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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Staying Academically & Professionally Oriented During Summer

Filed under: College Life, Education, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography





Summer is notorious for college students to “take a break” from school, chill out a little, and relax after having relatively high stress levels. But, sometimes we can get a little too laid back, not realizing that even though it’s summer, we still have homework. Yes, homework during the summer – and I’m not talking about summer school (but that does count too!). No matter if you’re a senior, freshman, junior, sophomore, or recently graduated – it’s crucial to always be focusing on the future of your academics and career, even when you are in need of a serious life-pause.

If you need a little inspiration on ways you can continue to work towards your life goals, here are some ideas:

1. Create A Vision Board

This is a strategy a lot of people in well-known positions use, including celebrities. Get a bulletin board and pin to it all the places you want to be able to go, all the things you would like to do, and pictures of what you want your life to look like. Every time you see it, you’ll feel that little spritz of motivation to keep focused and stay strong. It’s a good reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Find A Support Group

Since you’re on Twitter and Facebook most of the time anyway, put that time to good use and find social groups and accounts to follow that support 20-somethings trying to find their way. Type in a few keywords, such as “college,” “postgrad,” “motivation,” and you’re on your way. Not hooked into social media? Type those same words into Google to bring up a variety of local support group you can join for meetings. You can share your struggles and successes with each other, share resources, and network.

3. Make A List

Create a list of all the things you have accomplished thus far. It’s super easy to get stuck in that rut of negative thinking by focusing on all the things you have to do, things you haven’t done, and things you should have done by [insert age here]. Change this around and make a list once a week of things you’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Tried a new meal at a restaurant? Add it to the list. The little accomplishments will measure how well you’re progressing. In addition, whenever you catch yourself in the rut of that negative thinking, stop yourself and replace it with a hopeful, optimistic thought.

4. Work On A Portfolio

Depending on your major, a portfolio is a crucial piece to have on hand for interviews, or for handing over to a career advisor at your university. A second pair of eyes never hurts, and if you already have one going, add to it, update it, and keep it fresh. Taking a look at it periodically is another great reminder of what it is you’re working toward.

5. Interview Someone With Your Dream Job

Is there someone in particular you strive to be like? Reach out to interview them, find out how they got where they are, and draw your inspiration from your new muse. Can’t get there contact information? Look for someone who has a position similar. Make sure when you ask them about their job, you find out how they stayed motivated. It never hurts to gain new ideas.

Do you have any secrets for staying driven? Share them with us!

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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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Dealing With Unemployment Blues

Filed under: College Life, Graduation, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

All college students have pretty high expectations of what is ahead of us after graduation. Since we were children, we’ve had this idea embedded into our brains that we have to go to college so that we can get good jobs. But what many of us learn when we graduate college is that finding that job post-graduation can take quite some time. Sending in resume after resume without a single response can really become quite depressing, and it’s easy to fall into a rut. However it’s important to not only to stay positive during your search, but to also enjoy the time you have off.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with those unemployment blues:

1. Be Proactive, But Not Obsessed

Sitting in front of your computer screen all day looking through hundreds of job sites and emailing resumes can take a toll on your psyche. It’s important to get out of the house and move around. You still need to live your life, so do not dwell just on job searching! Go take a walk, enjoy some sun, and remember to take job hunting one day at a time.

2. Set Small Daily Goals

Don’t make your everyday goal be “find a dream job.” The odds of that happening right away are not too great and you’ll just stress yourself out more. Make small daily goals for yourself such as “send out five resumes” or “find three companies I’d like to work for” so that they are things that you can actually accomplish each day and feel productive doing so.

3. Take Advantage of Free Time

Take advantage of all of the free time that you now have as you are in that in-between stage. Plan out an allotted time each day to continue your quest for a job, but also take time to do things you enjoy. Go to the beach, go out to brunch, or enjoy a nice book. These are things that we take for granted when we have all the time in the world, but once you’re working a 9:00am to 5:00pm job, these will be the things you miss most. Don’t dwell on the fact that you are still unemployed and instead relish in the fact that you have the opportunity to do all these things.

4. Don’t Pressure Yourself

This can be a really stressful time and we put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves to succeed in our search to find the perfect job. However, in the long run, these few jobless months won’t mean that much. Don’t compare yourself to others and think you’re the only one who hasn’t found a job yet, or that what you find is not as good as what someone else may have been lucky to land. Don’t stress yourself out, be content knowing that you’re trying your best and giving it your all.

Most important of all, don’t lose hope. The right job for you is out there and you will find it eventually. Good luck on your search fellow graduates!

Share your job hunting tips and advice on how to stay positive with us!

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