Category Archives: College Life

Staying In Touch For The Holidays

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

If you’re like me, and most college students, you can’t afford to fly everywhere to see the people you love during the holidays. The holidays are a time to share love with the people in your life that you care about, and sometimes if you’re not able to be with them, you have to be creative on how you show them you love them! Here are a few very simple ways that I have shown love and stayed in touch with family and friends during the holiday season, and you can too!

1. Christmas Cards

Websites like Vista Print, Shutterfly, etc. are cheap and allow you to design your own card. Or, just make your own! Sending cards are a fun, easy, and quick way to say hello to friends and family. My last Christmas card had a picture of me and three of my pets. On the back, I gave a brief description of how I was doing in school and how my pets were doing. This makes the people you send the card to, feel updated and loved by you!

DIY Holiday Christmas Cards

Photo © Guru Koala

2. Skype

Skype is one of the best ways to keep in touch with anyone, anywhere. I love it because it feels like you’re sitting across from the person you are talking to. A few years ago, I was cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner and my dad walked me through the whole thing on Skype! It made us both feel lucky to have that kind of technology. It felt like we were cooking together. Video chatting is one of the best things to do if you’re distant from your friends and family.

Skype Video Chat

Photo © Skype

3. Surprise Gifts

This one may require you to save a few bucks, but it’s totally worth it for the people you love. Last year, we said we wouldn’t exchange gifts, but I sent my dad and step mom flowers and Christmas cupcakes that were delivered to the house. They felt so much love from the gesture, even though I was miles away. If you can’t afford much, then get creative! Send them a framed picture that you love of the two of you, write them a song, or whatever you’re talented at – use it as a surprise gift that will surely brighten their day!

Christmas Cookies

Photo © goodtaste

Distance is hard all the time, but it is especially hard during the holidays. Tackle the sadness of distance and be proactive by showing the people you love how much they mean to you, no matter how far away they are!

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Test Taking Tips

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia Baran

Tests are a dreaded, but necessary part of college. They are the cause of countless sleepless nights and stressful breakouts, but they don’t have to be. Feeling fully prepared for a test can take a lot of that stress away. Here are a few ways to make the process a bit more bearable:

1. Use Your Notes

The notes you take in class are probably your best tool when it comes to studying. Simply re-reading your notes may not be enough though – instead, rewrite your notes. This may seem too time consuming, however I’ve found it to be much more effective when trying to remember the material. It may also allow you to re-organize the material in a way that may make more sense. I’ve also found that rewriting them by hand is more effective than typing the notes out, but you have to find what works best for you.

Studying Notes For College Test Exam

Photo © Cardigans & Chai

2. Explain The Material To Someone Else

This is a trick I’ve used for years. After studying the material, do your best of discussing it with another person, or try to teach them the material. Sometimes just saying the words out loud and hearing the material can help you soak it up. If you can’t teach it, you don’t know it. During this process, you can realize which material you need to study more.

College Tutoring Teaching Studying For Exam

Photo © My Guru

3. Eat Before Your Test

Nothing is more distracting than trying to silence the growls coming from your stomach in a silent room. Never go into a test hungry! Instead of focusing on your test, you’ll be thinking about the embarrassing noises coming from your stomach that are causing your classmates to give you funny looks. Keep a granola bar in your bag for such emergencies so as to avoid this unnecessary distraction. Also, fueling your stomach fuels your brain!

Breakfast Before College Exam

Photo © Her Campus

4. It’s Just A Test

Tell yourself those four words. After all, it IS just a test. This may seem like the easiest thing to do but actually letting go of the stress and pressure of a test is very difficult for most of us. No matter how important the test is, once you’ve already sat down to take it it’s time to relax and just do the best you can.

Taking Test In College

Photo © Frank Walton

Do you have any tips for improving test-taking? Share with us in a comment below. Good luck and remember, it’s just a test!

 

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Things To Be Thankful For

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

 

It’s that time of year again where the walk to class in the morning is getting colder, the sun is setting around 4:30pm, and finals are coming. For those of us who live in areas that get snow, the winter can be pretty miserable. It can be easy to forget how great one’s life is when you’re trudging through about 4 feet of snow to make it to that 9 am class. However, with winter comes holidays, and with holidays comes a nice dinner and family. The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, are a time to remember all the things we have to be grateful for.

1. College

Believe it or not, college is a privilege. Those who do not have the means to go are put at a huge disadvantage. That doesn’t mean it is impossible to succeed without a degree. Some people have great success without going to college, but they achieve this through extraordinary perseverance and dedication. College certainly lends a hand to finding a career. It is an experience of some of the most important things you can learn, lessons about yourself. There is arguably no better place than college to meet new people, try new things, and figure out who you are, and what you believe. It is an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

College

Photo © The Coast News

2. Family

Family can mean a lot of different things depending on each person’s point of view. To me, family means more than just the people you are related to. Family is also the people you can rely on no matter what. Family is defined by love, trust, and making the most of your time together. As we grow up and start to form our own lives, tend to see less and less of our family. They are easy to take for granted sometimes. But they are people to be grateful for because they’ve had your back since day one and will continue to be there when you need them.

Happy Family Picture

Photo © Positive Parenting Together

3. Thanksgiving

Sure, we were lied to in school about the true nature of the first Thanksgiving. Realistically it probably wasn’t anything like the holiday we celebrate today, but the now it allows people to take a break from their daily life and spend the whole day with family and friends, watch football and the Macy’s Day Parade, play games, and eat arguably the biggest and tastiest feast you will eat all year.

Thanksgiving Family Dinner

Photo © beans not bambi

Keep in mind how lucky you are this holiday season. What are you thankful for?

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Getting Fit On A Budget

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

Looking to get healthy but don’t know how? Or are you looking to get a good workout in to lose a couple of pounds before the holidays without spending money on DVDs and gym memberships? If you’re looking to shed some weight and tone up, here are some fun, easy, and free workouts you can do!

1. YouTube Videos

Who needs workout DVDs when you can get a great workout from videos on YouTube? Whatever your fitness level is, there are videos that can help you get into shape. Whether you’re looking to shed weight or tone up, the variety of videos are nearly endless.

2. The Prison Workout

These workouts can be done in small spaces such as a dorm room or apartment. Like the conditions of a prison, you have don’t need much room and you only need to use your body to tone up. The workouts are based on repetition and your body’s weight. If you follow this workout, you will definitely get stronger and more toned!

Man Doing Crunches

Photo © Eights and Weights

3. Running Apps

Running is one of the best ways to get into shape! If you’re a beginner and need a push to start running, there are many apps (most are free) that you can download to your phone to help push you. It has set running schedules made to push you into running harder and faster. These apps are like having your own personal trainer. It will tell you when to run, rest, and even push you to run faster. There is a variety of apps ranging from beginner runners to more advanced runners. Whichever level you are at, these apps can definitely give you a great workout.

Runkeeper Running App

Photo © Toms Guide

These are great ways to kick-start getting towards a healthier you! If these workouts aren’t enough, many colleges have gyms included in their student fees and tuitions. If you’re looking to get fit, you can definitely take advantage of working out at your school’s gym. If you need more help or tips in getting fit, you can also inquire about personal training sessions. A great tip I can give is, ask friends who are into fitness for tips on how to get fit. Most times, they’re willing to help whip you into shape for free!

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4 Campus Services You Should Not Pay For

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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By Guest Blogger, Kevin Foor

College is expensive. One year of school at an in-state public institution currently averages $18,391, according to the College Board. If you go out of state, that number bumps up to $31,701. Because of the high costs of tuition and room and board, it’s essential that you cut costs wherever you can. In addition to saving money on textbooks by using a service like BookRenter, there are plenty more ways to conserve cash in college – and they come mainly from avoiding costly campus services. Here are four that you should avoid.

1. College Debit Card

You might think that getting a college debit card is a great idea, especially since many schools can load your financial aid directly onto it. However, these cards are typically chock-full of fees, including swipe fees, usage fees, and inactivity fees. Plus, having all that student loan money on a piece of plastic is only going to tempt you to spend it unnecessarily. Your best bet is to get in on the latest checking account promotions or to open an account at a local bank that offers a fee-free debit card.

Campus Credit Debit Card

Photo © Heartland Payment Options

2. Errand Services

These services run the gamut. You might see signs in your dorm lobby for laundry pick-up, grocery shopping, or meal preparation and delivery. Don’t take the bait. College is tough, there’s no denying it, but if you don’t think you have enough time in the day to take care of these responsibilities yourself, try instituting some time management practices to free up the necessary time. When you’re studying, go to the library or another quiet area so you’re not interrupted. If you’re doing online research for a school project, stick to the matter at hand and avoid surfing the Internet or checking your social media accounts. Free up more time in your day and you can complete these errands on your own and save a bundle.

College Laundry Services

Photo © Gopher Laundry

3. University Health Coverage

Because of the Affordable Care Act you can now stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until you reach the age of 26. Take advantage of that and opt out of campus-based health insurance. This is another unneeded expense and even if your parents ask you to pay for your portion of the coverage, it’s likely to be less than what you would pay through your school plan since many institutions have significantly raised premiums.

College Health Services

Photo © HVCC

4. Dining Meal Plan

I was recently reading a college education website and one student commented that his food plan cost $1,325 for 100 meals. That’s $13.25 per meal. Be sure to run the numbers of a university meal plan before signing on the dotted line. You could save yourself hundreds by eating in your dorm room. Take advantage of cooking facilities and clip coupons to save money on your grocery trips.

College Dining Hall Plan

Photo © Austin College

You may believe some of these services are worth the cost, but don’t lose sight of how important it is to keep your expenses down while in school. Once you graduate and hopefully find work, you’re going to be responsible for personal budgeting. Save money any way you can during school and start paying your loans back as quickly as possible.

What campus services can you eliminate that are unnecessary?

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