The Secret To A Good Night’s Sleep

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

Sleep is important to our health and overall well-being, yet it’s something that college students never get enough! This is not surprising considering college students are constantly studying, under tremendous amounts of stress, over use electronics, and often have a poor diet. It’s time to stop that yawning and learn four tips to getting a good night’s sleep:

 

1. Limit Your Eating Before Bed

You may have heard that you shouldn’t eat too much before going to bed because you will gain weight, but did you also hear that it can also be the reason you’re having trouble falling asleep? Watch what you eat before you go to sleep. Stay away from red meat and fatty, sugary, and spicy foods before bed because they are harder to digest and will make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, keep to healthy, low-calorie snacks to satisfy any late night cravings.

Female College Student In Kitchen Limit Eating Before Bed Eat Healthy Before Sleep

Photo © Women’s Health Mag

 

2. Create A Bedtime Routine

Sometimes you just need to prepare your body and mind for sleep. About an hour before actually getting into bed, start to do things that relax you, like taking a warm shower, making sure your room is dark, or lighting a bedside candle. This way, when you finally go to sleep, both your body and mind are already relaxed, which will allow you to fall asleep quicker. Everyone is different, so find a routine that works for you.

Warm Relaxing Bath Shower Before Sleep

Photo © mind the munchies

 

3. Turn Off Electronic Distractions

When you’re lying in bed, it may seem like the perfect time to scroll through your Facebook news feed, look at new posts on Instagram, or even watch another TV show favorite on Netflix. You may find this relaxing, but electronic use before sleep actually stimulates your brain and makes it harder to fall asleep. Turn off your television, phone, tablet, and any other electronics in the room to get a better night’s rest.

Electronic Phone Laptop Tablet Use Before Sleep Bed

Photo © Train Rogue

 

4. Increase Melatonin

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our body that helps regulate our sleeping cycles. Melatonin levels often change depending on the season, which can change your sleeping habits. It is also available as a dietary supplement for those who may having issues falling or staying asleep. Talk to your doctor before considering any new dietary regimens.

Male College Student Sleeping In Dorm Room Melatonin

Photo © Robert Boscacci

 

College can be filled with pulling all-nighters, early morning classes, and not the best habits before sleep. However, if anyone knows the importance of a good night’s sleep, it is a college student. Try these suggestions to get a better night of rest and share with us what works for you in a comment below.

 

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5 Ways To Shape Up For Spring

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

 

 

 

 

It looks like winter is finally coming to its end. Now it’s time to get back into shape after hibernating all winter. Don’t fret! Getting in doesn’t have to require a gym or an entirely new health routine. Here are five easy ways to get yourself into shape just in time for spring!

1. Stair Master

A simple way to exercise those muscles is to avoid elevators and escalators (if possible) and take the stairs instead. Make this a daily task and each day climb the stairs faster, eventually to the point of sprinting. Get that heartbeat up! If you don’t frequently visit places with stairs, then go somewhere that has them, like to a nearby mall or parking garage. If you climb up and down the stairs for at least 30 minutes, you will definitely be sweating by the end of it!

Stair Exercise Fitness

Photo © FemSide

2. Water Jug Lifts

Have some empty milk gallons or water jugs lying around? Fill them up with water and you’ve got your very own homemade weights. Do about 10 reps and 3-4 sets of curls, and you’ll feel the burn! You can definitely do other arm workouts using water/milk gallons as weights too. This work out is quick and is sure to get great results!

Water Jug Weights Exercise

Photo © body building

3. At Home Work Outs

Don’t have the time to head out to the gym for a quick workout? No problem! If you have 20 minutes to spare, then this is the workout to help you get into shape! Repeat this circuit workout as many time as possible within a 20 minute period. This is actually one of my favorite at home workouts! You will definitely feel the burn and will sweat up a storm. This full body workout will have you looking and feeling great, just in time for spring!

Home 20 Minute Workout

Photo © tatianaamico

4. Park Exercise

With spring comes more sun! With longer days, take advantage of local parks for some outdoor exercise. Try to follow the above park workout for some quick and fun physical activity. It’s more fun if you bring a friend! I know some people still have plenty of snow outside and going to a park may not be an easy option, but even some outdoor exercises such as biking, running, or even walking is much better than just sitting at home on the couch.

Park Exercise Work Out

Photo © media cache

5. Just Juice It

Juicing is a great way to detox, get nutrients into your body, and get a big boost of energy. I suggest juicing your own juices, rather than purchasing them from a store, because this way you can choose and know exactly what you are drinking, without a lot of sugar and/or preservatives. Juicing is a great way to get into shape without having to even hit the gym. It’s also a perfect on-the-go meal on your way to class or work. There’s tons of recipes to choose from, varying from detox juices, weight loss juices, or to just yummy juices!

Healthy Fitness Juice Mix Recipe Ideas

Photo © MCP ADS

You don’t have to go overboard with dieting and exercise to shape up for the new season. Just try some (or all) of these ideas! These small changes can make a big difference and you’ll be ready for spring in no time!

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5 Tips To Improve Your Writing

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

 

 

 

 

Essays are a huge part of college. No matter what you’re studying, there is bound to be at least one class in which the instructor assigns an essay (sometimes several). If you don’t mind writing, then it may be a piece of cake to crank out a five page paper. However, if you aren’t a big fan of writing and put it off until the last minute, it can be a nightmare. Either way, there are several important tips every college student should know to make your writing the best it can possibly be.

1. Find A Quiet Space

It is more difficult to study, do homework, prepare for exams, or write if you are sitting in a crowded, buzzing Starbucks. I used to bring my laptop there, thinking all of the other writers and readers would inspire me, but I only ended up distracted by the sound of steaming milk, coffee orders, and not-so-quiet conversations. When you’re in a quiet environment, such as the library or a study lounge, you’ll focus better. I also recommend to leave your living space to minimize typical distractions (roommates, television, etc.). If you tell yourself you are physically going somewhere to write, you will take it more seriously and be much more focused when you are in that environment.

College Library Writing Computer

Photo © College Library Services

2. Review, Review, Review

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen friends and fellow students make, is that they don’t take the time to re-read what they wrote when they have finished. However, reviewing your writing is so important! Avoid yourself the embarrassment of turning in a paper with simple mistakes (spelling, punctuation, and grammar). A lot of professors actually dock points for simple mistakes such as these. Reviewing it can also ensure that you have covered everything you wanted to in your paper and that it all makes sense. This is also the chance to read it aloud to hear how it will sound to your reader. Keep in mind who your reader is (your professor), and write it for them.

College Paper Essay Writing Editing Review

Photo © Go College

3. Remove Unnecessary Words

People sometimes add filler words to their writing to make it longer, which is clever (and I’ve done it too), but it’ll only make your writing sound immature. When you edit, delete these filler words, including “that,” “so,” “and,” etc. Sometimes you may not even realize these writing habits until you review your writing. Also, search your paper for repetitive words. Trying replacing words used often in your paper with synonyms to still explain your point without sounding redundant.

Word Filler Writing Editing

Photo

4. Add Detail

Depending on what class and topic your essay is for, it might be a good idea to spice it up a bit with some added detail. It’s good to be informative in your writing, but to really grab a reader’s attention, add some adjectives to make your writing descriptive and easy to visualize.  Write everything as if you’re really seeing it in front of you as it happens. J.K. Rowling and Tolkien had great success because their visions translated so well to paper with their descriptions.

College Student Writing Laptop

Photo © Instructional Tech Talk

5. Use Another Pair Of Eyes

Whether it’s a friend, classmate, or your instructor, have someone else read your writing. If they’re confused about something, that’s cue that revisions need to be made. Ask them for their honest feedback and to get out their pen to provide editing suggestions. You could even take it one step further and have them write down what they think the main idea of each paragraph is. If they have a different idea of what you were going for, it’s your chance to fix it.

Worst Thing I've Ever Read New Girl Writing Paper Editing GIF

Photo © Miss Bizz

Look for inspiration by taking a closer look at some of your favorite author’s writing. What in particular do you like about it? When you find the answer, learn to incorporate that into your own writing. The more you practice and try to improve your writing, the easier it will become to write. This skill will be helpful not just for college, but for any career as well.

How have you improved your writing skills? Share with us in a comment below!

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Spring Break On A Budget

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

Every year, I daydream about a beautiful, warm, tropical place that I can fly away to, but then I remember that I don’t exactly have the money for such a trip. Working full time and going to school is something a lot of us are familiar with – along with not being able to pay for a flight to Miami and a hotel room for five days. However, just because you cannot afford to have a luxurious Spring Break, doesn’t mean you are completely out of luck! Here’s a few ideas to have a memorable Spring Break while on a budget:

1. Alternative Trips

Some universities are awesome and have packages for Spring Break trips. I go to Texas State University and they offer a week long mission trip. I’m considering to go on the trip because they take us around Texas to help out at shelters, and then drive us to Louisiana to help there. Not to mention, our nights are free to do as we please! Free New Orleans trip AND you get to help out so many people in just a few days!

Spring Break Volunteer Homeless Shelter

Photo © St. Francis House

2. Drive Around

Explore your state (or states nearby)! There’s no reason you have to fly to get away. It’s so much cheaper to drive. Grab two or three friends, split the cost, and don’t splurge on fancy hotels. Plan some favorite activities and you’ll realize the company is really what makes a vacation fun.

College Students Driving

Photo © College Marketing

3. Vacation Bundles

Like always, Google can be your best friend. There are a ton of sites that offers packages and plans for college students to go on a trip for spring break! Some of my friends have used Student City because they offer safe, reliable, and convenient vacation packages that have everything included in the price. Oftentimes, the more you can bundle, the more you can save.

Student City Spring Break Vacation Package Bundle

Photo © Student City

4. Plan Ahead Next Year

It may be too late for this year, but if you have some solid friends that you know you’ll still love next year, it’s SO much cheaper to plan ahead and to pull your resources. You’ll get flights way cheaper, along with hotels. I planned a trip to Thailand for next December, and my flight is dramatically cheaper than if I were planning this trip for a few months away!

Spring Break Calendar Plan Ahead

Photo © Houston ISD

So, don’t fret! If you plan ahead and work within your means, I promise you can still have an amazing Spring Break!

Leave a comment below and share with us your plans for Spring Break 2015!

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5 Must-See Movies For Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Seasonal Celebrations, Social Life/Relationships - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter  Blogger Biography

Love is in the air! And what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by watching movies about love? There are tons of romantic movies out there, which may make it that much harder to decide on the perfect one for you and your valentine to cuddle up to this Valentine’s Day, so I have compiled a movie list of some of my favorites to help you out.

1. The Notebook

This movie is the ultimate romantic movie of our time! You can’t go wrong with the love story of a poor young man and a rich young girl who are forced to separate, but whose love never wavers. Warning: be prepared to shed many tears if you haven’t already seen this movie.

2. Casablanca

If you and your valentine are more into classics, this is the movie for you. This movie is a romantic drama film set during World War II. The story is about the love of the protagonist, Rick, and his lost love, Ilsa, who is in town with her husband. But the story is also of the drama that surrounds their love at this time and place in history as Ilsa must escape the country with her husband.

3. Love Actually

For a more lighthearted and funny romantic film, check out this movie. Although it is based around the holiday season, it’s still absolutely acceptable to watch in February (and all year round)! It follows the love stories of a variety of people of different ages and at different levels of love. Ranging from a young boy in love with his classmate who he has never spoken to, to a newly married couple, to a woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her – this movie has it all.

4. Dirty Dancing

One of my favorites, this movie tells the story of a young girl who is starting to realize the world isn’t as black and white as she had believed it to be. She discovers a different life style when she goes away on vacation with her family and meets Johnny, a “bad boy” dancer played by Patrick Swayze. Not only is the story great, but the soundtrack to this film is also quite amazing.

5. 50 Shades of Grey

For those of you who want to actually go to the movies this Valentine’s Day, this new movie opens on February 14th. Based on the very popular novel by E.L. James, this much-anticipated film has created a lot of buzz.

Any of these five films are a great choice for this Valentine’s Day. If you choose any of the five movies above, it’ll surely make your day more romantic.

What’s your favorite romantic film? Tell us in a comment below!

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