Category Archives: College Life

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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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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5 Biggest Resume Mistakes

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

A resume is the very first impression you make on any possible future employers. Before you even have a chance to charm your interviewer with your wit and humor, they have to first like your resume. Therefore, it is crucial that your resume is impressive, professional, and on-point. Don’t make silly mistakes that can potentially cost you a job.

Avoid these resume mistakes and you could be on your way to your next interview:

1. Forgetting to Proofread

This is the number one mistake that job applicants make that has a huge impact on a resume review and yet can be so easily avoided. Make sure to read your resume over several times before sending out a final copy. Then after you’ve read it, have a friend read it over too in case you missed anything. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

2. Lying

Although it’s usually okay to embellish a little bit about your responsibilities at previous jobs, do not put down blatant lies. If you do not know how to use certain computer software that the job you are applying for requires, don’t say you do know how to use it in the hopes of figuring it out if you get the job! This will not work and you will just end up looking like a liar and feeling embarrassed.  Then your whole overall value as a reliable employee will be tarnished, and may even cost you the position.

3. Not Enough Detail

If you are a recent college graduate, you are probably desperately applying to 20 different jobs each day, so your natural instinct may tell you to simplify this process by creating a generic resume that you can quickly send out that generalizes your skills to apply to all of the jobs you are applying for. Do not do this. It is tempting because it is easy, but make the time to tweak your resume to be specific to each job that you apply for. Use the same key words from the posted job description to fill into your resume. The person reviewing your resume will see you obtain all the skills required for the job and may ask you to come in for an interview. It is more beneficial to send out 8 resumes that are more personalized and detail-oriented, than to send out 20 cookie-cutter resumes.

4. Rambling

More information is not always the best. Using superfluous words and rambling just to fill space on the page does not indicate more experience for the job. It may actually do more harm than good. It’s good to keep a resume short to the point. As the saying goes, quality is better than quantity.

5. Unprofessional Presentation

Resumes should be clean, not crumbled, typed in black ink (unless you are applying for graphic design), with consistent font face and size. Your resume should not only read as professional, but should also look that way as well. It should be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but also nothing crazy. Use traditional formatting and make sure it is easy to read. When in doubt, clean and simple is the best way to go.

Put some effort and time into your resume each time you apply for a job. You may be anxious (that’s normal) to just applying to any job you come across that looks decent, but don’t just throw yourself into applying without taking the time to present yourself in the best light for the position. Your resume is your golden ticket to get called in for an interview, so be sure to treat it as an important step in the application process!

Share your resume tips with us in the comments below!

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Get Motivated To Staying Fit

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Unfortunately, this will be my last blog for BookRenter. It has been a great three years sharing my insights about DIYs, fashion, college life, and more with everyone. For my last blog, I wanted to share some ideas on how to stay motivated while getting fit. Staying motivated to keep in shape is always a struggle. Changing your exercise routine or diet is not easy. However, there are many ways to keep motivated towards reaching your goal, even on days where you just want to quit.

Here are a three ways to stay motivated to stay in shape:

1. Join A Weight Loss Pool

Weight loss pools are a great way to stay motivated when you are losing weight. The goal of the weight loss pool is that everyone pools in their money and has to achieve one goal. Those who achieve the goal win a portion of the sum of money that was collected. There are many websites, like Diet Bet, that have weight loss pools with participants from different cities, states, and even countries! So work out and get rewarded for it at the same time!

2. Reward Jar

Grab a Mason jar and add in $50 to $100. Create a list of rewards to do for every time you reach a goal. For instance, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you can reward yourself with something small using the money from the jar for every 5 pounds you lose. You can treat yourself to some frozen yogurt, buying a new pair of jeans, or a day trip to the city. You can decide how big or small to make the reward jar. I personally have a reward jar filled with money saved towards reaching my goal of losing weight for a trip to Hawaii. Do whatever works for you!

3. Track Your Workouts

Get yourself a nice Fitbit or similar fitness tracker. You can utilize this by tracking your steps, movements, and calories. If you can’t afford to purchase a Fitbit, then download an app like MyFitnessPal (you can even use it straight on the web). By tracking your steps, workouts, and calories, you’ll become more aware of your fitness habits. You can even link up with friends and compare your results to get fit together!

The most important thing is to learn what is motivating you to reach your goal, and to keep that as your fuel for your fire. You can always change up your incentives as you go if you feel like it is not enough to motivate you.

Tell us what motivates you in a comment below!

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5 Reasons To Study Abroad

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

One of the most unique opportunities offered by colleges these days are the various study abroad programs. There are so many different options when choosing to study abroad. If your school doesn’t offer it directly, there are tons of organizations that offer abroad education. If you’re looking to get school credit, you could always just ask your college for approval if it is not associated with them. However, studying abroad is a valuable experience even if you don’t receive college credit.

Here are the top 5 reasons I believe you should study abroad before you graduate:

1. Learn More About Other Cultures

I’m going to Spain next month to study abroad, and for the past six months I’ve been doing research about the country and I have learned so many things I never knew. I already feel more educated not only about Spain, but of Europe. When I go, I’ll be able to experience their way of life, their culture, and the way that their public relations firms are ran. Whatever field you’re studying, studying abroad can expand your knowledge and allow you to gain valuable skills that will impress future job interviewers.

2. Get A Leg Up On The Competition

Even though there are various programs throughout the world, less than 10% of undergraduate students study abroad. No matter what field you are in, going abroad will definitely set you apart from the rest.

3. Its Cheaper Than To Travel On Your Own

One of the main reasons students don’t opt to do a semester or a year overseas is because they fear the cost of the program will be too high. With most schools, mine included, there are a ton of scholarships offered specifically for abroad education. You can also apply for financial aid to help bring down the cost. Most programs will have package deals that the school sets up, so your overall trip is dramatically cheaper than if you were to travel on your own time. If traveling is an interest of yours, definitely do it this way as a student while you can.

4. You Create Strong Bonds With The Other Students

You’re normally with a group of about 15 to 30 people, depending on your program. I’ll be travelling with 25. The experiences you’ll create with these people will turn into great memories that’ll last forever because you will be learning and exploring together. I haven’t even left yet and I’ve already become so close with the girl I’ll be rooming with while we’re there. This has helped me a lot since this is my first year at a new school too!

5. It Makes Summer School Seem Not So Bad

I feel like I am so lucky because not only am I getting to take two classes that I need to graduate, but I also get to go to Europe for my first time. I’ve always taken summer school, but it is honestly difficult to get through. My friends that take trips, and make plans for all summer, definitely leave me jealous, but now, I’m able to have a great vacation and get the credits I need this summer!

Whether you’re at a school that has study abroad programs or not, there are hundreds of programs throughout the world that allow students to take part in a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can broaden your perspective on culture, lifestyles, and field of study. I encourage you to at least look into a few programs and start daydreaming about where you’d want to go. Remember, don’t get discouraged about cost because sometimes your school can help!

Leave a comment if you have traveled abroad or are planning to. Where did you, or are planning to, go? Share your experience with us!

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