Category Archives: Seasonal Celebrations

5 Things To Start Doing In 2016

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Living, Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips, Volunteering and Giving Back - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

At the beginning of every year, most people spend time thinking about what they want to change in the new year. After reading several articles and reflecting on what has worked for me this year, I’ve put together a list of five things I think people (including myself) should start doing this year if they aren’t doing it already.

Why not make this year the best one yet? Start doing these things in 2016:

1. Grow Your Savings

As college students, we’re all aware of the struggle of handling our money. Some people are just better at it than others, I am not one of them. Last year I decided that instead of managing my savings account and depositing whenever I wanted, that I would setup automatic deposits. This has been life-changing for me. I never noticed the money gone, and it’s already added up greatly. For every paycheck, it automatically deposited $20. I also have saved any tip money I received at the end of the month from my job.

2. Find Your Relaxation

I feel like this world becomes more and more stressful each year, and each year I feel less equipped to handle it. I’ve been researching many different solutions and I think I’ve found a remedy for me. Over the past two months I have replaced soda with hot tea, which was mainly for weight loss reasons, but it has helped my emotional health tremendously. The most important thing to remember is that relaxation looks different for everyone. My relaxation is making myself a cup of tea, and either sitting in my yard, or rocking in the chair on my porch. Learn what calms you down and leaves you feeling happy, then remember to practice this often to reduce stress and increase your inner peace.

3. Read More

This is actually a goal of mine for 2016. I have read more this past year and picked up a book or two every now and then, but it’s my goal to read one book each month for this year. I remember how much I used to love reading, and how calming it was. I want to get back to that instead of filling my nights with Netflix. Reading is found to help in so many areas of your life including stress, happiness, creativity, and even your grammar! Visit www.bookrenter.com for some reading inspiration!

4. Volunteer

For most of us, our schedules can be almost maxed out to the limit. Adding another thing to it can seem impossible. Even still, I’ve decided for this next year that I’m going to overcome the impossible and set some time aside to volunteer at the local children’s center. I’m passionate about children, so it’ll be a great fit. Find what inspires you and you will see that it will seem less like a “chore” and more like another fun thing to do. If you really can’t give your time, get creative to think of how you can give back. A few weeks ago my friend and I had a “purse stuffing” party to stuff unwanted backpacks and purses full of everyday essentials to hand out to any homeless people we cross paths with. Imagine if everyone gave back just a little bit? It would make things just a little bit nicer, don’t you think?

5. Let Go Of The Negative

After a pretty rough year for me, it will be great to mentally refresh. If you’ve had a rough year too, or had a few bad instances, let go of any negative feelings and leave it behind in 2015. Make a decision to be positive going forward. This could even apply to negative situations you may find yourself in or people you hang out with – if you want to improve your situation, think of removing yourself from these scenarios. Use goals and daily motivational quotes to get you started, then it’ll become a routine. The past is the past for a reason, so get past it and look positively toward your future.

These five things are things that I’ve been working on for myself, and will continue to do in 2016. With how busy and stressful life can be, I think the most important thing to remember is to relax. Enjoy life and don’t worry about the small stuff!

Happy New Year! What change will you be making for 2016?

Leave a comment and let us know!

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Making The Most Of Winter Break

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips, Volunteering and Giving Back - Angelina
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 Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

This is my fifth winter break from college, and I’m prepared to make the most out of it. When I first started college, I didn’t value the break as much as I do now as a senior coming off of an 18 hour day semester. The main thing to remember is that this is your break, so do some things for you!

Here are a few suggestions for how you can make the most out of your winter break:

1. Spend Time With Family

I know this isn’t applicable to everyone because we don’t all live close to our family, but now that I’ve moved back to Texas, I’ve realized how important it truly is to spend as much time as possible with them. Life is incredibly short and semesters are incredibly long, so take some time to get some quality time in.

2. Have Some Alone Time

As important as it is to spend time with the people you love, I’m a big believer in spending time alone too. I frequently have “me” dates at the movies, or at a good dinner. Being alone to be peaceful with your thoughts and to do something you enjoy can be very calming (which we all can need at the end of a semester). This gives you time to regroup, recoup, and relax.

3. Do Some Reading

This has turned into a tradition of mine, and one that I cherish. Every year before winter break begins, I pick one novel that I’m going to read. I’m not a huge reader, so I set my goal realistically with just one book. It’s a great way to keep your brain active, and a great way to make sure you aren’t glued to the TV all break. This year my novel is Animal Farm (for the third time). This also allows me to remember the entertainment in reading, and not to just think of reading as “studying” or homework.

4. Volunteer

During the last four of my winter breaks, I have always gone and worked at the homeless shelter for a few days. This year, I will be working a lot so I figured out another way to give back to the community. I collected unwanted purses and backpacks from friends and family and filled them with essentials (toothbrush/paste, deodorant, snacks, etc.). I now keep them in my car to hand out to any homeless people I may see over the break!

These suggestions are just a few things that I like to do during my break. But, like I said, this is YOUR break. You have to figure out what you can do to make the most out of it because before you know it, we’ll be back in class.

What are you doing this winter break? Share with us in a comment below!

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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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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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Fit-Feasting On Thanksgiving

Filed under: Food, Health & Fitness, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

This time of the year is known as the time that ruins your diet. With the holidays, great meals, and colder weather – everyone seems to gain weight. Usually we don’t worry about gaining the weight until bikini body season. For the past couple of years, I’ve learned some tricks to staying as healthy as I can during Thanksgiving and this time of year so that afterwards I don’t feel sluggish and gross.

Here are some suggestions to how to stay healthy during Thanksgiving:

1. Family Fitness Activity

If you’re spending the holiday with family, like most of us do, the easiest way to get a “workout” in is to involve the whole family. For two years, my family and I have participated in the Turkey Trot 5K races the morning of Thanksgiving. If your town doesn’t offer something like that, then do a flag football or volleyball competition. Incorporate some sort of competition or game that gets the family going so you can burn some extra calories and make some holiday memories while doing it!

2. Cook Some Of The Meal

Talk to whoever is “in charge” of Thanksgiving and see what you can make yourself for the meal. I’ve already talked to my grandma about making a pie, and some side dishes this year. This puts you in control of the recipe, so you can use healthier options when cooking!

3. Smaller Plate Trick

So you don’t offend the cook, talk to them beforehand, but instead of using a big plate like everyone else, use a smaller plate. That way you will have a full plate, and smaller portions, so you trick yourself into thinking you’ve eaten a lot. This will help you to prevent all of that gluttonous overeating.

4. Commercial Break

My family watches football on Thanksgiving as a tradition. When there is a commercial break, I use it as an opportunity to get away from the TV and walk around. If you’re in a comfortable family setting, do jumping jacks or push-ups between commercials to get your blood flowing!

5. Don’t Discourage Yourself

Don’t be upset because you ate mash potatoes, or if you ate one too many cookies. IT HAPPENS! If you eat too many cookies, walk around the house and burn some extra calories. Don’t let this celebration with your family turn into you freaking out about calories all day.

Remember to enjoy yourself, and your family’s company. Don’t stress about calories all day, but be try to do some fit-feasting this Thanksgiving to help!

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