Year: 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas

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The holiday season is upon us and if you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t finished (or even started) your holiday shopping yet. It can be extremely difficult and stressful to think of good gift ideas, so here are a few ideas to help you if you’re stuck!

  1. Cookie Baskets

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 If you have someone on your list that you just can’t figure out what to get or if you’re low on cash, this is something that will please just about anyone. Bake a batch of homemade cookies and put them in a festive basket, box, or bag. You can make whatever kind of cookies you want, so think about what you think they’ll like best and go for it!

  1. Restaurant Gift Cards

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 Pick up a gift card from your sibling’s/friend’s/family member’s favorite restaurant. Sometimes practical is best and getting someone a gift card to a restaurant you know they love and go to a lot guarantees they’ll get good use out of your gift!

  1. Movie Night Kit

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 For this one, you’ll need a DVD (any movie you know they don’t own, but would probably enjoy will work), the receiver’s favorite movie theater candy, popcorn (you can just throw in some packages of un-popped microwave popcorn), and a basket, gift box, or gift bag. Just put it all together and give the gift of a great stay-in movie night!

  1. Travel Essentials Basket

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 Have someone on your list that loves to travel or has a long plane ride coming up? Pick up a neck pillow, some cozy socks, some of their favorite snacks, some hand sanitizer, a package of gum, and anything else that you think will make for an optimal travel experience. Toss it all in a gift basket and you’re good to go!

No Plans? No Problem!

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no plans

Internship, travel and plans-less this winter break? Here are some ideas to help you make the most out of your vacation (in a not-binging-Netflix-the-WHOLE-time sort of way!):

Look for summer internships!Or study abroad programs or jobs.
Some applications are just opening up over winter break, so getting a head start on your search now might put you ahead of the game.

Clean up your resume!
This is a project that can take an hour or 4 days. Making your resume stand out (without the pink paper and strawberry scent) can also put you ahead in an internship or job search.

Take a winter class!
Get ahead in your studies and you might be able to graduate early (read: save money).

Get in shape!
If you never have time to hit the gym during the semester, try getting in shape over the break and then trying to stick to your routine when you return to school.

Learn a new skill!
Whether it’s learning to cook, play guitar, ride a bike, computer code, rock climb or speak Spanish, you’ve got free time and skills to learn!

Roadtrip with friends!
Find friends who also have a week or weekend and head someplace new!

And when all else fails?
Binge Netflix!

White House Hosts Summit on College Affordability

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white house summit
Hundreds of college presidents from across the country joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden for the White House Summit to hear about new actions for students to prepare for college.

The White House hosted its second annual College Opportunity Day of Action, which focused on President Obama’s broadened agenda for higher education. The president plans to implement these steps:

1. Increasing Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year
2. Creating the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college
3. Limiting student loan payments to 10 percent of income
4. Laying out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition

The president also explained the need for increased investments in America’s community colleges and simplifying the FAFSA to make it easier for potential and current college students to apply for financial aid.

For more information visit:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/16/fact-sheet-president-and-first-lady-s-call-action-college-opportunity

How to De-stress Around the Holidays

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Its that time of year when your stress can reach an all time high. On top of studying for
final exams, the holidays are just around the corner. So here are some tips for how you
can reduce your stress around this demanding time of year.

1. Plan ahead
When it comes to your finals, plan out a schedule for what subjects you will study and
when this will happen to give yourself time without rushing and stressing out.
For the holidays, plan out what gifts you are going to buy for each person and write
down which stores sell the item so you are not running around last minute.

2. Make it enjoyable
While you study, play some non-distracting music to lighten to mood.
When you go shopping for holiday gifts, take a friend with you and make it a fun day or
if you go by yourself- buy yourself something to reward yourself.

3. Give yourself breaks
Don’t study for so many hours straight to the point where your brain is overworked give
yourself a small break and try to regain focus on your task.
Preparing for the holidays takes a lot of time, so take break to let yourself regain
energy.

5 YouTube Stars to Get Familiar With

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By now I’m sure you’re at least aware of the power of the vlogging world.   For those of you who might be confused vlogging, or video blogging, has become a new powerhouse in the entertainment industry. New media is taking over and the young and internet-savvy are taking full advantage and pioneering a whole new kind of celebrity. They film, edit, direct, upload, and promote their videos themselves. It really is a one-man operation and there’s a whole community of YouTube content creators who are currently killing the game. Here are a few you should get familiar with if you aren’t already.

1. Tyler Oakley

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 With over 5 million subscribers, Tyler Oakley is one of the most popular vloggers on YouTube right now. Tyler makes videos about everything from pop culture to LGBTQ issues. He recently raised over $500,000 dollars for the Trevor Project through an online fundraising campaign in March to celebrate his birthday. He encouraged his viewers to donate money to the cause instead of sending him gifts for his birthday to his P.O. box. As a result he won the Trevor Youth Innovator Award for his contributions and work with the organization.

Tyler can be found at: youtube.com/tyleroakley


2. Zoe Sugg a.k.a. Zoella

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Zoe Sugg is the most subscribed female vlogger in the U.K, with over 6 million subscribers. She is primarily known for her beauty and fashion-related videos. She’s gained so much popularity that she has been able to put out her own beauty range, Zoella Beauty. She also released her first novel, Girl Online at the end of November and had the highest first week sales of any debut author in the U.K., even beating out J.K. Rowling. Zoe is also the first digital ambassador for the mental health organization, Mind through which she raises awareness about anxiety. She has made a few videos discussing her own battles with anxiety that have proven to be very popular. Zoe is part of a group of popular vloggers in the U.K. who often appear in each other’s videos, including her boyfriend Alfie Deyes of the channel PointlessBlog. Alfie released his own book earlier this year, The Pointless Book.

Zoe can be found at: youtube.com/Zoella


 3. Troye Sivan

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Troye Sivan is a popular YouTube vlogger from Australia. In addition to making videos, he is also and actor and singer. He is the star of the South African film series, Spud and Spud 3: Learning to Fly was recently released. He also put out his first EP in August titled TRXYE, which includes the popular single, “Happy Little Pill.” Troye also made waves in August of 2013 when he uploaded his coming out video, which now has over 4 million views.

Troye can be found at: youtube.com/troyesivan18


 4. Tanya Burr

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 Tanya Burr is a popular British beauty vlogger and has over 2 million subscribers. She makes extremely popular makeup tutorials as well as other beauty, fashion, and lifestyle videos. Tanya put out her own range of beauty products last year called Tanya Burr Cosmetics and released a collection of lip-glosses and nail polishes and this year she release a new collection of lip-glosses as well as her first collection of false eyelashes. She recently announced a publishing deal with Penguin, who will be publishing her first book, Love, Tanya sometime next year.

Tanya can be found at: youtube.com/TanyaBurr


 5. Grace Helbig

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 Grace Helbig is a popular American vlogger who uploads videos 3 days a week, sometimes more. She has almost 2 million subscribers on her channel. Grace is a comedian and recently released her first book, Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending To Be A Grown-Up. Grace is part of group of female YouTube comedians whose viewers have named “The Holy Trinity”, which also includes Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart. They often go on comedy tours together and perform for sold-out crowds.

Grace can be found at: youtube.com/itsgrace