Category Archives: Fun Ideas

8 Things To Do Before The Summer Ends

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron TranchemontagneDid you start off this summer with a huge list of summer activities you wanted to complete before the season ends? Summer is almost over, so if you haven’t taken an opportunity to enjoy it yet, make sure you do so soon! Make this summer memorable and fun!

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer by doing some of the following:

1. Hiking

I could be very biased because I’m from New Hampshire and have unlimited access to the breathtaking White Mountains, but I think hiking is a much underrated summer activity. It’s great because it lets you reconnect with nature, it’s very healthy cardio, and often times the destination is worth the trek. One of my favorite summer memories is hiking up to Zealand Falls to see the beautiful views on the summit, and then stopping at the waterfall on the way back for a refreshing swim in the pool below. Its best to go with at least one other person, but anything beyond a group of four can get hectic. Make sure you pack a lunch, snacks, plenty of water, sunscreen, and plenty of bug spray.

2. Camping

This one and hiking almost go hand in hand, and they’re fun for the same reasons. Go camping without an RV, trust me, it’s a whole different experience. You can either drive out to a campsite and park your car at your designated site, or you can venture into the woods with all your gear on your back. I usually go to a state park that allows camping because it is the perfect mix of civilization and wilderness. Bring a tent – of course – and either some inflatable mattresses or foam squares to lay on the ground to make sleeping more comfortable. There will likely be a fire pit and maybe a grill there, but consider bringing your own personal grill and a small tank of propane. Depending on where you go, they may have bathroom facilities, but it’s always best to check ahead of time so you can plan out what you need to bring and what you don’t. Also, check out my last blog about summer camping hacks.

3. Family Reunions

Haven’t seen your cousins, aunts, and uncles in a while? Why not have a family reunion? My family does this every year and in the 40 years that it’s been around, it has become one of the most widely anticipated events of the year in our family. It’s always the first weekend in August and everyone in the extended family is invited for a surf n’ turf cookout complete with lawn games, music, and good company. It’s always good to reconnect with the family members you haven’t seen in a while.

4. Sun Bathing

Yes, it’s not too late to go outside and get a tan. This is an activity with lots of multitasking opportunity. You can read, talk on the phone, take a nap, listen to music, etc. all while laying outside. Just remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated if it’s hot!

5. Fairs

Ever been to a fair? They’re pretty fun, right? If you haven’t been to the fair, rest assured, it’s pretty fun. There are lots of fairs that happen at different times in different places, but end of the summer into early fall is usually a fair-filled season. There are games, rides, and often times even a petting zoo! Not to mention all the fair food that is delicious and terrible for you (I highly recommend the deep-fried Oreos). You may even get to see some fireworks while you’re there!

6. Outdoor Entertainment

Does your town have a park? Do they sometimes host concerts, theatre productions, or movies in that park? If they do you should consider going to one! It’s just like going to all that stuff normally, but outside! Often times the movies shown at outdoor venues are indie movies or documentaries that you wouldn’t get to see in a commercial movie theater. Most of the time, the concerts feature relatively unknown bands who aren’t big yet, but might be in 5 years or so and then you’ll get to say, “I saw them play 5 years ago at a park in my town” and everyone will think you’re so trendy and ahead of the curve.

7. Museums

If you can find a museum about something you are genuinely interested in or just want to know more about, then prepare to have a super fun day of learning (yes, that is possible). Typically the exhibits at science museums will feature something mind-blowing and/or interactive. Art museums are less interactive but may have some very awe-inspiring pieces if you’re an art lover. There are also more specific museums dedicated to a certain topic or person. For example, if you are in Virginia you can visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, where you can tour the house and the grounds to see what life was like on the property. You’ll see everything and gain more of an appreciation for a little piece of American history.

8. Amusement Parks

Although the lines and the ticket prices can be a hassle, it’s usually a fun day whenever you go to an amusement park. The rides are thrilling, the games are entertaining, and the food is cardboard (so pack your own lunch). I also include zoos and aquariums in this category because often times amusement parks will have their own zoos or aquariums, like Busch Gardens in Florida or the York Wild Kingdom in Maine. And if you think about it, zoos and aquariums are essentially nature-museums operated like a theme park. If you can’t find a theme park within driving distance of you, see option #5.

If all else fails you could always go play in the sprinkler (maybe?). Whatever you do with these last few weeks of summer, have fun and appreciate each day. School will be back in session before you know it!

What is the best thing you’ve done this summer? Share in a comment below!

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Studying Abroad: “You Won’t Know ‘Till You Go”

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

“You won’t know ‘till you go!” That’s the slogan my university uses to promote study abroad. In the months before my trip, I posted about the reasons you should study abroad, and what to pack. Now that I’m back, I’m going to share with you my experience studying abroad in Spain and encourage you to hopefully study abroad someday as well.

1. Culture

When you go on a trip with your friends or family, sometimes you don’t get a feel for the culture because you’re with your group doing your planned events. This trip, we worked hands on with employers/employees and even students that live in Spain. It was an incredible opportunity to learn firsthand the differences between our cultures, like their importance of siesta.

2. Skills Gained

Everyday for two weeks we were lucky enough to visit businesses that dealt with public relations, advertising, film, and media. We were taught valuable skills relevant to our studies by some of the best professionals in Spain. Talk about motivation! Every time we left a business, I felt like I was ready to take on the world!

3. Friendships

I do not know too many people from my school, so this trip was a big reason for me to go. There were people ages 20 to 33 on the trip with all kinds of backgrounds and walks of life. People that probably normally would not be friends all became so close in such a short amount of time just because of this experience. It was amazing the love we all had for each other by the end of the trip, even though we’re all so different.

4. New Perspective

It’s easy to get in our own bubble in the U.S. and think that our way of life is the “norm” (is there really such a thing), but going to Europe woke me into reality on how far behind I am compared to students my own age. I’d say about 90% of the people I met there spoke even a little bit of English. I do not speak any other language at all. Students there are taught from a young age 2-3 languages. Something like this gave me a new global perspective, and it has really motivated me to start working towards learning about the world, other cultures, and other languages.

5. Learning

Instead of being in a classroom for the semester, we were in film studios talking with producers, or in public relations firms learning their best strategies to getting new clients. This was incredible as a senior college student to be able to work directly with people in the field that I’m studying to be in. It was just like job shadowing, but a million times better. This trip was so much more than what I thought it would be. Yes, it was educational, but it was also life-changing for me because it changed my perspective on a lot of things. You can take a trip anywhere and have a great time, but to have an experience like this is definitely worth doing. I encourage you to consider studying abroad with your school because you really won’t know until you go.

Have you studied abroad, or are you planning to? Where? What was your experience like?

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Summer Camping Hacks

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

If you’re like me, you went camping with your family when you were a kid. And you loved every second of it. Being from New Hampshire, I kind of had to learn to love the outdoors. There is so much the outdoors can offer, which is a good thing since it can bring you closer to nature and further away from your couch.

For those of you who aren’t like me and have little experience sleeping in a tent and cooking meals over a campfire, turn to this guide for some summer camping hacks to make your transition into the wild a little bit easier. And don’t worry; your couch will still be there for you to crash on after you’ve had your fill of nature.

Foam Floor Tiles

Just because you pitch a tent in a flat area of land does not mean it will be comfortable to sleep on. Tents provide no cushioning between you and the ground. A lot of people like to use air mattresses but those can be bulky, time consuming to inflate, and sometimes expensive. If you want to save money and space in your car, you can buy some foam floor tiles to provide a flat cushion to roll a sleeping bag out on.

The Jug-O-Light

Need a lantern, but don’t want to spend the money? Or maybe if you forget to pack the lantern… Fill up a gallon container with water and attach a headlamp to it with the light facing in. The entire jug should light up by reflecting the light.

Campfire Crescent Rolls

Got a craving for some crescent rolls, but you don’t have a stove because you’re in the middle of nowhere? Don’t worry – you can make crescent rolls on a stick over a fire much like you would with a marshmallow! You can even fill them with marshmallows and chocolate for a delicious and flaky spin on the classic ‘smores.

Portable Hanging Hooks

Get yourself that belt you’ve had since you were 14 but have since outgrown and left hanging in your closet, and put it to some use! Wrap a belt tightly around a tree, insert some hooks, and you’ve got yourself a place to hang wet clothes, pots and pans, or anything else you can think of.

DIY Fire Starters

Let me first start off by saying that fire is not something to play around with by any means. Forgetting how dangerous it can be is how forest fires are often started. But camping just wouldn’t be the same without a toasty, nightly campfire to gather around. Instead of using lighter fluid, consider using an egg carton filled with charcoal briquettes. Simply place the carton under the dry firewood and light both sides; you’ll have a good blaze within minutes. Also, Doritos can be used as a very effective kindling too.

Smoky Bug Repellent

First find some sage. You can either buy it in a grocery store or in a specialty plant store before your trip, or if you’re lucky you might be able to find some near your campsite. Bundle up the sage with some sticks and stick it in your campfire. As it burns, the smoke will deter insects without all those nasty chemicals.

Hopefully these summer camping hacks can make you a pro-camper in no time!

Share your camping hacks with us in a comment below!

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6 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Summer is a wonderful season for a college student. Classes are usually over, there is generally more free time, the daylight hours are longer, what’s not to like about summer? Well… maybe the heat?

If it gets to be too hot, and you’re in need of some cooling relief, try these ideas:

1. Freeze Your Pillow

If you have a larger pillow, this might not work if your freezer is pretty packed, but smaller pillows work perfectly. Cover up your pillow with a plastic bag and then stashed in the freezer for several minutes. Or, there’s always the option of going full-blown infomercial and buying the Chillow. Either way, you will rest-assured have a pillow to help minimize those night sweats!

2. Change Your Sheets

If your bedroom gets stuffy and warm in the evening, the best bet is to go for silk and satin sheets and blankets. They’re smoother and tend to stay cool, unlike cotton and flannel which are better for the winter months since they retain heat. Bonus: silk and satin are better to help prevent split ends and frizzy hair!

3. Neck Wraps And Headbands

If your workplace tends to get pretty warm, or you’re heading out for the day in the heat, try a stylish neck wrap, which you can stash in your freezer before you head out. They’re available for purchase, or you can make your own with this tutorial.

4. Bed Ice Packs

When I was abroad in Georgia, my host mother taught me this trick, which I should’ve figured out long before. Get an ice pack and freeze it so that it’s ready by the time you’re heading to bed. Place it under the sheets at the foot of the bed, or wherever you feel would be most beneficial. I definitely recommend this tip!

5. Take A Cold Shower Before Bed

Most doctors don’t recommend taking a shower with only cold water, so make the water tepid for most of the duration. Turn the temperature to cold for about 15 seconds right before stepping out. This way you’ve got a head start on beating the heat before slipping into bed. Showering before bed is a good idea in general because, especially in the summer, it rinses away all the sweat lingering on your body. And no one wants to crawl into a bed feeling sticky and sweaty!

6. Have Fun With Water!

Invite some friends over, set up a sprinkler or slip n’ slide, and have some fun in the water! Socializing, cooling off, and acting like a kid makes for a great distraction! If you want to have even more fun with it, fill up a lot of water balloons or water guns and play tag! You’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget how hot it is. For a post-water treat: Popsicles!

Do you have any secrets to staying cool in the summer? Share with us in the comments, or let us know how our suggestions have worked for you!

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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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