Importance of Being Involved on Campus

One of the best things you can do for yourself at college is to get involved on campus. Join a sorority or fraternity, a club, an organization, a team, anything. There are so many different clubs and groups that you’ll definitely be able to find something you like. My school, which was only home to about 2,200 students, had a variety of different clubs from a belly dancing circle to a gaming club to an outdoor club. Then there are varsity sports teams or just club teams if you don’t want a big involvement. And even intramural teams, for those who just want to play. And if you ever want to start a club, it’s so easy as long as you have some other students who are also interested.

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There are so many benefits to getting involved. You’ll become more connected to your college and the people who attend it. Even though I did go to a small school, if I hadn’t been on a sports team, I definitely would not have met all the people that I did. You become part of the community at your school. If you sit inside all day or don’t meet new people, you won’t have as fulfilling an experience as someone who took full advantage of what was given to them. Even just making an effort to go to your school’s football games or something will help you to have a better time. And it’s way easier to meet new people and make friends with people you would never think you would be friends with when you’re part of a club or team, because you have a basis to start from, and a reason to hang out together.

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You can also discover new passions you didn’t know about. Try joining a club about something you’ve never heard of, and it could just turn out to be something you’re good at without even knowing it. And doing extracurricular activities will boost your resume, and help give you an edge when you’re applying for jobs. If you’re a writer, for example, by working on the campus newspaper, or submitting to on-campus magazines, that will definitely help you when you’re looking for jobs because you’ll have more experience. Or if you want to go into politics, joining the Student Government will give you extra leadership skills. Plus, students who are involved in campus tend to have higher GPAs and a better experience overall. I know that when I’m busier, it usually  helps me to budget my time better and get everything done. When I have too much time on my hands, I procrastinate more and my work becomes sloppier. Being busy gives me that extra kick I need to actually settle down and focus when I set aside the time.

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Like I said, there are plenty of ways to be involved. If you see something you think you might be interested in, try it! If you don’t like it, you can always stop going to the meetings, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Thinking about going Greek? Check out this article explaining the benefits and downsides. Utilize the resources from your school. Check out the activity fair in the beginning of the year to see what you would like to sign up for. Plus clubs will always be putting flyers up looking for new students to join, and most colleges will have an student life center where you can find more information on what is around. Don’t forget to check out the school website, which will often have information on all the organizations that can be found on campus. And remember that it is an ongoing thing. There are plenty of service projects or things that are temporary positions that you can get involved in too. With so many choices, there is no way that you can’t find at least one club, organization, or team where you can fit in and get involved! So go enjoy college to the fullest.

 

Pictures from here, here, and here.

 

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[SR]’s Guide to Halloween

Halloween is all about the costume. – Sure it’s easy to act too cool for Halloween. You can sit around until five minutes before going out than frantically start searching for an idea. However, that would just make you the bozo standing in a corner with a blue long sleeve shirt and sweat pants trying too hard to pass your outfit off as a pair of scrubs. Desperation may make you a doctor, but it will make you one that won’t be dishing out any full body exams that night. No, those will be reserved for the people who actually put work into their costume.

This may sound dumb, but putting work into your costume may help turn a night of terror into a one night fantasy. If you’re willing to put some actual effort into your costume you may just find that Halloween can really bring out the coolest, sexiest, and most fun version of you. This is because once you put the effort into constructing your costume you will have a more vested interest in showcasing it. The more thought and details you put into your costume the more talking points you will have. Remember Halloween is the one night a year you are allowed to be someone else. If you actually work at assuming a persona you may just feel that much freer at a party or social situation. I’ll get more into that later.

For now, let’s start with building your costume. Try and start with a topic or idea you are truly interested in. From there, inspiration can truly come from anywhere. You will find that once you start having fun it will be easier to be creative.

Search through your dorm room, your friend’s closet, or your parent’s basement. Try and find a starting point, that one piece of clothing, accessory, or prop you can build your costume from. You can also try searching costume sites as a way to get new ideas, or find the right costume that works for you. A great place to begin that search and save money is on the Studentrate.com costume section. This may also be a great place to find the finishing touches you need to complete your costume such as glitter, makeup, or a wig.

Just remember your costume says a lot about you. Whether you are constructing it from scratch, or purchasing one online try and add an element that makes it more your own. A great way to do that is to follow rule number two.

Customs should have props – Why? Because they are fun, handy, and can really lead to a good time. Take for example the addition of a gun to your cowboy or army outfit. Replace that six shooter or AK with a simple squirt gun or super soaker. By stocking your holster with a squirt gun what you’ve really down is disguised your vodka bottle. Now, feel free to bring your “accessory” into the bar. Make friends by giving people “shooters”, or make your drinks that much stronger. Use the studentrate.com links to K-Mart or Wal-mart.com to receive cash back on guns such as these:

Pictures from (http://www.walmart.com/ip/My-Sunshine-Splash-Cyber-X-5-Water-Guns/16504502)

Halloween turns Nightmare into a Fantasy – If you are a freshman guy its possible Halloween may soon jump Christmas as your favorite holiday. Every college party is a dress slip away form an episode of Girls-gone-Wild. It doesn’t matter if you go to school in South Carolina or Rhode Island; it seems a majority of college girls can’t find a Halloween custom without the prefix “sexy” attached. You will never see girls more scantily clad than on a college campus during Halloween. But, hey it’s a day of self-expression, remember to use that to your advantage.

picture from ( http://unofficialnetworks.com)

How many nights do you wish you had a cheat sheet that told you the best way to talk to that cute girl or boy standing in the corner? Well, on Halloween that’s exactly what you’re given. A costume can really tell you about a person. That’s a key reason for you to put the work into your costume. When you’re out that night you will see the pay off. Take cues from their costume. Use what they give you to complaint them on their creativity, or lead in with a joke. If you get stuck on talking points don’t be afraid to slip into the persona of your costume. You might even try finding where your costumes overlap. It’s pretty easy for Aladdin to spark up a conversation with Jasmine, or a doctor to find their nurse. Thanks to the addition of costumes Halloween really is the one night a year where pick-up lines are acceptable.

 

 

However no matter what happens that night please remember to be safe 

The next day can easily convert that fantasy into a nightmare – Halloween is like a dream. It may be a night filled with skimpy outfits, inside jokes, and a colorful cast of characters, but it’s still a dream grounded in reality. Bad decisions that night won’t simply fade after Cinderella loses her glass slipper during her walk of shame. Have fun, but be safe. Ladies this is especially true for you, and always remember….

Beware of Stranger Danger – From Candy to beer and mixed drinks the main rule of Halloween hasn’t changed since you were a little kid. When accepting any treats from strangers it’s always safer to consume something that’s unopened. Just because you’ve opted to prowl the party scene for bud lights and Jello-shots instead of canvasing the neighborhood for Kit-Kats it doesn’t mean you’re clear from the worries of stranger danger. Actually it’s quite the opposite. It might actually be worse. Remember to be smart. When you’re at a party where you don’t know anyone an unopened beer is always safest. Sure, that foamy pink drink looks fruity, but it might just be hiding a razor blade of a completely different sort. Have fun on Halloween, but don’t be stupid.

O-Natural The Way to Go

While perusing the Burts Bee’s website I am happy to say how utterly shocked I was to learn of everything they have.  A Burts user myself, I was only recently made aware of the acne and skin moisturizing line and was even more stunned when I saw the vast selection of items they had that go far beyond only lip balm which is what most people are familiar with.  In today’s day and age most skin care products are riddled with chemicals and ingredients that do torturous things to your skin and your body so I am always excited to cut out the unneeded chemicals whenever I can.

Burts Bee’s strives to make all of their products the most natural way possible. Discover these amazing products people can’t stop  raving about.

Natural Acne Solutions Maximum Strength Spot Treatment Cream

 

This Spot Treatment Cream helps reduce and improve the appearance of blemishes without irritating the skin. The cream is formulated with Licorice Root Extract to help  reduce the appearance of redness and Tamanu Oil to help promote healthy skin. For only $13.00, bye bye blemishes. Naturally.

 

 

 

Beeswax & Royal Jelly Eye Cream

Infused with Royal Jelly and Beeswax, this eye cream helps nourish the delicate area around your eyes. You can use it day and night. The cream helps smooth skin with Aloe Vera Gel, Apricot Kernel Oil and Vitamin, but also helps minimize appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. With countless 5 star reviews, this cream is a winner with a tiny price tag at only $15, it’s never too early to start an anti-wrinkle regimen.

 

Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment

While the rich and buttery  avocado oil treatment delivers essential moisture, Olive and Almond Oil, Rosemary and Nettle Extracts help give your hair a beautifully glossy shine. Apply a generous amount before shampooing; leave the treatment on your hair for at least 5 minutes and up to 20 minutes for maximum conditioning. Perfect for thick, long hair to repair dry and damaged split ends. The price of this treatment is only $9 compared to over $35 for leading salon brands that are filled with nasty chemicals.

 

 

Lip Shimmer

With Shea Butter and antioxidant-rich Fruit Oils, this lip shimmer moisturizes, nourishes and softens lips naturally and lovingly. Bring a little color to the traditional lip balm with 12 shimmering shades including new Cherry, Plum and Strawberry. For as little as $5 you can even try a couple !

So check it out at www.burtsbees.com. Also when you use the promo code BBSCHOOL, you get a FREE Classic Keepsake Tin with 4 Beeswax lip balms with any $20 purchase

Messy Hair Do Care

Let’s face it… Looking glamorous and put together in an 8am lecture after a long night out is not exactly easy to do. Not to fear though kiddies, we are here to give you a few tricks to fool anyone into thinking that you got your mandated 8 hours of beauty rest.

  1. No time for shower

Dry shampoo’s have come a long way since they first appeared on the market years ago.  Washing your hair everyday is actually not good for your hair as it can dry out essential oils that your hair creates that keep it moist.  If you’re in a rush to class and don’t have time to hop in the shower,  a dry shampoo is the perfect answer to a busy day.  You don’t have dry shampoo? A little bit of baby powder sprinkled in your hand can cut down the grease and shine and freshen up your not so fresh locks.

At Sephora.com there are a ton of different types of dry shampoos to choose from. Ranging on targeting blondes to brunettes, fine hair to thick hair, there is something for everyone and with Studentrate you get 10% cash back.

 

 

 

2. Wet hair don’t care

This will become your new best friend. I found this godsend hair product at the beginning of the summer and have gone through 3 bottles so far (granted I have fairly long hair). All you need to do is spray in a healthy amount , depending on how much hair you have, when you get out of the shower to towel dried hair and VOILA! Perfect day-at-the-beach waved hair.  You will get a million complements on your glorious do and with very little effort and the stuff actually makes your hair feel good, not stiff and gross like a lot of other products out there.   Infused with dead sea salt and sea kelp, when you go to dry your hair next, you will notice a difference. You can find this at Walmart for very cheap and get 4% cash back.

        3. Easy Do’s

The sock bun, is all the rage here at the [SR] office.  Easy and quick to do when you’re in a pinch for time, the sock bun is a classy look in under 2 minutes.  Check out this youtube how to video, although I’d suggest using a nice guy’s dress sock vs the tattered gym sock she uses, but to each their own! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfMlMhSACCE

Just because you don’t have much time, doesn’t mean everyone has to know it.  You won’t only impress that guy or girl you’ve been swooning over but it also looks good for your professors at the same time. TWO BIRDS ONE STONE DONE!

Football Sunday Snacks

This weekend is the start of football season!! If you are planning on having people over to watch the game and you are lucky to have a kitchen in your dorm, make some fun snacks with your roommates. They are super easy and all your guy friends will love them!

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 16 slices (12-ounce package) bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions or chives

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow flavors to meld together. Garnish with extra shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, and chopped chives. Serve with your favorite potato chips or pretzel crisps. (Recipe from http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/01/31/loaded-baked-potato-dip/)

Baked Corn Dog Bites

  • 1 pack of corn muffin or corn bread mix
  • 1 pack of hot dogs sliced

Just mix together and bake according to package. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 oz pepperoni (14 slices)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 dash salt
  • Pre-heat oven to 375° F (190° C). Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) ; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping. (Recipe from http://www.fatsecret.com/recipes/pepperoni-pizza-muffins/Default.aspx)

Working Fitness into College

Motivation

Finding time to work out in college can be a challenge especially in the first couple of weeks after you move in. Let’s face it, there is ALWAYS something more fun to do on campus than going to the gym especially if you’re not already a gym go-er by nature.

 

 

Treat your workouts as part of your schedule

The first step to get motivated to work out is to treat it like a part of your daily schedule. When you have a bio lab scheduled at 8.30 am, you get out of bed and get yourself there because you don’t have a choice (well at least that’s what should happen).  Look at your class schedule and reserve some time for the gym. If you are more of a morning workout person then try and fit it in before your first class. Wear your gym clothes to class, a lot of the time they’re super cute and the opposite sex finds it attractive that you work out.  You can also time it with your favorite show so you can watch it on the treadmill.  That “perfect time” to hit the gym, almost never happens, if you wait for that you will never go. Once you start working out a couple of days a week, it becomes very addicting and it is much easier to make time for the gym. The first 2 weeks are the hardest, remind yourself of that. When going to the gym don’t even think twice about it, just do it like Nike says.

Find a workout Buddy or be that Buddy

If you’re one of the few lucky kids that end up having the random freshmen roommate as a workout aficionado, you will be much more likely to follow suit, awesome!  If not, find a buddy at the gym or become that buddy and motivate yourself.  You will always be more likely to do something if someone is holding you accountable to be there, don’t let yourself or your friends down!

 

 

Load up your phone or iPod with music, videos and apps

7 cool apps to bring to the gym http://health.allwomenstalk.com/apps-to-bring-to-the-gym/

Fantastic workout playlist http://myjourneythroughthickandthin.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/update-workout-playlist/

Netflix  shows on your phone and get $10 cash back just for using the free trial!

Rhapsody on your phone to download and listen to thousands of songs on the go, and get $5 cash back just for using the free trial.

iTunes download the best pump up songs by genre on your playlists, variety will keep you interested and earn 5% cash back at the same time .

Come up with a power workout plan

If you are a busy bee in college, you want to come up with an hour long “power workout” for the days when you need to squeeze the gym between classes. Always make sure you combine cardio and weights, and try to alternate your workouts 40/20 – 40 minute cardio session/20 minutes weight and vice versa. This blog has some great advice to come up with a quick and efficient workout routine. Follow our Fitness Pinterest board for great cardio, arm and ab workouts to make the most out of your hectic schedule at the gym.

 

 

 

Get cute workout outfits and accessories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going to the gym in college is kind of a social phenomenon. It basically means running into every hot guy or girl on campus while you are sweating your butt off and more than likely if you’re actually there to workout, you’re not feeling too hot yourself. Feeling good in your workout outfit is part of a great gym adventure; it will push you to work harder and longer to obtain the goals you want to reach.  Check the fitness section at Forever 21 and bebe Sport and Reebok for some great sneakers, sports bras, capris and tanks. There are also some really neat accessories to make your workout more fun and make sure you don’t leave any of the essentials in the locker room! Check out this water bottle or this workout bra with compartments to keep you student ID and money.  Check out this fitness board on Pinterest for more great ideas and inspiration.

Fresh Expectations

It’s almost the time that everyone talks about, your freshmen year of college. The ‘best’ 4 years of your life lay ahead and the time is steadily approaching. Everyone you talk to says how exciting it is and what a great adventure you are going to face, all of which is so true. There are a couple of downsides however, that no one seems to mention. Well we’re here to tell it to you straight.

1. Living with strangers, albeit is exciting, is extremely uncomfortable at first. This is not to scare you, but just know that it is normal to feel uncomfortable or awkward your first week in a new, strange place. On the opposite side if you’re living with an old friend or perhaps a new friend, be prepared to learn about habits or annoyance that you may not have noticed before. Again this is EXTREMELY normal, whatever normal is.

2. The microwave will be your best friend and your worst enemy at the end of your first semester. Sure it’s great for those 3am binges when you feel like you could eat an elephant and still be hungry, but user beware this will cause you to gain about 20 lbs your first year. Use the microwave sparingly. Microwave foods are usually full of salt which causes you to gain water weight and actual weight, be cautious in the food you are stocking up on in your dorm. Make healthy, conscious decisions with what food you keep in your room.

3. Most importantly, college IS NOT high school. The so called “cool” kids from high school pull a Channing Tatum from 21 Jump Street and become awkward and out of place when they lose that comfort and recognition of their hometown. The so called “misfits” from high school become popular, fitting into social groups and clubs that never existed in high school. Everyone has a place in college. College isn’t about cliques or titles; it’s about enjoying the experience and making the most of your time at school. You will find the right group of people , it just takes time and you may end up with a different crowd than you ever expected to see yourself with, which is the beauty of going to college.

4. Taking lead from college is not high school… you will need to develop study habits and develop them early. Set time out of every week to devote to studying, you will thank yourself come midterms and finals. Live by the mantra work hard play hard, it will pay off in the long run not only in college, but in your professional life as well. Remember in college balance is key and part of that balance does not include skipping a ton of your 8am biology labs, your teacher will notice and your grade will be affected.

 

Your freshmen year of college is a year of firsts. Embrace it for what they are, good or bad. Learn from your mistakes and adjust when necessary and you will be successful and have a great time while doing it.