How To Enjoy The Winter Season

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

 

 

 

 

There are some of us who look forward to winter all year long, whether it’s for the holidays it brings, or the chance to get cozied up next to a fire with a good book and a cup of chocolate. There are also some of us who don’t exactly jump for glee at the thought of freezing temperatures, driving in the snow, and the inevitable gloom and depression winter can bring.

Whether you’re really happy for this winter season, or counting the days until summer, there are certain things you can do to make the most of the season:

1. Catch Up On Your Reading List

If there’s a list of books you’ve been meaning to check out, take the opportunity to cuddle up on the couch with a nice warm blanket and the book of your desire. Reading time is compromised in the warmer months since it’s ideal to be outside and enjoy outdoor activities, but if you’re “stuck” inside from inclement weather, escape through a nice good book.

2. Have A Movie Marathon

When it’s cold outside, one of my favorite things to do is have a movie marathon. I choose some movies I never get tired of seeing and some I haven’t seen yet, but have been wanting to. It’s a great way to get caught up on your pop culture, and maybe even discover a few newbies you might have never seen.

3. Get Some Fresh Air

I get it, sometimes the last thing you want to do when it’s cold outside is be outside. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, take a quick walk – solo, with your dog, or with a friend – just around the block. Believe it or not, this may brighten your mood just enough to make the season seem much more tolerable.

4. Get Together With Friends

Have a potluck or a game night (or both!) and have all your closest friends bring some munchies and/or a game to play. You could even use up a whole Saturday and spend all day goofing off, sharing stories, enjoying good food, and having a few laughs with the games. Getting together with friends is a great way to pull yourself out of whatever winter funk you might be in.

5. Tune Up A Hobby

Are you into photography, writing, or music? Winter presents the opportune time to hone hobbies such as these. Bundle up and bring your camera out into the woods or simply downtown to use up the foggy ambiance. Write a story, a poem, or even some new song lyrics. Take it one step further and share your new masterpiece with friends and family!

6. Color

My personal favorite is to spend a foggy and gloomy day by getting all my crayons and markers together, making a cozy nest on the couch, and breaking out my coloring book. If you haven’t tried this new phenomenon of adult coloring books, now’s your chance!

Remember, time flies when you’re having fun! The more you can keep yourself busy, the better this winter will be – no matter what you’re doing!

What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?

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Second Semester Struggles

Filed under: College Life, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

The second semester of college can often feel like the home stretch before a long summer break. For some, this can be a stressful time of the year for various reasons. For others, especially seniors, it’s the time of the year that they just can’t wait to be done with.

Here are some tips to combat second semester struggles:

1. Dress For The Weather

Second semester starts in the middle of winter when the majority of the country is usually experiencing some pretty inclement weather. A lot of places get snow, some more than others, but temperatures drop everywhere and bad weather is common. Especially if you go to school further North, be prepared! There is nothing worse than walking to school the morning after a blizzard without boots! And I’m not sure if there is anything colder than a winter morning, so bring a warm jacket with you at the minimum (unless you like your morning coffee with a dash of hypothermia). Eventually the weather will warm up, so do bring a good balance of both winter and summer clothes with you to school.

2. Prepare For A New Routine

Chances are you do not have the same schedule you had last semester and you got used to sleeping in over winter break. Just keep in mind that you will have to make some adjustments. You may have to change your meal times, your study times, and even your social life. The sooner you figure out your new routine, the sooner you will feel at ease.

3. Battling Senioritis

It’s not officially Senioritis unless you’re a senior, but anybody can feel symptoms of Senioritis during the last semester. Senioritis distracts you from staying focused at school with thoughts of your summer and how awesome it’s going to be. The last thing you’ll want to do is homework. I find the best way to treat this debilitating affliction is to just keep to your routine to stay focused. If you can get a solid study group together that’s even better; just as long as socializing doesn’t get in the way of your work. Just stay focused and remember it will pay off in the end!

The second semester can seem to drag on and be tedious, but don’t slack off just yet! Hang in there and enjoy the last semester of the year!

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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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