Creative Ways to Study History

When you are in college, learning about the cultural issues in history can be challenging. Here are some creative ways you can learn about a diverse range of cultural issues in European and American history.

Watch History Movies

Watching films that have a historical theme can help you receive a background in history, literary time periods and the arts. Films that are based on history provide a cultural framework that describes the popular issues in history at that time. Go ahead, make learning history fun. Some of the most popular historical films include Marie Antoinette, The Duchess, Gone with the Wind, Young Victoria, The Duchess, Schindler’s List, Alexander, Henry V, Pompeii, Letters from Iwo Jima, Elizabeth, Titanic, Ben Hur, Agora, Munich, The King’s Speech, The Patriot, and Brave Heart.

Attend Operas

You can learn more about Italian, French, and Chinese history and literature by watching operas. Popular French operas originated in the 17th century and will help you learn about life and society during the classical age. The opera is characterized by tragedy. Through the musical performance, operas describe and define cultural issues based on the class warfare, war, royalty, revolution, and romance. Some of the more popular operas include Carmen, Faust, The Tales of Hoffman, Pomone, Don Quichotte, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. Operas originated in Italy in 1600. Some of the most popular operas include Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Otello, Guilio Cesare, Attila, Macbeth, among others. There are also Russian operas that emerged in the 18th century such as War and Peace, Oresteia, and the Queen of Spades. And also you can learn about the culture and heritage of China by studying the origins of Chinese opera. More than likely, your college or university will host operas at the performing art center for you to watch.

Attend Classic Ballets

Watching or attending classical ballets is a great way to learn more about history and culture. You can learn more about literature by watching ballet performances based on Shakespeare’s plays. You can watch Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, among others performed as ballets. Ballets are based on timeless romances include magic/sorcery, fairy tales, and tragic endings to define hidden cultural aspects at that time. Similar to the opera, cultural issues pertaining to class warfare, war, and revolution is often defined by the allusions in the film. Literature is a theme in ballet since there are storybook ballets and other literary pieces are transformed into ballets. There are some ballets that are also operas, such as Carmen and Don Quixote, and it is interesting to watch the differences in how they are performed. Also, classical ballets include Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Carmen, and Don Quixote. Storybook ballets include The Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella. You can learn about French and Russian history by studying classical ballets. The performing arts center at either your college or one near you should host ballets. During the holiday season, watching The Nutcracker live is a great way to celebrate the holidays.

You can share your experience about the cultural issues found in historical films, operas and ballets with others and your professors. Part of the learning experience in college is to connect arts and culture to historical themes and literature to history. In order to become educated you must connect ideas, themes and patterns to a greater cultural context. You can keep a journal of the information you learned by watching history performed as an art which can help you on tests and write research papers. Enjoy your nontraditional studying of history!

Halloween Breakdown of Scary Movies

Yay! October! It’s getting colder and it is officially the Halloween month. This means costumes, candy and of course- scary movies! Who doesn’t love grabbing a big bowl of candy and watching scary movies until you have to sleep with the lights on? But the struggle is, which scary movie do you want to watch? This is my list of scary movies to watch this October. I broke them down into the following categories: Sort of Watching, Sort of Not, Watching Without Losing Sleep and Never Sleeping Again.


Sort of Watching, Sort of Not

These are the movie suggestions for when you want to watch a scary movie, or have one on, while you’re doing something else. So these are scary movies that you don’t have to be 100% invested in to enjoy.



The Scream movies are gold. And I am in no way trying to diss them, but they don’t require a lot of concentration. Basic slasher film. Except they’re making fun of slasher films without being boisterous like the “Scary Movie” movies. These movies are nice to watch when you know your attention can’t be entirely focused on the movie. The first movie was the best, but I also recommend the fourth if you want to laugh during the movie.

Paranormal Activity


These movies, like the aforementioned, are ones you don’t have to completely watch to understand. This series of movies are ghost movies based more on jump scares, which is great, especially for dates when you want to talk a little but also watch a scary movie. I recommend the first and second Paranormal Activity.

Watching Without Losing Sleep

These are the movies that will scare you while you’re watching, but not enough to freak you out after its over. You will still be able to rest easy with the lights off at night.



It had to be on this list somewhere. One of the most famous horror films of all time. Michael Meyers is on a mission to kill his whole family (this mission changes as you get further into the series and the writers run out of ideas). The first movie is the one I recommend, although Halloween: H2O holds a special place in my heart.

The Shining


One of my favorite Stephen King movies, even though he hates it. An alcoholic father takes his wife and son to a hotel to take care of in the winter. Cabin fever, anyone? A great movie that keeps you interested and freaked out but not enough to make you sleep with the lights on.

Never Sleeping Again

These are movies that terrified me and made me sleep with the lights on and the door open. *Disclosure* these are movies that scared me personally, but everyone’s fears are different.

The Woman In Black


Only the first one. I watched it because Dan Radcliffe was in it, and ended up losing a lot of sleep. There’s not really jump scares, the movie scares you more from your anticipation of what happens next. Dan Rad goes to an old house to take care of a clients paper work after he’s passed away, only to encounter something really freaky.



I don’t know what happened to these people when they were younger, but their minds come up with the scariest stuff. The makers also did Sinister, which was an equally terrifying movie. A young son falls into a coma, and while under horrifying spirits try to take his soul. Seriously, horrifying. Watch it.

I hope this post gave you some ideas of what movies to watch as we enter Halloween season. Enjoy, and always remember the movies aren’t real! Or are they?…

Affordable Stores for College Students to Shop

The struggle can be real for college students when it comes to shopping. You want the latest trends and styles but are likely pretty broke. Here is a list of affordable stores for college students to shop.


Ulta Salon

Ulta Salon is a great place to buy brand name hair products, cosmetics, hair accessories, make-up kits, make-up bags, and organizers at discount prices. The store often has sales and if you decide to get an Ulta Card you can receive more discounts and free products with your purchases. The website also provides the current ad so you can find the best deals. The store has make-up brands such as Urban Decay, Smashbox, Lorac, Lancome, Bare minerals, Becca, and Tarte. There are also other numerous skin care products that are sold with the cosmetics. The products are more affordable than purchasing them from the department store and they are quality products.



Forever 21

Forever 21 is an affordable store with an eclectic clothes line from nearly every era, which makes the store unique. The dresses are at the most twenty-forty dollars and they are in all the latest and most popular styles and selections. You can find party dresses, formal dresses, and casual dresses within a very reasonable price range. Whatever your style is, you can be sure to find it at Forever 21 because there are clothes for all personalities. You can buy clothes for work, school, or a night out at Forever 21. Also, they have the most trendy tops and skirts at affordable prices. Their jeans are also the latest styles and they are much cheaper than going to the department stores to purchase jeans. The store has sales and the clothes are already at great prices, so I would highly recommend shopping there.



At Aeropostale you can find the latest casual trends at affordable prices. There are also dresses for special occasions and casual dresses that are the latest styles at Aeropostale. You can buy casual graphic tees, throwback tees, sweaters, polos, jeans, leggings, skirts, and pants at the best prices. You can relax in their clothes. Wear the clothes around the house, hang out with friends, and go to class in style. If you still want to dress preppy at school there are a variety of school uniform styles at Aeropostale. If you are looking for the latest casual styles, shop at Aeropostale.


American Eagle

All of the latest trendy and casual clothes are at American Eagle. There are casual dresses in the latest styles for school or for other informal occasions at American Eagle. The latest styles and varieties of jeans are at American Eagle that you can relax in. Their jeans are made of the best fabric and at the best prices. The clothes last because they are well made, as opposed to other stores. Also the most stylish casual skirts are at American Eagle. The clothes give you comfort and style.


Wet Seal

If you are looking for clothes for the night out, work, and school you can shop at Wet Seal. The store has affordable prices. Similar to Forever 21, there is a variety of styles that can match any personality. There are very casual dresses to dresses for parties. There are white and black dresses for other special occasions and parties. They also have casual dresses for the winter. The store has tops and pants that are both casual and formal wear. Be sure to check the store for sales. The clothes are already at great prices to begin with which makes it more affordable for college students.

6 Reasons Why I Love “Friends”


“Friends” was the hit sitcom of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. If you haven’t seen at least an episode, you’re really missing out. The entire series recently got added to Netflix, and I just finished re-watching it, in its entirety. There are so many reasons why its a great show, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to six reasons.

1. Monica and Chandler


Monica and Chandler start out as really great friends and that friendship slowly develops into something more. They bicker and compromise like no one else. Chandler loves Monica and all her weird cleaning habits and Monica loves chandler and all his jokes in awkward situations. They really are relationship goals.

2. Joey and Chandler


Best. Bromance. Ever. Joey and Chandler can work through everything and are really close even at the end of the show. Chandler and Monica even have a room for Joe when they moved into the new place. Joey owed chandler over $110,000 ( estimate) by the time all was said and done. Wow!

3. Smelly Cat

(video of everyone singing it)

YOU’VE SUNG IT IN THE SHOWER. I KNOW YOU HAVE. It should honestly be considered a classic by now.

4. Gunther


Gunther is the awkward manager at Central Perk who is eternally in love with Rachel. He isn’t a main character but still reoccurs in every season. He’s awkward and often comments on the sextet’s conversations and I think he’s amazing. It gives some humor to people in the show, other than the main characters. A bonus- his love for Rachel was adorable.

5. The Chick and Duck


When the chick and the duck are first introduced I kind of rolled my eyes. But they grew on me, and eventually they were a really funny part of the show. And you can’t forget that they sort of lead to the scary apartment switch incident.

6. Rachel and Ross


Anyone who falls in love with Friends spends the whole show rooting for Ross and Rachel to finally make up; whether you are on the “we were on a break side” or not. Emma was a beautiful addition to the show (even though she wasn’t really, ever, around?).

Comment below your favorite moment from the show, or favorite quote!

Inexpensive Date Ideas

Dating can be stressful in itself. You have to get to know the person, let them get to know you and try to enjoy yourself all the while. So the question is, how do you accomplish these things and not break the bank? Most college students work jobs in order to pay rent or help with tuition and sometimes there isn’t much left over to have a social life. Here are some inexpensive date ideas to consider when you’re running low on cash during college.

Cooking Dinner


Going out for dinner can be expensive in itself, but what if you want the quiet time together to just talk? Try finding a dish either one of you knows how to cook well. Cooking dinner together gives you time to get to know each other through talking and through each other’s actions. If its a dish only one of you knows, teach the other one and walk them through it. And after you’ve cooked your meal sit down and eat it together. This will definitely save you money and also prevents you from having to leave a tip which adds to the bill.

Movie and Game Night


Playing board games and watching old movies can be a great way to hang out without a lot of pressure to spend any money. You dont have to get dressed up either! Each one of you should pick out your favorite movie that the other one hasn’t seen and watch them together. You can even play games, like cards or Scrabble, and talk during the movie. This way you can get to know each other if you don’t, or just spend time together without a lot of stress.

College/University Run Event


Almost every college or university offers free events for students to attend throughout the year.  Whether it be an ice cream social or a free concert, there are generally several to choose from during the school year. Connect with your student activities board on social media or through their website and see if there are any upcoming events worth attending. Invite your current love interest and enjoy the free event! After all, college is expensive.  You should utilize these perks!

Dating doesn’t have to stress you out, or stress out your bank account. These are simple inexpensive date ideas. Try them out this semester and enjoy the extra cash in your pocket.

Comment your thoughts below and any other fun, inexpensive date ideas. Have fun!