Tag Archives: advice

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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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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Don’t Fall Behind: Keeping Up With Classes

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia Baran BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

One of the greatest things about college is the new found freedom. We no longer have our parents nagging us to make sure that our homework is done and that we studied for the math test – it’s amazing! And yet, it’s not so amazing. We soon learn that support system that was pushing us to perform well in school is greatly missed and a lot of students struggle to keep up with their workload when those daily reminders are no longer in place. That is why it is so important to learn how to properly manage your time and develop skills that will ensure you don’t fall behind in your classes.

Keep up with your classes with these simple tips:

1. Schedule Study Time

When you’re in college, you have a lot more going on in your life than just your courses. Most students also have part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, family they like to visit, and maybe even a social life to tend to once in a while. That is why it’s important to set aside a certain amount of time each day to study and do homework. Plan out a couple of hours each day that you will dedicate solely to school work – and stick to the schedule!

2. Stay Ahead of the Syllabus

The syllabus is there for a reason – use it! No one is saying that you have to do all of the assigned readings for the semester in the first week of classes, but keep an eye out for what’s to come. If you find that you have some extra time, start doing the readings for the following week. If you know that you will have a big assignment towards the end of the semester, start thinking of ideas and even do some light research for it. Staying ahead of the deadlines takes a lot of stress out of the college experience.

3. Show up

This may seem silly to some of you, but many students enter college with the idea that you don’t have to show up to all your classes to do well. That new found freedom I mentioned earlier plays a big role here. It’s much easier to stay in your big comfy warm bed for a few extra hours rather than going to class at 8:00AM in the snow – believe me, I think there’s a consensus on that. But missing even one day of class can be really detrimental to your grade. Especially when you only have that class once a week, there is probably a ton of material that you’re missing. No matter how comfortable your bed is, get up and get to your classes!

If you still find yourself struggling to keep up with the heavy course load, talk to someone in your school. Colleges offer tutoring and help with dealing with these types of problems; use these resources!

What’s your secret to keeping up with your classes? Tell us in a comment below.

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How To Be Prepared For The New Semester

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

 

How you start off a semester in college can be indicative of how the rest of the semester will be.  You don’t want to start off as a stressed out wreck – you want to be cool, calm, and collected. This is why it is so important to be prepared before the semester even starts.

Here are a few ways to prepare for the upcoming semester:

 

1. Plan Out Your Route

Plan out the fastest and most desirable route to take to get to your classes. Familiarize yourself with the area and different roads in case of any unforeseen issues that may arise during the semester.

 

2. Create A Budget

Before the semester begins, figure out how much spending money you have (or will have) and create a budget now. Estimate your spending on groceries, books, etc.. You may not be able to stick to the exact plan you create now, but at least you’ll have an idea of how much money you have and you’ll spend smarter.

 

3. Research Your Classes and Your Professors

If you don’t like to dive into a semester completely unaware of what to expect, do a little bit of research. www.ratemyprofessor.com is a great source that I used to find out what students have had to say about the professors and classes that I was about to start. But, while this can give you a little bit of an idea of what to expect, it’s important to not judge a class or a professor solely on a review before you experience it yourself. Keep an open mind!

 

4. Order Your Books

It can be a real drag to purchase books after your classes have already began. Many professors may already expect you to have read certain chapters for the second class and then you’re stressing out trying to get the book as soon as possible. It’s best to eliminate any extra stress and simply rent/purchase your books before classes even begin. And hey, I just happen to know a great site with awesome prices from which you can rent your books! Check us out at www.bookrenter.com!
The goal of all this preparing is to eliminate as much stress as possible from the semester as you can. You want to start each semester feeling ready and confident. Prepare yourself for a great semester! Keep an open mind, learn new things, and enjoy yourself.

 

What are some things you are doing now to prepare for the new school year?

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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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