Sometimes a good distraction can take away any loneliness. If you want to get out, go see a movie, go to a park, or start some early holiday shopping! Have some fun and maybe get some things done that you’ve been wanting to do.

5. Ask For Leftovers

There is always enough food to go around. If you can’t get a meal of your own, ask a friend or someone if they can bring you some leftovers so you can at least get a little taste of Thanksgiving. In the meantime – get a head start on homework, make a list of things you’re thankful for, and maybe even Skype with family/friends to distract yourself!

6. Watch TV

Seriously, Thanksgiving is a great time for television. The Macy’s Day parade and football games can fill your entire day! Make it a point to get cozy in your dorm or apartment with some blankets and goodies from the grocery store and watch whatever you want! If you don’t have cable or a television, then try online!

The important thing is to make the most of what you can. Bake your favorite kind of cookies, listen to your favorite music, or even plan what to do with the money you saved by staying on campus! Remember to be thankful for what you DO have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Studying Strategies For Finals

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

This time of the semester is usually crazy with college classes. Between professors cramming in material at the end of the semester, to team projects, and loads of homework and tests (including finals), it’s no wonder students can be burnt out this time of year. However, this is a very crucial time to stay focused and make sure you carry through the best you can to continue to learn and get good grades.

Have successful studying session for tests and finals with these recommendations:

1. Work In Increments

You should break up your class and homework assignments you’re working on and accomplish them one piece at a time. This makes it easy to track your progress and keep up your morale by accomplishing a series of mini-goals. You should also make sure you take breaks in between each segment. Experts recommend about 15 minutes of break time to every 1 hour of studying to not exhaust your brain power. Whether you decide to eat a quick snack, go outside, or socialize for your break, just make sure you take that time for yourself (and then get back to studying).

2. Stick To A Schedule

You should plan specific times to study and stick to your schedule. This makes you more accountable to actually study. After a few weeks of this, studying will become just another habit in your regular routine.

3. Set Goals

Don’t start studying until you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, such as to learn more about a certain topic. This will keep you focused on the things you need to work the most on as you study and can help you plan out where you are spending your time as you study.

4. Limit Distractions

First, you should find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted much by your surroundings. You should also be wary of digital distractions. You may need your laptop or tablet to study, but limit your social media and web browsing. You can also tell your friends not to bother you when you’re studying, or just turn off the notifications on your phone.

5. Ask For Help

Much of the work you will accomplish “in the real world” will come from collaborating with others. For this reason, and for the sake of your sanity, you should feel comfortable reaching out to other students in the class if you are stuck on a problem or topic. Or you can even reach out to the professor. By communicating your difficulties, not only will you likely receive help, but if a lot of people are also having trouble with the topic, the professor may be willing to alter or review the material to fit the needs of the class.

Remember, everyone studies differently for what works for them. It may take some time to find out the best method for you if you haven’t found it yet. If you have found your ultimate study method, share with us what it is in a comment below!

Good luck studying!

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