#MyStudyBuddy Photo Contest Winners

And, Our Furry Winner is…

As many of you know, a few weeks ago, eCampus.com kicked off its first-ever #MyStudyBuddy Facebook Photo Contest which asked people to share a selfie of their furry, scaly, fuzzy or feathery best friend helping them get through remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Wow! You guys blew the roof off of this coronavirus quarantine distraction! We can’t tell you how much fun it was to see all your outstanding pet photos. (You should head over to our Facebook page and take a look!) We are happy to announce we had 80 adorable entries! 

From dogs to cats, a ferret, bunnies, and a bird, we saw a great cross-section of the animal kingdom represented and we wish we could have picked all of them as winners. One thing is certain – based on the pictures, the number of entries and the popularity of our contest, animals are such an important part of our lives.

And now to show off our five winners ($50 eCampus.com gift card), including our grand prize winner who won a $50 eCampus.com gift card in addition to a $250 Visa gift card…

We appreciate everyone who entered the #MyStudyBuddy Photo Contest. To check out all the entries, jump over to our Facebook page – https://bit.ly/MyStudyBuddy

Be sure to Like and Follow our page while you’re there – you never know when our next big giveaway is going to be!

Prefer Instagram? Twitter? We hang out there, too! Connect with us for great savings on textbooks and a few laughs along the way. 

Six Ways to Make the Most of the COVID-19 Quarantine with Your Pets + Win Prizes!

During these unconventional times, your study group probably looks a lot different. The guy sitting next to you used to have two legs, a beard and glasses; now he has four legs, loves to have his belly rubbed and barks when you ask him a question.

Your other study partner always took great notes and loved to wear her favorite blue cardigan; now she curls up by you on the couch and purrs while you read chapter 10 in your Economics book.

With many students learning from home right now, our furry (feathery, scaly or fuzzy) friends have become our lab partners and study buddies in our new online learning environments.

Whether you own a dog, cat, bunny, bird, snake or some other kind of pet, they’ve been there for you through this time of social distancing, remote learning and the overall unknown. Our “four-legged” friends offer a sense of comfort, warmth, love and normalcy when almost nothing else around us does. 

They may not understand why “mommy” and/or “daddy” are home way more than normal, but you can be sure they are living their best life right now. In addition to including them in your daily studies, we wanted to share some of our favorite ideas for passing the time with your pets.  

Here are six fun ways to involve your pet in your social distancing experience (and a BONUS at the end you don’t want to miss!)

  • TOYS!! Make a toy out of an old t-shirt or something else just lying around your house. They can chase or tug on it to chase away some boredom.
  • Teach them a trick – roll-over, jump, fetch…the sky’s the limit! Check out YouTube and Zak George for an assist.
  • Did someone say spa day?!?!! Treat your special buddy to an at-home manicure, grooming, and bath.
  • Make up songs for or about your furry friend. Exercise your creativity and your vocal cords and just have some fun making up songs. You never know, they may just join in and sing along.
  • Strike a yoga/doga pose. This can be a stressful time for people, but that stress can also rub off on our furry friends. Yoga can help relieve your stress and possibly your pet’s stress, too; have fun together.
  • Have a pet photoshoot! There’s no better time to make some lasting memories than now. 

But wait, there’s more!

How about a FACEBOOK PHOTO CONTEST with $500 in prizes?

eCampus.com wants to celebrate your new study buddies!  Enter our Facebook Photo Contest by sharing a selfie with your pet studying from home with the hashtag #MyStudyBuddy. Let’s have some fun together. Here’s how:

 eCampus.com Facebook #MyStudyBuddy Photo Contest

  1. Snap a pic of you and your furry friend studying and join us HERE
  2. Include a short caption, tag us (@ecampusdotcom) and hashtag #MyStudyBuddy
  3. Share the post and encourage your friends and family to vote by liking your comment. Voting ends at 11:59 pm ET, May 8, 2020.

The top 5 most liked pics will win $50 eCampus.com gift cards and will be eligible for the Grand Prize of a $250 Visa Gift Card. You can find more information and full contest rules via our Facebook page.

So, now’s the time to get snappin’ and share your pic! We want to see all those cute animals. They bring joy to you during these uncertain times so share the love!

And just in case you’re looking to get rid of those books at the end of the semester, or need new ones, eCampus.com has you covered! We know it’s a weird time, but we’re open and here for you! Sell your textbooks back for cash 24/7 regardless of where you purchased them.

Have other ideas on how to connect with your pets during the COVID-19 quarantine? Share them now on social by tagging us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Thanks, College.

Common real-world skills we learned at college, in or out of the classroom.

  1. Parallel parking: If you’re from the city this might not apply to you, or if you don’t have a car. For those of us from the suburbs or country with a car on campus, we learned to parallel park soon after arriving to college.  This skill comes in handy often when travelling home, to the city, or on vacation.  It also widens your parking possibilities in any situation.
  2. Tolerance for extreme temperatures: As the weather gets colder, we adapt to walking across campus in the cold, with the wind blowing through our layers of jackets and long-johns. We learn in our first semesters to bundle up and forget about being cute.
  3. Independence: Whether you were looking forward to this or not, you become more independent in college. You have to if you go to college more than about an hour away from home.  You (hopefully) learn how to do your laundry, budget your money, clean your room without being prompted, and study and do homework on your own free will.
  4. Time management: Sometimes, it takes people their whole college careers to get this down, but everyone learns throughout their college life how important time management is. Some people know the importance of it and still choose to manage their time badly.  You have to balance classes, studying, work, friends, sleep, eating, and mental health.  Usually this “balance” involves giving up one or more of these things, which one depends on your priorities.
  5. Multi-tasking: You may have been good at this before college, but you’ll be a master by the time you graduate. Multitasking can look like many things: eating while you work, study, or walk to class, taking homework to work, or considering meeting with a study group to be hanging out with friends.

 

We learn a lot in college that may have nothing to do with our degrees, but these skills or pieces of knowledge are just as important as the information we learn in class.  What are some skills you’ve learned in college that have become useful in real life?  What are you most thankful for?

Time Flies – How to Slow Down & Enjoy It

Is it just me or is time moving way too fast?! Yet another semester over and another begins. Gretchen Rubin famously wrote, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Every day has a monotonous undertone and this is due to the fact that I know my schedule like the back of my hand. I am unconsciously going about the week as it is a good schedule, but a familiar one. Maybe you can relate, but I am here to tell you there are ways to perceive time more slowly. We do not have to be time’s hostage in this life. We are human and we will use our humanity as a tool to deliberately manipulate time. Here are some easy tricks to assist you in your life if you feel time slipping by too briskly.

Appreciate the little things

It is no secret that as we grow older, we take things for granted. Our computers, phones, cars, home, and even friends and family. You cannot blame us either as it is due to hedonic adaptation: the phenomenon where humans have a tendency to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. When you receive a new phone, it feels like the most ingenious device ever invented by man. Then after a month or two goes by, you are back to your “it’s just a phone” mindset. Could you imagine your life without a phone? This piece of metal and glass that connects you with most anyone and has all of the information published thus far in history, but you still throw it around to fidget with.

The point is, to welcome novelty into your life. Remember when you were a child and everything was mind blowing to you? Induce a little childlike wonder into your day-to-day. Darwin said, “Attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement.” Take just about anything into your hands and really focus on it. Think about how much work has gone into making this thing, what it can do for you, and if it did not exist. You will quickly learn to be thankful for this object and see it differently every time you see it again. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way.

Plan for things

Do you remember the month of December as a child? Did it not feel like an eternity until winter holidays? Anxiously awaiting your gifts as you see presents begin to slowly appear under a tree in your living room. We can use the same principle as a tool in our lives. Plan for a trip or some event way in the future. Make it something you really want to do to be enthusiastic for it. Have a countdown timer that you can always refer to to shorten your patience. It is similar to if I asked you to close your eyes and not say anything. Then, tell me when you believe three minutes have passed. Minutes would drag on as when you focus on time, it slows down.

Don’t plan for other things

Planning a fun trip is a great way to slow time and have an adventure by the end of it, but how can I slow time down even more every day? Being spontaneous is an enjoyable tactic that you can perform with the free time you possess. Instead of binge watching Netflix shows, go for a walk or a bike ride in your area. If one sat down and watched shows all day versus taking a leisurely stroll through town, who would you say had a longer and more enriching time? It is important to shake up the routine often to be a more well-rounded person. When you feel yourself apart of your own familiar agenda with free time, this should be a cue to do something different. Go visit a new coffee shop and read a book or take a drive and bring along a coin to decide which way you turn. An added plus is when you are more spontaneous, you are going to be a better time to be around. We all like the person that flips the script when you are with them.

Learn a new hobby

Last time I ask you to think back to your childhood. Remember learning an instrument or practicing a sport? How long did it take you to learn cursive? Learning is a process and while it should be fun, it is also taxing on your mind. We can use this for our benefit to elongate the fourth dimension. Pick up a new skill be it drawing, gardening, cooking, photography, coding, or dancing. As a personal preference, it is good to pick a hobby that has a tangible result so the progress you make is clearly shown. This will make your motivation to stick with it more difficult to diminish. There is also no need to be hard on yourself with learning a new hobby. Remember that you are doing this to make your life more interesting and vivid.

There is an overarching theme throughout these tricks and that is to be mindful of yourself and anything not yourself. Taking in the world with a fresh pair of eyes can be the difference between a life of banality or a life of excitement. Living life to the fullest while we can, is the only fulfilling option we hold. Be grateful for our friends and family for being people we can trust and knowing that they trust us. To beat eternity is to stretch every moment into an eternity.

How to Make or Break a Habit

From biting nails, to caffeine, all the way to drinking. Every habit can be broken down to this system above famously coined by Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit. It is called The Habit Loop and it consists of three parts being cue, routine, and reward. This cycles in repetition so efficiently that you do not question why you do some of the things you do. If you give it some thought, it is rare that you find yourself thinking about how you brush your teeth or the order in which you dress yourself. You have already mapped the neural network and stored it away so you never have to bring it up again because you bury it in validation. This is the dangerous and awesome power of habits because has the power to benefit or deteriorate you.

Cue

The cue is the trigger for the action that you do. It usually has something to do with your location, social reasons, emotional states, or timing. For example, the cue for smoking could be anxiety or restlessness building up. It could also be that they smoke everyday at exactly the same time making their schedule prompts the internal desire. The cue sparks the automatic processing that you store away so you rarely question the impulse. If smoking is difficult to grasp as a want, most can relate to the inclination to drinking coffee at certain parts of the day due to low energy.

Routine

The routine is the easiest element to understand. You want to cease the act of consuming caffeine or eating unhealthy. The routine is the act that follows the cue in a response to satisfy the desire.

Reward

The reward is the reasoning behind deciding why the steps prior are worth doing again in the future. It provides a positive support for the routine, increasing the odds of doing it again. The reward can be something tangible like money (gambling), or intangible like social validation. I like the energy coffee offers so I will drink it more often. The downside is I will be tired if I do not drink it throughout my day.

Using the Habit Loop to your Benefit

The maker of the Habit Loop has a system to play with habits in your life. First step is to identify the routine. This should be somewhat easy to point to as if there is a desire to change it, you should know what is being changed. Next step is to experiment with the rewards. For example, if you drink coffee habitually, you might be just looking for an energy. There are different ways to achieve this that is not coffee. Trying different things to achieve the same result is an effective way to realign a habit. Another way to change the usual is to isolate the cue. This can be more difficult living in such a stimulus driven world but asking what you were feeling right before enacting the habit is an easy method to help with the process. Final step is to note the cue and change the reward.

If you have the urge to smoke, try doing something that will give you the same stimulus. Perhaps it is painting or reading a book. Whatever it may be, make it an experience you want to partake in. Try something new so you can trade out smoking with a cool hobby you picked up.