Everyone looks forward to summer vacation – you finally have free time to catch up on some much needed sleep, lay out by the pool, read for fun, and make a little extra cash with an internship or part-time job. As wonderful as this all sounds those last three weeks of the semester when homework is abundant and finals are looming around the corner, having a lot of free time can get really old – fast. As college students, we are accustomed to filling in every second of the day with something to do. Just because the academic part of the school year has ended for a good three months, doesn’t mean that you can’t still be involved in those extracurricular activities that make your college experience so rewarding. Getting involved within your community during the summer months can be a great way to fill some free time, meet some new people, and have a helping hand in improving the lives of others.
Getting involved in an off campus organization can be rewarding to both yourself as well as the organization. In fact, many non profits rely on the help of college students to help them gain access to a large number of people that in turn allow them to achieve their goals. Depending upon the organization you volunteer for, you could do anything from building homes for those in need through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, to becoming a role model for a child and ultimately changing their life for the better through programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. Regardless of your interests, there are multiple organizations out there that are making a positive impact in the community, and are looking for your help.
Your involvement doesn’t have to be limited to the summer. Becoming involved in an off campus organization poses a great leadership opportunity for you, while also providing the organization increased exposure to a college campus full of young and enthusiastic individuals. Getting your friends involved and remaining active in the organization once school resumes is a great way to spend your free time, and your involvement in such organizations will have a lasting impact that may shape your future career goals and dreams.
For a list of organizations that are looking for volunteers in your local community check out www.volunteermatch.org. What organizations have you volunteered for? Let us know!
Summertime is almost here, folks. You might be wondering what to do with yourself for the next few months. If you have the time, why not go see a pulse-pounding summer blockbuster? Here are three films I am really looking forward to:
First, try Man of Steel, coming to theaters on June 14th. The latest of the Superman film adaptations, this version boasts an impressive cast, including Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Russell Crowe. In addition, the film is produced by Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan, who turned an ailing Batman franchise into a multi-million dollar juggernaut. Judging from the preview, I’d say that Nolan has brought the gritty, realistic style of his Dark Knight trilogy to a franchise that is often criticized for endless campiness. I wonder if they’ll still have Superman change in a phone booth…
The next blockbuster I’m looking forward to is Disney’s The Lone Ranger, starring The Social Network’s Armie Hammer as the titular character. Johnny Depp plays Native American warrior Tonto, and together they set out to fight corruption. The main reason to see this one is the crew. The Lone Ranger reunites writing duo Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot with director Gore Verbinski and actor Johnny Depp, all of whom worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Yes, the last three installments were stinkers, but the The Curse of the Black Pearl was excellent. If Elliot, Rossio, Verbinski and Depp can recapture the sense of adventure that was at the heart of the first Pirates, I think The Lone Ranger could be a hit. Look for it on July 3rd.
Last but not least is R.I.P.D.: Rest In Peace Department, an action film about two dead cops (played by Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds) who work from beyond the grave to fight crime. R.I.P.D. is based on a comic book, and you can tell from the trailer. The film looks to be chock full of zany action, impressive special effects, and snappy one-liners. And of course, Jeff Bridges is in it. What more could you ask for?
Enjoy your summer, and don’t miss these great films!
Spring is finally in the air. The days are longer, the temperature is warmer, and the sun is here to stay. Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s hard to resist spending the day outside. However, before you head out into the sunshine for the next few months, taking a day to do some cleaning and organizing from the months you’ve spent inside the house will be well worth it.
The transition from winter to summer is a great opportunity to de-clutter your life. We spend so much time inside during the winter months, and thanks to the holiday season we have a tendency to accumulate more than we need. The summer redirects our attention from our material items indoors, to the simple beauty of the outdoors.
Trading out your thick winter sweater for a t-shirt and pair of shorts can be the greatest feeling in the world. While switching out your wardrobe this spring, take the time to go through and get rid of those winter clothes you haven’t worn in years. Also consider getting rid of those gifts you received that you know you have no use for. Then, take advantage of the nice weather and have a garage sale. You’ll be able to enjoy the weather outside while getting rid of your old things and making a little extra money. Have old books lying around? You can sell those too!
Summertime also rejuvenates our spirit to tackle new projects. If you’re looking for something to do, check out websites like Pinterest or OrgJunkie for fun ideas that will help you organize the items you do have, in fun and unique ways. If you don’t have any need to de-clutter, take time just freshening up your house. Pull back your curtains to let the sun in, and spend your day vacuuming, dusting, and trading out your warm winter sheets for a lighter, more colorful set. Having a clean and organized home will allow you to enjoy the summer even more.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be dreaded. If you use our tips above you can face summer head on with an organized home, a little extra cash in your pocket, and a few new projects to get working on!
What do you do to get organized for the Summer? Let us know in the comments.
Everyone knows the big names in music festivals (think Bonnaroo, Coachella, Ultra, Sasquach etc.) but there are some great smaller music festivals that are sure to cure the festival fever without causing major wallet damage. Here are my picks for the top 5 little known music festivals.
5. Bunbury Festival – Cincinnati, OH July 12-14
This downtown festival has six stages and three days of performances. The headliners include Fun. MGMT, Sky Ferreira, Tegan and Sara,Yo La Tengo, The National, and Daniel Martin Moore. Although you may have to spring for a hotel for the weekend instead of camping, you will still come in under budget because this festival is only $120 for all three days.
4. Wakarusa – Ozark, AR May 30-June 2
If you are looking for an intense camping experience in one of the most beautiful locations look no further than Wakarusa. I would say that this particular festival isn’t for everyone. It has an attractive line up but be prepared to have a primitive camping experience and be surrounded by some modern day hippies where music and shows are a way of life not just a summer distraction. Notable acts include Grouplove, Snoop Lion, Zeds Dead, Baauer, Icona Pop, Araabmuzik, RJD2, Widespread Panic, and my personal favorite, Amon Tobin. Be warned you will be dirty, smelly, and sweaty at the end of this one. Watch the promo video and you’ll know what I mean.
3. Hard Summer 2013 – Los Angeles, CA August 3-4
If you live anywhere near LA you’ll want to attend this show. In the past this series has some of the most elite electronic acts including Deadmau5, A-Trak, Borgore, Crystal Castles, and Flying Lotus. The festival lineup isn’t out yet for this year but tickets for a 3 day pass are about $120. It is definetly a bang for your buck.
2. Summer Camp – Chillicothe, IL May 24-26
This is another small camping festival that landed some big names this year. The lineup includes Big Boi, Diplo, Zeds Dead, STS9, Theievery Corporation, 3 days of Moe, and 3 days of Umphreys’s McGee. It has 7 stages and over 75 artists and at $115 it is a no-brainier. Like other mid-west camping festivals you’ll wanna be prepared for limited showers, bugs, and heat. If you can stand the stress it’ll be worth it and at ¼ the cost of Bonnaroo.
1. Forecastle – Louisville, KY July 12-14
This will be the 11th forecastle festival, and in the past few years this festival has gained some major publicity mostly due to the unique structure and setting of the weekend festival. It is a true music and arts festival that includes speakers and art tutorials as well as music. The setting is also unique. There are 5 stages in downtown Louisville on the water front (one stage is even under an interstate overpass). The after parties are on the historic bell of Louisville and range from 15-35 dollars for late night shows. This festival has become a popular one so it may be your last year to enjoy it at the low $145 price point.
When so many good lineups are released in one year it can be tempting to clean out your savings account on tickets, but it is important to look around at your options before committing to the priciest summer fest. Are there any we missed?
With the changing of the seasons from winter to spring, so comes the changing of students’ attitudes towards school. Now that Spring Break is on the horizon and temperatures outside are rising, students find themselves being lured outdoors, placing school on the backburner. But now is not the time to fall behind in your classes! If anything, now is the time you should be getting a head start on preparing for those midterms that will inevitably stand between you and your long awaited break.
In order to remain carefree before your Spring Break, check out these tips that we have gathered on ways to tackle those dreaded midterms head on.
1. Start preparing now. You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s truly never too early to start studying. Rather than staying up late the night before your exam, you’ll find it much more effective to start dedicating a little bit of time each night to reviewing class material. If you cram the night before you won’t retain any information in your long term memory, and you’ll also find yourself exhausted the morning of the exam. Getting started is always the hardest part, so get it over with!
2. Utilize outside resources. Teachers have office hours for a reason – they want to help you as much as possible. That being said, if there is any information that you didn’t grasp in class, or if you have questions in general about your upcoming exam, utilize this time to go pick your Professor’s brain. Trust me, Professors like having students come to their office hours, it shows them how much you care about succeeding in their class – and knowing how much you care could work in your favor when they’re calculating participation points at the end of the semester! Additionally, reach out to friends who have (successfully) taken the class you are in, and see if they have any additional advice as to how to ace your upcoming midterm.
3. Make a schedule. Midterms are similar to finals in that you may have an exam in every class, but don’t let that freak you out. By making a schedule and sticking to it, you can make studying for multiple classes manageable. This will also allow you to work in time to plan and pack for Spring Break, so that you’re not frantically throwing your belongings together right before you head to the beach!
4. Take advantage of on-campus study breakers. Taking a break from studying is necessary when trying to retain half a semester’s worth of information. That being said, check out what events the organizations at your college or university are putting on to help students relax during these stressful times. I know at my school we have an evening in which the professors serve students breakfast for dinner at our dining hall. If none of these events appeal to you, take an afternoon walk around campus or hit the gym or an hour to relieve some tension.
5. Reward yourself. I’m not saying you should go on a shopping spree or max out your credit card, but it is important to build in small incentives throughout the week. I find studying much easier if I have something tangible I am working towards (other than good grades). It could be as simple as a smoothie after a study session, or renting a new movie after a tough test (may I recommend “Perks of Being a Wallflower”). Just make sure you’re actually completing the task before you get the reward.
It can be incredibly difficult to focus on midterms with Spring Break right around the corner, but it is possible. Just think- you have already made it half way through the semester, what’s one more week? If you’ve finished all your midterms and you’re planning to take a trip, check out this post so you know what to pack.
How do you balance Spring Break anticipation and remaining motivated to study for midterms? All suggestions are welcomed!
If you’re like me, you can relate to half the things this girl is admitting:
Coffee is just one of those things that naturally holds its place in college and in the workplace. In fact, about 50% of Americans drink coffee. That 50% consume about 400 million cups every day! Sorry water, don’t think your recommended 8-cups a day is happening anytime soon. Maybe if you had cute little shops and that sweet aroma and warmth and creamy goodness…
My love for coffee is kind of crazy to me, because growing up, I was rarely allowed to drink soda that had caffeine. So, little did I know that in my college years, I would be bleeding blue, and bleeding caffeine. Yes, I do bleed blue cappuccinos.
So how did this addiction develop? I’d like to think it’s because Starbucks is brilliant, and its shops are conveniently placed so that you pass a Starbucks every day; it’s in the student center where I grab lunch, on the way to half the places I drive to, even in the ladies’ bathroom… OK well that last one is just a fantasy, but I really looked it up, and there are 15 Starbucks locations in Lexington. 15!
It sounds awful, but until the end of freshman year I would grab something that didn’t even have caffeine, like the strawberry and crème, just for the taste (which is one of the more expensive drinks on the menu, in fact). The end of the second semester came along, and I felt like I needed to treat myself every day—for going to classes instead of sleeping in, working hard to stay on track, not spilling my meatball marinara sandwich on myself… I mean, it was at least a once-a-day ritual. I never resorted to food for comfort, but I did resort to my green double-finned lady for comfort.
This year, I just about buy a coffee or chai latte after lunch every day. They’re cheaper than the non-caffeinated choices, but some people in my life have warned against developing a full-on dependency on coffee. Their reasoning?
• It’s not good psychologically to be addicted to a substance
• Some claim to have headaches when they do not have coffee
• One can supposedly develop a tolerance for caffeine
• An excess can cause anxiety, increased heartbeat and loss of sleep
• And, of course, it’s expensive.
However, the Today Show coverage of the obsession of coffee presents a view that coffee may not be necessarily a negative thing, as long as it’s consumed in moderation:
If you’re one of the 50%, and you think you might have a problem, there’s hope and good news! You don’t have to necessarily give coffee nor caffeine up. You can consider:
• Finding out the right amount of caffeine for your body and readjusting.
• If you brew your coffee, you can mix it with grain coffee, which is a mixture of grain and nuts and doesn’t naturally contain caffeine.
• Switching to tea.
• Placing sleep higher on your priority list.
It’s your senior year. How do you feel? Are you ready for May, or are you dreading the pass of time, and desperately holding on to your last few semesters?
Chances are, it’s a toss up.
There will be seniors who were ready for their next chapter back in August—thinking okay, okay I get it, let’s move on already! They have outgrown college and are ready for real life, whatever that is!
Then there are the students who love college—it defines them! Why would anyone ever try to make them leave?! It’s who they are. It’s all they ever wanted to do, or be.
While both options seem extreme, all seniors are wavering somewhere in between. There’s no denying that we’ve all starting thinking about it. Heck, our under classmen friends are begging us to stop using the ‘G’ word! But the reality is, it’s coming.
For those of us ready to grab the graduation garb and get going, we have to check the pace and slow our roll. We aren’t quite ready to walk across the stage and we can’t check out just yet—it would be a shame to!
Think of it in terms of you life, the big picture. If you check out now, that’s fine. But don’t want to rush this time in your life. You only get one college experience—buried in books, or partying it up, it’s 4 years of your own decision-making and experiences. If you wish the remainder of it away, you’ll never get it back. You’ll never get another chance to go to that class you skipped, or to join that club you’ve been thinking about. It’s up to you to make the most of the time you have in college—and that still includes the last months of your senior year!
Senioritis is contagious but take your chill pills and get into your college year—soak up every minute!
What are squats? Squats are very beneficial for both males and females. Squats work out many different body parts at the same time. Squats, just like the bench press, are a powerhouse of a workout and if done correctly you can really gain some serious muscle and, or strength.
Instructions: I would absolutely recommend a spotter or partner while doing this exercise. I say this because this tends to be a workout that without a spotter you can hurt yourself very easily. You may also use a squat rack if you do not have a spotter with you. You first want to get in position where you will put the barbell on your upper back. You then want to bend down with your buttocks sticking out as you go down. Your head should be slightly up as well. At this point you should have a tight grip, head slightly up, knees bent and buttocks out. Then you want to rise up, and continue the same sequence for as many as you desire.
Primary Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads.
Every Monday night I volunteer at a Village Library branch helping children with their homework. It is such a treat seeing children and encouraging them to do their work. And I’ve actually learned a few things myself.
For example, I didn’t realize how little I knew about children; I didn’t even know if a kindergartner should already know how to read. I didn’t think of the fact that some of them didn’t care what my name was when I introduced myself, and that they would never forgive me if I didn’t give them a bag of Goldfish when their assignment was completed.
What shocked me most was the context of the books some of the children were assigned to read and some of the other assignments:
I don’t know about every child, but I was taught that “stupid” and “shut up” were really bad words. I found it strange that in Frog and Toad, one of those phrases was used in the dialogue. Not to mention, the story was completely random; it seemed like no effort was put into writing it.
Not even ten minutes after that discovery, another volunteer approached me with a worksheet for English class. “What do you think this word is?” she asked. I looked at where her finger was pointing; there was a drawing of a witch and three blanks with one missing letter. It read “h _ g.” I replied, “Hag…?” She nodded and said that she was thinking the same word, but didn’t want to believe children were being taught that word. The word hag just has a negative connotation.
Another book was about a dog and his family. It was better written than the Frog and Toad story. However, there was a scene in which the whole family at dinner was tossing parts of their meal to the family dog. This is just not a good message, because children would read that and see the drawings and think it’s okay to feed their dogs everything!
I know these aren’t huge deals, and I’m not saying there’s nothing of value in these books and exercises, but it really concerns me to see that this is what children are reading and learning at school. Because outside of school, there is plenty of questionable things that they probably shouldn’t be exposed to, but school should be the place where it can be trusted that the material is legitimate.
I think parents should definitely be more involved with their children’s educations and look over what they’re being assigned for homework.
It makes me wonder if the quality of education was generally the same back when we were that age… I mean, we obviously turned out okay.