Tag Archives: tips

Dos And Don’ts To Packing For Studying Abroad

Filed under: College Life, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

I am lucky enough to be one of the student’s from Texas State going to Spain this summer to study abroad! I’ve been so excited for various parts of the trip, but as it gets closer, anxiety has definitely set in because I have had to start thinking about what I should pack! There’s only so much room in a suitcase, but I also want to make sure I’m prepared since I’ll be so far away from home!

I put together a list of my do’s and don’ts for my trip to help guide you when (or if) you take an abroad trip! Of course, these are things that are important to me, so you can always customize your list when the time comes!


The most important things to pack when studying abroad are:

1. Passport/ID

This one seems pretty obvious, but I feel like I have to mention it because your passport is the number one important thing that you need to bring on your trip. Before you leave, make copies of it and your ID. Take copies for yourself, but also give family members copies of them, just in case something happens! It’s best to be prepared.

2. Camera

Whether it’s disposable, or a digital camera, bring one. Don’t just rely on your phone! This way you avoid running out of storage or damaging your phone. Also, the quality can sometimes be better.

3. Several Forms of Money

I plan on bringing a debit card, credit card, travelers checks, and also getting some Euro’s before I head to Spain. The last thing you want to happen is for something to get stolen and it be your only form of money. Keep these forms in different places around your luggage, and in the hotel safe!

4. Adapters

Pay attention to what country you’re traveling to and find out if you need to buy a special adapter. I need to bring one because of my hair devices and phone charger. Don’t wait until you get to the airport to buy one, it’ll be way over priced!

5. Comfortable Shoes

As much as I want to look good out on the streets of Barcelona and Madrid, I also know that their streets are mostly cobblestone and I’ll be doing a lot of walking. It’s way more important to be able to walk the next day, than to get a compliment on your shoes!


This list is just a few things people have advised me not to bring abroad. I agree with them and will pass them along to you:

1. More Than One Hair Device

This one is easy. Choose if you want a straightener or a curling iron. For those like me, who like both, just choose one! You’ll be thankful when your suitcase has more room!

2. Expensive Jewelry

You don’t need to bring any of your expensive jewelry. Especially if it has sentimental value. Leave it at home so you avoid the risk of losing it or it being stolen.

3. Lots of Shoes

Your best bet is to look over your itinerary and figure out exactly how many pairs of shoes you’ll need, and then don’t pack more than that. I’m bringing a business casual pair, a comfy pair, and sandals. Shoes take up so much space, and they aren’t a necessity.

Hopefully you’ll get to experience studying abroad, and if you do, hopefully this list helps you get started with your packing!

Share your packing advice in a comment below!

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5 Biggest Resume Mistakes

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

A resume is the very first impression you make on any possible future employers. Before you even have a chance to charm your interviewer with your wit and humor, they have to first like your resume. Therefore, it is crucial that your resume is impressive, professional, and on-point. Don’t make silly mistakes that can potentially cost you a job.

Avoid these resume mistakes and you could be on your way to your next interview:

1. Forgetting to Proofread

This is the number one mistake that job applicants make that has a huge impact on a resume review and yet can be so easily avoided. Make sure to read your resume over several times before sending out a final copy. Then after you’ve read it, have a friend read it over too in case you missed anything. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

2. Lying

Although it’s usually okay to embellish a little bit about your responsibilities at previous jobs, do not put down blatant lies. If you do not know how to use certain computer software that the job you are applying for requires, don’t say you do know how to use it in the hopes of figuring it out if you get the job! This will not work and you will just end up looking like a liar and feeling embarrassed.  Then your whole overall value as a reliable employee will be tarnished, and may even cost you the position.

3. Not Enough Detail

If you are a recent college graduate, you are probably desperately applying to 20 different jobs each day, so your natural instinct may tell you to simplify this process by creating a generic resume that you can quickly send out that generalizes your skills to apply to all of the jobs you are applying for. Do not do this. It is tempting because it is easy, but make the time to tweak your resume to be specific to each job that you apply for. Use the same key words from the posted job description to fill into your resume. The person reviewing your resume will see you obtain all the skills required for the job and may ask you to come in for an interview. It is more beneficial to send out 8 resumes that are more personalized and detail-oriented, than to send out 20 cookie-cutter resumes.

4. Rambling

More information is not always the best. Using superfluous words and rambling just to fill space on the page does not indicate more experience for the job. It may actually do more harm than good. It’s good to keep a resume short to the point. As the saying goes, quality is better than quantity.

5. Unprofessional Presentation

Resumes should be clean, not crumbled, typed in black ink (unless you are applying for graphic design), with consistent font face and size. Your resume should not only read as professional, but should also look that way as well. It should be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but also nothing crazy. Use traditional formatting and make sure it is easy to read. When in doubt, clean and simple is the best way to go.

Put some effort and time into your resume each time you apply for a job. You may be anxious (that’s normal) to just applying to any job you come across that looks decent, but don’t just throw yourself into applying without taking the time to present yourself in the best light for the position. Your resume is your golden ticket to get called in for an interview, so be sure to treat it as an important step in the application process!

Share your resume tips with us in the comments below!

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How To Start Saving (And Stop Spending)

Filed under: Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Saving money can always be a difficult task. Especially when you are surrounded by things you would like to splurge on: coffees, clothes, etc. Whether you are saving up for a trip, need money for the next semester of college, or would like to start investing towards a savings account, you need to save some money and limit your spending habits.

Here are three ways to start saving and stop spending:

1. Start A Savings Challenge

A savings challenge is the easiest and fastest way to begin saving. It’s very direct and easy to follow. The object of the challenge is to begin saving money in small increments (even as losw as $1) and eventually it will add up to a large sum by the time your challenge is complete. Each week, put more money into your savings than you did the week prior. Save for as long as you can and you will soon be rolling in dough!

2. Download Financial Apps

Mint.com is one of many apps available for download to your smartphone or tablet to help keep track of your spending. Financial applications like these are great to help you become aware of where your money goes, which can help determine where you can cut back and save. The Mint app tracks your entire account activity and will let you know when your account is low and can even alert you of any potential suspicious activity. You also can set up allowances for how much you would like to spend on specific categories and it will alert you when you’ve reached your budget.

3. Jar Method

If you are saving towards a certain item, event, or trip, then get a jar (or container) and label it for your goal. Any time you have any spare change or extra cash (I suggest using cash to reach bigger savings), then stash it inside. Before you know it, the jar will be filled and you will be on your way towards cashing it in for just the thing you had in mind.

It can be hard cutting back on spending and even harder to not spend money you are trying to save, but it is so rewarding when you see your savings grow or when you finally use your savings towards the item you were saving for.

Share your saving secrets with us in a comment below!

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How To Land Your Dream Job

Filed under: Graduation, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

For those college seniors that will be graduating soon, you will soon be facing the real world made up of bills, expenses, and unforeseeable costs. Did I mention student loan payments? Like most college graduates, the next thing to achieve is a full-time job to ease these worries. Better yet – aim for the job you went to college for in the first place, the job that will prove that getting your degree was worth it; reach to achieve your ultimate dream job.

Whatever your career interest is, here is some job hunting advice that will help you land your dream job:

1. The Resume

Make sure to get your resume as perfect as you can. The key to a great resume is to make it appealing to the company you are applying to. Try not to overload your resume with information. Keep it simple and concise. The key is to highlight your accomplishments, the work you’ve done, and the extracurricular activities you’ve participated in. Look at some resume examples for comparison and make sure your resume stands out with maybe a hint of color, a unique design, or something that will catch the eye of the reviewer (but do not go too drastic because that will scare them away). Always proof-read! Nothing looks worse than representing yourself as a horrible speller (it’s simple mistakes that can really make a difference). Always have a few people look it over and ask for their input. Another good tip is to always put the same key words from the job description and listing into your resume so the reviewer will see you are qualified for the job at hand.

2. Social Media

Social media is definitely a great resource to finding employment positions. Make sure to create a LinkedIn account because a lot of business professionals tend to look for candidates and post jobs here. LinkedIn is essentially a place to grow your network and to have your resume online for other business professionals to see (and evaluate if you would be a good fit for their team). Though social media can be a great source for finding employment, it can also hinder you from getting jobs if you have content that an employer could find questionable, such as inappropriate clothing, alcohol/drug use, profanity, etc. The best thing to do is to clean up your social media profiles (yes, all of them, they can all be found by a simple Google search) prior to applying to any jobs. Google search your name and see what you find. Would you hire yourself based off of what you saw?

3. Dress To Impress 

Once you’ve landed an interview, now you have to dress to impress! The way you present yourself can make or break an interview. A potential employer usually decides within the first few minutes (based on your appearance, fair or not) if they are interested in you. You want to look presentable, professional, and as someone they can see working in their environment. Do your research on the company and see if they are more business casual or if they wear more business professional attire. Although, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Ladies, stray away from any skirts that are too short (anything more than 2 inches above the knee) or massive high heels. Avoid any clothing that may be too tight, too flashy, or too revealing. Keep it as neutral as possible with minimal jewelry. Guys, a nice button-up, dress pants, and shiny dress shoes will do the trick. Denim should absolutely n ever be worn to interviews. Ties and blazers are optional but definitely recommended if you want to make a great first impression. See the above photo for examples on what to wear for business professional and business casual interviews.

4. Interview

The interview is the most nerve-wracking part of the entire job hunting process. My best advice is to walk into the interview with confidence. Make sure you’ve done your research on the company and familiarize yourself with the type of work they do. This is definitely the time to talk yourself up, but at the same time do not sound overly confident. You want to stay relaxed and calm during the interview. Be as personable as you can and just have a conversation with the interviewer. Rehearse potential interview questions and answers the night prior so that you can mentally prepare yourself. It is a good idea to ask someone to do a mock interview for you so you can do a practice run. Make a great first impression by having a good, firm handshake (not too hard) at the start of the interview. Bring a portfolio of work samples to show the interviewer hands on what your experience is. At the end of the interview always have three question to ask the interviewer to clarify any concerns you may have, but to also show the employer your level of interest. Be sure to send a thank you note or email to your interviewer to leave a lasting impression. Feel free to follow up with the employer if a few weeks have passed and you haven’t heard back. However, keep in mind that sometimes filling a position can take a while and this may come across as too pushy to some. So just remember, patience!

Create a resume, set up a LinkedIn, clean up your social media accounts, dress professionally, prepare for an interview, and you will be that much closer to landing your dream job! Don’t get discouraged if you do not get the job right away, it may take several attempts before you get anywhere. Do not lose your confidence! Each time you apply for a job, you can learn what worked and what didn’t and use it towards applying for the next position. Once you land that job, you will truly have earned it!

What is your dream job? Have you landed it yet? If so, how did you do it? If not, how do you plan to? Share with us in the comments!

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Going Green For Earth Day

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

Earth Day started in 1970 to recognize the need for and celebrate environmental protection. Now, it is a global event, celebrated annually on April 22nd. There are typically many different festivals or events that occur on Earth Day with lots of activities to educate people on how to “go green.” “Going green” means to act in a way that is environmentally friendly that will protect the environment and sustain natural resources. There are many different ways (some simple, others creative) to “go green” this Earth Day and help make a difference!

1. Save Energy At Home

This is at the top of my list because it is the most common (and a simple) way to try to live green. Try reducing your utility usage (water, electricity, and heat/air conditioning) and not only will the environment thank you, but so will your wallet! Reducing the amount of utilities you use will save you money and the earth’s resources. Turn off unused lights, upgrade to more efficient appliances, reduce water usage, and insulate your windows and walls to conserve heat/air conditioning. Instead of sitting at home and watching television or playing videogames, consider going on a walk, exercising, learning to play an instrument (that’s not electric), or planting a tree! Distract yourself from the use of utilities for a while to make a difference and when you eventually do return to watching Netflix, please do so responsibly.

2. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

This is a creative option that not many people consider. Using just vinegar, baking soda, lemons, and soap you can make your own cleaning supplies that are environmentally friendly. What most people don’t think about when using regular cleaning supplies is if the product label says it’s toxic to people, wouldn’t that imply that it is not so great for environment either? Pouring those cleaning supplies down the drain, or throwing away a Windex-soaked paper towel, exposes the environment to these toxins. Some products are labeled as eco-friendly, but be sure to read the label to be sure. Even still, you are better off creating your own cleaning products since you know the materials used first hand and will probably spend less money for them.

3. Buy Used And Donate Items

Buying and donating used items (that are still in good condition) are great ways to reuse and recycle items. Unfortunately, not a lot of people like to own previously used items because they want the newest stuff for themselves. This is the most common mentality since we have been taught how to be good consumers. However, this has led to overproduction of goods and an increase in waste. Not only is buying used a good way to “go green,” but it is also a great way to spend less money. Garage sales, thrift stores, consignment shops, and searching online are all great places to look for discounted used items. Also, buying used does not classify you as “lower class.” It classifies you as smart, responsible, and caring.

4. Buy Local Food

Do you know where your food comes from when you buy it from a store? It is likely that it traveled about 1,500 miles before ever reaching your dinner plate. Think about it. You are relying on the necessity of oil to have your food shipped to you. Oil debate aside, this takes a huge toll on the environment and disenfranchises local farmers trying to make a living with responsible farming practices such as intermittent grazing. If you buy from a local farmer’s market not only are you supporting that farmer, but you are also supporting your local economy and likely buying food that tastes much superior. You are also reducing the distance from the source, which reduces how many people handle your food, how much time your food is sitting on a shelf or in a truck, and you actually decrease the risk of your food expiring too soon or picking up a bacterium along the way. Fresh, local food tastes good, feels good, and does the body good.

These ideas are only a few ways you can “go green” for Earth Day, or any day for that matter. Sometimes small steps towards living an environmentally friendly life can make a big difference.

Leave a comment below to tell us how you’re helping the environment!

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