Tag Archives: College

Celebrating Thanksgiving On Campus

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


Parades, football games, delicious food, and of course seeing family and friends are just a few things that make the holiday season so great. The other great thing is taking a break from school! But what if you live too far from home to visit for Thanksgiving? Or what if you just can’t afford it this time? Don’t assume you’ll be stuck feeling alone on Thanksgiving. It may be easy to give in to that depressed feeling, but you can distract yourself with a multitude of ways to celebrate on campus.

Celebrate Thanksgiving on campus in your own way:

1. Buddy Up

Get together with anyone you know who may also be still on campus for the holiday. You can all go out to eat together, or maybe even collaborate together to put together a home-cooked meal.

2. Volunteer

Local charities and organizations are always looking for volunteers during the holiday season. They usually need help putting together an event or dinner for the community. Reach out and I bet you they will thank you for your service with a nice yummy meal. Don’t forget the side of having accomplished something nice for others (which is what Thanksgiving is all about).

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Eat Alone

It’s okay to have a Thanksgiving dinner to yourself. Sometimes, that can be the most stress-free and relaxing way. Decide if you want to cook or just get takeout! You can take all the time you need to choose a good Netflix movie and enjoy! Don’t forget the dessert too!

4. Go Out, Get Busy

Sometimes a good distraction can take away any loneliness. If you want to get out, go see a movie, go to a park, or start some early holiday shopping! Have some fun and maybe get some things done that you’ve been wanting to do.

5. Ask For Leftovers

There is always enough food to go around. If you can’t get a meal of your own, ask a friend or someone if they can bring you some leftovers so you can at least get a little taste of Thanksgiving. In the meantime – get a head start on homework, make a list of things you’re thankful for, and maybe even Skype with family/friends to distract yourself!

6. Watch TV

Seriously, Thanksgiving is a great time for television. The Macy’s Day parade and football games can fill your entire day! Make it a point to get cozy in your dorm or apartment with some blankets and goodies from the grocery store and watch whatever you want! If you don’t have cable or a television, then try online!

The important thing is to make the most of what you can. Bake your favorite kind of cookies, listen to your favorite music, or even plan what to do with the money you saved by staying on campus! Remember to be thankful for what you DO have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Studying Strategies For Finals

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

This time of the semester is usually crazy with college classes. Between professors cramming in material at the end of the semester, to team projects, and loads of homework and tests (including finals), it’s no wonder students can be burnt out this time of year. However, this is a very crucial time to stay focused and make sure you carry through the best you can to continue to learn and get good grades.

Have successful studying session for tests and finals with these recommendations:

1. Work In Increments

You should break up your class and homework assignments you’re working on and accomplish them one piece at a time. This makes it easy to track your progress and keep up your morale by accomplishing a series of mini-goals. You should also make sure you take breaks in between each segment. Experts recommend about 15 minutes of break time to every 1 hour of studying to not exhaust your brain power. Whether you decide to eat a quick snack, go outside, or socialize for your break, just make sure you take that time for yourself (and then get back to studying).

2. Stick To A Schedule

You should plan specific times to study and stick to your schedule. This makes you more accountable to actually study. After a few weeks of this, studying will become just another habit in your regular routine.

3. Set Goals

Don’t start studying until you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, such as to learn more about a certain topic. This will keep you focused on the things you need to work the most on as you study and can help you plan out where you are spending your time as you study.

4. Limit Distractions

First, you should find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted much by your surroundings. You should also be wary of digital distractions. You may need your laptop or tablet to study, but limit your social media and web browsing. You can also tell your friends not to bother you when you’re studying, or just turn off the notifications on your phone.

5. Ask For Help

Much of the work you will accomplish “in the real world” will come from collaborating with others. For this reason, and for the sake of your sanity, you should feel comfortable reaching out to other students in the class if you are stuck on a problem or topic. Or you can even reach out to the professor. By communicating your difficulties, not only will you likely receive help, but if a lot of people are also having trouble with the topic, the professor may be willing to alter or review the material to fit the needs of the class.

Remember, everyone studies differently for what works for them. It may take some time to find out the best method for you if you haven’t found it yet. If you have found your ultimate study method, share with us what it is in a comment below!

Good luck studying!

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Healthy Dorm Room Snacks

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography
Nobody wants to fall victim to the freshman fifteen, or whatever they call it when you still gain weight as a senior… Ugh. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already learned, the older you get, the harder it is to keep a fit figure. Luckily, there are a few snacks that are not only tasty, but have a much better nutritional value than the chips in the vending machine down the hall.

Here are a few healthy dorm room snack ideas to satisfy the cravings and keep fit:

1. Meat & Cheeses

I’ve been keeping turkey jerky and light cheeses around to eat for a snack. The turkey gives me protein and keeps me full, and the cheese gives me a dose of calcium. Try beef sticks or regular jerky if you aren’t a turkey fan.

2. Popcorn

This is probably my favorite snack, which is evident when you open my pantry. I buy almost all of the flavors of Smart Pop, and I always have a box of microwave popcorn on hand. Popcorn has a great amount of fiber for you, and it’s very low in calories and fat. As long as you don’t eat movie theater butter popcorn, it is a very healthy and tasty alternative to chips.

3. Yogurt

I used to say I didn’t like yogurt, but that’s before I even tried it. Seriously, how can you know if you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it before? Now, I treat yogurt like it is dessert. I always get the pie flavors because it satisfies my sweet tooth without taking a big hit to my daily caloric intake. There are several types of yogurt, and many flavors.Test them all out until you find something that will alleviate your sweet tooth!

4. Fruit

This is one of the more obvious options, but it’s so important to learn early on how vital fruit is in our diet. A lot of weight loss systems, such as weight watchers, don’t even require you to log when you eat fruit because of all of the benefits you receive. When you shop right, fruit can be a lot cheaper than buying bags of chips, or candy. I make small to-go containers everyday that have just a small portion of my favorite fruits to take with me because it’s easy to pull out and snack on in class.

There are so many foods andsnacks out there that are delicious, but you have to find the balance between tasty and good for you. It’s so easy to snack when you’re in the dorm and just hanging out, but try to think of healthier options. This will prepare you for when you need to start being completely in control of your own meals (if you’re not already). Start creating these good habits!

Share your favorite healthy dorm room snacks with us in a comment below!

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Dorm vs. Apartment – Which Is Better?

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





The beginning of any school year comes with a plethora of decisions to make that can shape your entire year. Most of these decisions are fun because there is a certain reassurance knowing we can always change our minds later. Some may be a little harder to make if it’s a decision you’ll be stuck with for a while, such as choosing whether to stay in an apartment or a college dorm. No matter which one you choose, you’ll have to be fairly confident in your decision because you might, depending on your college, be stuck with it for at least a semester. Chances are you have already moved in to where you will be for the school year. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still think about your decision (and maybe change it if possible), or prepare yourself for a change next semester/year.

Living in a college dorm is different from living in an apartment, but which is better?

1. Expenses

The first thing you should consider when choosing where to live, is what kind of budget you’re on. Financially speaking, dorms can be a lot pricier than living in an apartment or house off campus because meal plans and utilities (sharing a bathroom, etc.) are included (and required) in the individual price. Dorm fees are usually cheaper with the more roommates you have, but this can vary upon which dorm you are in and can even still be too costly. Having roommates in an apartment can help reduce rent too, but usually this is still a cheaper option overall since you can all share costs of utilities, groceries, etc. However, the biggest difference in cost with an apartment and a dorm is usually when payments have to be made. Typically, living in a dorm requires payment in full upfront, while an apartment generally expects smaller payments each month throughout your stay. In order to make a payment for a dorm, you will likely either need to have saved up, have earned a grant/scholarship, or will need to pay the costs with a student loan. To pay for an apartment, you should have a part-time job to allow you to make these monthly payments.

2. Freedom

Living in an apartment does generally allow more freedom. You can decide what you eat each day (and not have to stick to what the dining hall offers) and what time (dining halls are not usually open 24 hours), you can have anyone over (some dorms are gender restricted), and typically apartments have less regulations than dorms (no quiet hours, different policies on what items are allowed, etc). However, with more freedom comes more responsibility.

3. Personal Life

Aside from the fact that I just couldn’t afford to live in a dorm, the main reason I chose to live off campus was to separate my school life from my personal life. I liked being able to leave school grounds at the end of my classes. The separation of my personal life from school life meant I could go home at the end of the day and not feel like I had to socialize if I didn’t want to. It’s a different experience to live on-campus and be in the middle of the college buzz 24/7, but some people prefer to have that experience.

4. Roommates

Most college students cannot afford to live alone. In dorms, roommates are generally assigned to you without ever having any idea of who they are, what they’re like, or if you’ll get along. Some schools allow you to make roommate requests, but freshmen especially are usually paired up since they may not already have friends at the school. Apartment life requires you to find your own roommates, which allows you the opportunity to find someone with your similar living habits and interests.

If you’re still having trouble deciding, make a pros and cons list for each option, or seek the opinions of friends and family. The more input you receive from those who have been there, the more assured you’ll feel about your final choice. Some college students even feel like they want to experience both the dorm-life and apartment-life and decide to live in the dorms for the first couple of years of college, and then get an apartment off-campus with some close friends. When you realize what experience and lifestyle you want, you will easily be able to decide what is best for you.

Do you live in a dorm or an apartment? What do you like best about it? Share your experience with us in a comment!

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Move-In Day: How To Handle The Chaos

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


If you are a freshman, moving into a college dorm can seem like a daunting task. You may have some questions or uncertainties, but rest-assured you are not alone. Hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful to make the transition from high school to college a little smoother. And if you’re not a freshman and you’ve moved into a dorm before, than you understand just how chaotic the day can be.

1. Plan Ahead

Check on the university website to find information about where to park, when to arrive, and what dorm you are in. This information might even be emailed to you, so be sure to be on the look out for any correspondence from your school. The more you know before the big day, the better.

2. Only Bring What You Need

When I was a sophomore, I volunteered to work on a freshmen move-in crew in the dorm I was living. One of the things that struck me, is how much stuff the freshmen would bring with them that they don’t need. If you have a fridge that is taller than 3 feet, then your fridge is too big! Often times universities have certain dorm regulations too that may impact what you’re allowed to bring. And there is no way you will be able to fit 50 or more inches of TV in between you and your roommate’s lofted beds. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Connect With Your Roommate

Not only is it important when preparing to move in to communicate with your roommate ahead of time so you don’t end up with two of everything, but you want to get to know them a little bit. You can usually find out who your roommate is through your school, whether it’s listed on your student account or in an email. This is, of course, assuming you aren’t rooming with your best friend or anyone else you already know. Either way, coordinate with them before you pack things you don’t need, which will just take up more of your limited space.

4. Stay Calm

It is okay to get excited, but try to stay focused on just finding your room, unpacking your stuff, and moving everything in. The first step usually involves going to a front desk in the lobby to sign in with the hall director to get your key. When I was on the move in crew, we would send students in to sign in while we would unload their things in front of the dorm. We then waited for students to come back and tell us which room they were in and then carried their things up with them. Remember, these student volunteers are here to help and may even be living down the hall from you. So, if you are feeling stressed out or uncertain, just remember you can talk to anyone of the volunteers, the RA’s, or the hall director and they will be happy to assist you.

Don’t worry! Moving in to campus can be overwhelming, but just remember to breathe and that this is the beginning of a new stage in your life. Even if you’re not a freshman, a new year is always exciting!

Good luck!

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