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!
There are hundreds upon thousands of colleges and universities that participate in college football, but right here, I will list some of the top uniforms in the game today. There have been many new uniforms released within the past year. Many of them are produced by Nike. Nike Pro Combat jerseys and they certainly have a new style and look awesome. Adidas and other major brands have produced many college uniforms as well. This is part one of just a 2 part series where I will list teams 15-8.
15). Rutgers University
Rutgers new Nike Pro Combat jerseys look great. Nike utilized the black, red, and white color scheme that Rutgers has always had but in a new way. They have three new Nike jerseys that consist of all black, all red, and all white. These uniforms look great compared to their older jerseys which seemed a little outdated.
14). Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys also have these new Nike Pro Combat jerseys. These jerseys have a more metallic jersey but again, Nike has done a great job with the futuristic look. A very metallic look with the silver and burnt orange.
13). Wisconsin Badgers
Adidas produces the Badgers newest uniforms. There is just a flat “W” on the front of the jersey along with the same “W” on the helmet in red. I think the style is very sharp and that’s what stands out on these red and white jerseys. One of their uniforms is all red with a black helmet which looks great.
Wyoming uses an awesome camouflage in their newest jerseys. They incorporate the camouflage in the majority of the shoulder pad area. Yellow, blue and grey camo along the shoulder pads along with all white jerseys is a really cool look.
11). University of Missouri
Nike is the producer of these jerseys. Something that stands out in these is the large helmet decal/logo. The large yellow tiger on the black helmet really stands out and it makes the entire uniform.
10). Michigan Wolverines
The Wolverines are a team with classic jerseys; very similar to a team that I will name in part two of this series so there wasn’t much changing. What changed was again, the sharpness of these jerseys. The navy blue and yellow will forever remain the colors of Michigan, and this is the reason these classic jerseys rank number 10.
9). Utah State
Utah States newest uniforms are one of my favorites. They also went with the Nike Pro Combat uniforms like many other college teams have. Navy blue, white, and grey uniforms are also hung in their locker rooms. The navy blue jerseys are my favorite, along with the navy blue helmet. Nike seems to have done a great job with every college they have been a part of.
8). West Virginia
West Virginia made huge changes to their jerseys for this 2012 college football season. These jerseys are an all grey uniform with blue stripes. Like every team they stuck with their traditions colors but added a lot of style into these new jerseys. Not only do they have the grey uniforms but they are also equipped with blue, yellow, and white uniforms as well.
These listed are a few of the best uniforms in my opinion in college football for the 2012 season. I just ranked teams 15-8, and will have teams 7-1 in Part 2 of this piece. Stay tuned!
I will try to avoid making this post as cheesy as the title sounds. I won’t suggest that you watch The Notebook (although it is a great movie) curled up under a blanket with your honey, a mug of steaming hot cocoa in hand and a cozy fire in the fireplace… Not saying that doesn’t sound wonderful, but I’m here to give you some fun date ideas for you and yours to try this fall season!
My boyfriend and I are guilty of getting caught up in our routines. I’m in class all day, and he’s busy at work, and then 6pm rolls around and we’re both exhausted, starving, sometimes smelly, and wanting to do nothing but lie on the couch watching House Hunters International, with a Hawaiian pizza on its way. And usually, this is exactly what we do. But there’s something about the changing of the leaves, and the cooler temperatures beginning to creep in, that gets me excited to change it up a little, and try some new things! Here’s a list of my top 3 favorite fall dates… on a dime, of course.
1. Fall Festivals. There are TONS of fall festivals coming up in cities all around the country. Oktoberfest is an annual festival here in Lexington, Kentucky and is sure to be a good time with tons of live music, tasty fare, and pumpkin beer! These events are usually free to the public, so bring a few bucks for some treats, throw on those brown boots, and enjoy the night with your sweetheart! Check out funtober.com to find the nearest festival.
2. Pumpkin Carving. Childish? NO! Awesome? YES! There’s something about the idea of pumpkin carving that just gets me giddy. Maybe it’s those sweet childhood memories that I’m eager to relive, but come October, I will jump at any chance to make a trip to the pumpkin patch. You see, pumpkin carving to me is a win-win-win. Here’s what I’m thinking. A) Actually going to the pumpkin patch is half the fun, especially when you have your special someone with you. It’s a blast seeing who can pick the biggest/best/goofiest pumpkin. A little country store with hot apple cider is a major bonus! B) The pumpkin carving itself! Stick with the classic jack-o-lantern, or try something totally wacky. For a good laugh, try carving pumpkins of each other. Visit extremepumpkins.com to get those creative juices flowing! C) You can roast and snack on the pumpkin seeds! Rinse the seeds to get rid of the pulp, toss them on a cookie sheet sprinkled with some olive oil and salt, and pop them in the oven to bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, and enjoy!
3. Haunted Houses. Skip the dinner and scary movie date, and try a haunted house instead. They are actually incredibly thrilling and terrifying at the same time, and are sure to create some funny stories by the end of it! Check out hauntedhouse.com to find the best ones near you! Grab your date’s hand, and enter if you dare!
As much as I ADORE the summertime, and everything that comes with it, I always find myself craving cooler weather come September. After months of hot and humid days, spending endless hours at the pool or lake, and late summer nights filled with friends and fun, relaxing fall afternoons complete with a mug of hot peppermint tea and a warm fleece blanket seem so appealing.
The Fall season means cozy scarves, pumpkin muffins, and of course, football season! Although I will admit, basketball is my sport of choice, there’s something about a crisp Saturday afternoon of tailgating and cheering on your team that’s hard to beat. Be comfy and cute at your next tailgate with these fall fashion trends.
1. Chunky sweaters. Oversized knit sweaters are certainly a fall wardrobe staple, but instead of spending Friday’s paycheck on a new one, try raiding your boyfriend’s closet. Bonus points if he has one in your team’s colors! Roll up the sleeves, and add a neutral belt to give it more shape. Pair with skinny jeans and your favorite boots, and you have yourself an effortlessly chic tailgating outfit!
2. Scarves, scarves, scarves. They’re easily my favorite fall fashion and go-to accessories on game days. When the weather gets cold, the last thing I want to wear to a nighttime football game is a leg-barring dress or skirt. Instead, I dress in dark jeans and warm layers, but add a bright blue scarf for a pop of my team’s color. Change it up by tying your scarf in a braid or cute knot. Visit tiemyscarf.com for dozens of tutorials on how to tie yours!
3. Boot socks. I think we can all agree that a great pair of brown or black leather boots can complete any fall look. My fall class uniform consists of black leggings, warm sweatshirts, and my favorite brown riding boots. This season, I’m excited to add some fun tall socks with my boots, to add a little interest to my look. Find a pair with your team logo on it and be the cutest girl in the stadium!
The Huff post recently released an article of the 23 top tech gadgets that college students should definitely pack when they head back to school.
It was quite a list—everything from a solar powered backpack to a water-powered alarm clock.
Here is a look at my favorite gadgets that topped the list:
* Noise Cancelling headphones—always a must if you want to study in peace in the library. Or catch up on your favorite TV with zero distractions!
* Netflix account—there is something to be said about having instant access to TV and movies, for all of you study breaks of course!
* Spotfiy—Something I would have completely ignored a year ago on Facebook is hard to ignore now. I listened to it everyday while working at my internship. You can stream hundreds of you favorite songs for free and jam out to old classics. Yes, I definitely went searching for the best of Spice Girls, NSYNC, and the Backstreet Boys.
* Single serve coffee makers—I’m not a coffee drinker myself but having a one cup brewing machine works wonders for a house of roommates, all with different tastes. I can make hot chocolate instantly, while my roommate can make her coffee 30 seconds later with no fuss or waiting!
* Note taking iPad apps—Apps can now easily help you manage and keep tracking on your notes. Who needs heavy notebooks when you can store everything in one place?
* Camera—There’s nothing like capturing candid moments during the school year. From parties to dinners, to study groups and slumber parties—capture the moment and then upload, send, save and share on the web. It’s not a new concept yet cameras still hold true as a necessary tech tool.
* Laptop lock—you don’t want one of the most expensive items you owe to take a walk into someone else’s hands, or worse, their backpack. Keep you computer safe and get a lock to keep in place if you ever have to run to the restroom or grab a book when you’re studying late in the library. Better safe than sorry, and better with your computer than watching it walk away.
* Flash Drive—Again, nothing you don’t’ already know, but like always, a flash drive is a complete must if you want to be able to save your papers, projects and presentations safely in one place. You don’t need to spend time emailing everything to yourself, or worrying about file size. Keep a flash drive for your keychain, or one that attaches to your bag. That way, you never leave home without one.
* Closet light/night light—when you upgrade from the dorm to an apartment, or maybe even a townhouse you want to make sure you cover all of your bases, and that includes the dark. Having a motion light for the closet can help you make the right style choices with enough light to actually know what you’re grabbing. And if you closet isn’t the concern—but rather, the hall on the way to the bathroom, you’re never to old for a good old night light. No one wants to stub his or her toe or trip in the middle of the night.
* Cooling Pad—If you spend more time on your computer than you do hit the hardcover books, it might be time to invest in a cooling pad. You wouldn’t want to have your computer crash or overheat in the middle of writing a paper, or finishing the movie you couldn’t wait to see. Give your lap a rest and perch your laptop on a slightly cooler surface.
This year is going to be the best one yet for many reasons. I’ve been thinking about it lately and I believe that the year will be all that you make it to be. If you have a positive attitude, this year will be great; all the opportunities are in order for it to be that way.
For starters, this is an election year! I know the advertising and atmosphere around election time is annoying but overall an election is a chance for our country to be able to make use of its right to vote and to have free speech. We are so free in America and an election is almost like a celebration of that, we have the choice to vote change or to stick with who we have previously chosen. Everybody gets their say, and we all decide together.
The next reason might sound cliché but we’re all another year older! This year will automatically be better because not only can we take what we’ve learned with us, but we know what to expect. If you’re a freshman you might have a lot of unknowns but freshman year is exciting and a new start. If you’re older you have experience and can enjoy that. Let’s enjoy these college years and make the most of them.
My final reason that this year is going to be the best is that I want it to be. Sometimes that’s all it takes. My coach talks a lot about expectations; his theory is that if you expect to be great, you will be. I’m applying that to this school year. My mind set is going to be positive and I’m going to work really hard. How could it not be the best if I’m at my best?
Positive thinking, a good attitude, taking advantage of our rights, and what we have learned are all things that are going to propel this year to greatness. Everyone can have the best year ever; we just have to do it. Let’s enjoy 2012. Let’s do well in school. Let’s succeed in our endeavors, because we can.