Tag Archives: college tips

Getting Into a School State of Mind…

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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The day when it’s time to pack your bags and return to campus always seems to come a little too soon.

by Guest Blogger Tiana Bouma

Summer is a welcome and necessary reprieve for college students – a time to leave behind the homework and the late-night cram sessions and get back in touch with the rest of your life. The day when it’s time to pack your bags and return to campus always seems to come a little too soon.

And while leaving friends and family is hard – and giving up the luxury of long, unstructured days even harder – to me the most difficult thing about going back to school is transitioning out of that Summer State of Mind and summoning the motivation that will carry you through the next year.

One of my own secrets? Instead of procrastinating – oh, so tempting – I start the process during the last few weeks of summer. My strategies are simple, but they work for me and you might find they work for you, too:

Don't feel like this guy! by Alexandre Normand

  • Start incorporating a School State of Mind into your daily routine. Study and review old (or new) course materials or read for fun two hours every afternoon, for example.
  • Set your alarm clock for the same time that you’ll need to wake up for your first class.
  • Make a list of the things you need to do before – and after – you get back to campus. I know that this is a no-brainer, but keeping track of your most important tasks and their results will direct your energy forward. (Without a constant reminder, it’s way-y-y-y too easy to spend endless hours on Facebook.)
  • Go back-to-school shopping! Buy all the essential binders, notebooks, pens, and course materials. It’ll help your brain and body transition back to school mode when you have the materials in front of you. (Check out Kelsey’s tips for adding a touch of fall to your wardrobe.)

by Mollusa

  • Set up a study station where you’ll have no distractions. Quiet, secluded library desks are usually a good choice if you can’t study at home. Make sure you have the supplies you’ll need, including note cards, highlighters, and sticky notes for marking important information.
  • During the first weeks of school, reward yourself for your hard-won motivation by reading a new magazine or grabbing fro-yo with a friend.
  • On Thursdays, remind yourself that it’s almost the weekend and that you’re only a few hours away from that mini-vacation.
  • And if you still can’t quite get your mojo back and need help with making the most of your study time, talk to a guidance counselor or find a tutor through your college’s resource center – that’s what they’re there for.

What are your personal tips and techniques for getting yourself into a School State of Mind?

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Procrastination: Why it’s not always better to deal with it later

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By Guest Blogger Kayla

We are all guilty of procrastinating at some point or another in our lives regardless of how difficult the task at hand is. While it may seem like more fun to go to the beach or hang out with friends and work on that paper later, the short term relief of escaping the stress of a project backfires when you have to stay up to the wee hours of the morning to finish whatever assignment you put off in the first place. And as a college student I understand that there’s always some sort of project or paper due in the immediate future on top of studying for midterms and finals.  But don’t worry there is hope of breaking the cycle!

by scui3asteveo

After reading an article by CNN called “How to Stop Procrastinating Today!” by Amy Spencer I found three of the recommended tips they suggested the most realistic and helpful for the everyday assignments. The best three pieces of advice they gave was:

  1. Do the worst thing first
  2. Make the Job Smaller
  3. Don’t Interrupt Yourself

If you can manage to do even one of these three things then you are already better off then when you started because the key to stopping procrastination is balance. If you can balance fun time and responsibilities then chances are you will be less stressed and a more productive person overall.

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Eric’s Top 4 Tips on Surviving College

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Eric

by BLW Photography

Dealing with Stress – The Little Things Make a Huge Difference!
A recent New York Times article shows the average college freshman’s mental health is at its lowest level in 25 years.  When I discovered this information I started thinking back on my freshman year of college and how difficult a transition it was for me.  This inspired me to think of some creative ways to help cope with the long grind that is college.

  1. Stay active – go to the school’s fitness center, play inter-mural sports, go on a walk, have a snowball fight… Do anything to get out and get your mind off school.  Exercise and stress: Get moving to combat stress
  2. Eat Healthy – If you’re sitting around eating pizza and cheeseburgers every day you might want to change it up and quick.  Eating healthy meals can have a positive effect on your academic performance.  You don’t have to go crazy and become a vegan, but simply adding more fresh fruit and veggies to your diet is a great start. 5 Stress-Reducing Foods You Should Be Eating
  3. Set Goals– You probably hear this all the time, but let me tell you a little secret, it seriously works!  If you want to avoid cramming and all-nighters set up a calendar with detailed descriptions of what you need to get done each day to keep you on track.  It might seem tedious, but it’s a great way to make sure you get everything done on time without going crazy.  Top 5 Tips On Second Semester Goal Setting
  4. Sleep, Sleep, and um more sleep –Socializing in college, especially living in the dorms, can be distracting.  If you find yourself slipping up in classes because you’re up playing video games with your roommate at 4 am, stop!  The video games will be waiting for you tomorrow.  Stress and Sleep Disorders

What do you to relieve stress?

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Top 4 Strategies for Staying Awake in a Boring Class

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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Guest Blogger Kayla

As a college student I have had my fair share of classes were it was near impossible to stay awake and listen to what the professor was saying. Now that I have a semester under my belt I thought it would be a great idea to share some of the ways I manage to stay alert in those classes that seem like a “waste of time.”

by Seabamirum

1.    Chew Gum – Sometimes for those early morning classes you may hit the snooze button one too many times and usually eating breakfast is what has to be sacrificed in order to get to class on time. This leaves you focusing on your rumbling stomach rather than what the professors have to say. So my recommended solution is chew gum or if you have a cool professor, eat the granola bar that you hopefully grabbed while running out the door.

2.    Facebook – There are also those classes when you already know the material that is being presented and it is hard to pay attention when you think it’s a waste of time for you to be there in the first place. My solution is to go on Facebook! While this is not the most productive way to spend your class time, at least you aren’t asleep and who knows, you may even absorb some information you didn’t already know just by being in class.

3.    Take Notes –Sometimes just going to class and sitting there isn’t enough because sadly most of us don’t have photographic memories. While it may seem that you understand the material in class, it would totally suck if you got home and suddenly realize you can’t remember anything. Suddenly having to stay awake until 3 in the morning reading the boring textbook to try and remember what the professor says isn’t as appealing anymore when you could have just written down what they said in the first place.

4.    Ask Questions –If the reason why you’re having a hard time paying attention on class has to deal with the fact you don’t understand the material being presented, then it’s best that you ask questions.  I totally understand that it can be hard to speak up, but the professors stop and ask if anyone has any questions for a reason. If you can’t speak up in class there are also other options like office hours. It’s important to take advantage of the resources around you in order to succeed.

While some of these solutions are better than others, these are designed as guidelines to figure out what works for you. There are plenty of other things you can do, but hopefully these are helpful in staying awake during some of your most tedious, dull and boring classes.

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College Pets and Plants

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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BookRenter Andy

Last night I was reading this article in the NY Times about record levels of stress and depression being found in College students. For a while, I got depressed myself. Fact is that (especially in the thick of winter), it can get lonely as a college student. You’re having a hard time getting up for your classes, you probably don’t have time to shower or do laundry because you’re late for class, people don’t want to sit next to you because you haven’t showered or done laundry – a seemingly endless downward spiral.

What’s the remedy? For me it was the addition on my cat Karl which helped brighten my outlook. I immediately understood why some people believe that pets help you live longer. (Note: your college may not allow you to have pets – that’s why we included the plants in the blog post. Something for everyone, that’s how we do it here at BookRenter).

Depending on your situation, having a college pet (or plant) around can be a great way to relax, de-stress, and find some easy old-fashioned companionship. Here are a few stories about college pets (and plants):

Story 1, Mike, friend: Mike wasn’t a lonely guy, but he lived in a single by himself. He felt like he needed more companionship, something low maintenance that would keep him company, but not necessarily demand much attention. The solution? FISH. Mike bought a fish tank and populated it with beautiful fish. One turned out to be a tadpole and grew into a frog. Mike, his fish, and his frog lived happily until graduation.

Story 2, Nate, friend: Nate and his roommate were regular wanderers of the night. One night while wandering they found a nice kitten and took it home with them. The kitten was soft and friendly, but also grew into a fierce protector of the dorm, affecting a huge dip in the local rodent population. A win, win for all parties save the rodents.

Story 3, Senior Girls: Some girls I knew senior year attempted to keep a dog in the dorms for a period of time. Although the dog was nice to pet, it chewed textbooks by day and terrorized the dorm inhabitants by night. They ended up trading their dog for a Chia pet that looked like a dog. Don’t get a dog, kids, get a dog-like plant.

To sum up, key points here in this blog post:

  1. Pets will help you de-stress and make you live to be 120.
  2. Fish are good college pets; don’t forget to keep the water filter on.
  3. Lost kittens double as an effective pest control tool.
  4. If you can’t have a pet, there are always plants.

If you haven’t had enough, here’s a funny post about college pets.

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