Year: 2014

Be Yourself

College is a fantastic time to explore new fields of study and new extracurricular activities. It’s a time when you can become a better, braver version of yourself. However, while you are trying so many new things and meeting so many new people, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your new life and fall into a stream of students that are doing and saying things that you may not agree with. Trying new things is great until you begin to compromise your own values in the name of exploration.

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Make sure that while you are trying new things you are only doing them because you want to, not because someone else expects you to be a certain way. For example, if you choose a certain major because you are passionate about it and would like to enter the field, do not switch majors simply because one of your friends (or even professors!) tells you to. Be sure that you are making decisions for yourself.beyourself2

Similarly, if you are against the use of drugs or alcohol, do not feel that you need to explore these things simply because it is what everyone else is doing. You are an adult now (officially…yikes!) and you are more than capable of making your own  decisions. If you want to study on Friday night instead of going to that frat party, feel free to. If you’d rather hang out in the library than the bar, that’s your choice as well. Don’t let the actions of others dictate your lifestyle.beyourself3

Whether it’s the way you dress, your hair color, your religion, your major, or your study habits, don’t let anyone else tell you how to live your life. After all, it’s yours and yours alone. We all have one life to live so we might as well make it one we love.

Swagalicious Social Giveaway

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I’ve been in school for almost a month, and it already feels like an entire semester. I’m not complaining though, as a senior (SHOUT OUT TO C/O 2015), I completely understand the phrase “time flies when you’re having fun”. Going back to school can be a total drag, but with these awesome gifts, eCampus.com hopes to make buying books, waking up early and going to class a little brighter. More importantly, eCampus.com launched the Swagalicious Social Giveaway to celebrate both students and eCampus.com’s 15th Anniversary!

 This weekly “swagged out” giveaway includes beneficial prizes that all college students want/need.

 Week 1: Nike Gift Card – You do a ton of walking. Let’s keep those bunions to a minimum!

Week 2: eCampus.com – I mean, you obvi need textbooks from us! Duh!

Week 3: Keurig – Ah, late nights and early mornings… Both will require coffee and other awesome Keurig treats.

Week 4: Target Gift Card – To ease that intense, anxious feeling right before you check your bank account.

Week 5: Walmart Gift Card– Because, what can you not find at Walmart?

Week 6: iPad Mini – For when you don’t feel like paying attention in Tuesday/Thursday classes. Totally kidding!

 Here are our winners so far!

Blog Post Winners

The final two prizes are: Beats by Dre headphones, for when your life needs a movie-like soundtrack, and a Playstation 4, for when you need to chillax after that killer test.

 No worries, there’s still a chance to win. Visit http://a.pgtb.me/VnrDmq to enter once every 24 hours!

Why I Would (or Wouldn’t) Buy the iPhone 6

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The summer before my freshmen year of college, I finally made the switch from an android to an iPhone – I got the not-really-new-anymore iPhone 4S. And I loved it, I could finally sync all my iTunes music, my pictures from my Macbook, and all the useless apps I had just downloaded onto my brand new iPad. It was great. It had the added benefits of working as an actual phone (which my previous one, being out of the country on a different network, didn’t have), the ability to get apps, the ability to connect to 3G (again, having just been out of the country had been an issue with my last phone) and the fact that I had finally made the complete conversion to Apple products. I was a very happy person.

And then the iPhone 5S and 5C came out a couple months later. I was only 2 phones behind at this point, but the knowledge that my 12 year old brother had an iPhone (period and also) two upgrades ahead of me stung a little, even if it was the 5C.

Now two iOS updates later, my supposed 16 GB phone can’t hold a movie, can’t hold more than 1,000 pictures, can’t run Facebook a third of the time and likes to freeze willy nilly.

So, I would buy the iPhone 6, or (more likely) some other newer phone; one that has a decent camera and a decent capacity, one that can access apps like Facebook and Twitter and one that can play music and videos. But most importantly, I want a phone that works well for more than a year, which I’m not so sure is a feature on the latest iPhone.

The moral of the story? Don’t buy a new phone because it’s the newest and latest technology. Buy a phone when you need a new phone.

For more information about whether or not you should buy the iPhone 6 check out this article on Wired: http://www.wired.c

Healthy Broccoli and Pasta Casserole Recipe!

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This is a recipe for a delicious casserole that can be made in a surprisingly healthy way.  Now that we are heading into the colder months, you might be craving some heavier comfort food and this will definitely satisfy that!  This is also a proven crowd pleaser even amongst the pickiest of eaters and while it is vegetarian friendly, meat eaters will love it too!

The trick to making this casserole more health conscious is to pick your ingredients wisely.  I usually go for low-carb pasta (whole wheat would work as well) and Smart Balance instead of butter.  This really cuts down on the calories!  A great low carb pasta is made by Dreamfields and can be found in many grocery stores.  For the broccoli I find that using frozen broccoli florets work best with this dish.

So here we go…

Ingredients

1 box low-carb pasta

1 package frozen broccoli

1 tub of Smart Balance (you won’t use all of it!)

1 package/tube of grated Parmesan cheese (again, you won’t use all of it!)

Directions

  1. Put water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Toss in pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Put several chunks of Smart Balance and the frozen broccoli in a frying pan over medium to high heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once done, drain your pasta and put it into an oven-safe casserole dish/bowl.  Then put several more (as much as you like) chunks of Smart Balance onto the pasta and stir.  Pour in your broccoli and stir until evenly distributed.
  5. Sprinkle on about ½ – ¾ cup of grated cheese and stir again.
  6. Put it into the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the top looks a bit crispy.
  7. Take out and serve.

Getting Sick Without Mommy

Taking care of yourself is one of the many things you’ll need to worry about when you leave for college. Making sure you have all the necessary tips for prevention during the cold and flu season as well as habits for optimal health can keep you looking and feeling wonderful throughout the school year.

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How to prevent illness:

  • Wash your hands regularly- This is common knowledge as the first way to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose and eyes- germs are easily spread through contact with
  • Tissues, Tissues, Tissues- use them to open doors in the bathroom to keep hands clean as well as wiping your mouth (as opposed to using your hand, gross!) and catching a sneeze.
  • Have Vitamin C handy- Luckily, you can get your daily dose of Vitamin C through orange juice, oranges, and lozenges. Halls makes tasty Vitamin C drops that not only boosts the immune system but also sooths sore throats.
  • Hand Sanitizer- some areas at your college will have stations with free standing hand sanitizer machines. If you are unable to get to a bathroom to wash your hand, the next best thing is your own personal hand sanitizer. It will kill most of the germs on contact.

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If you unfortunately come down with the common cold, fever, or the dreaded flu, there are certain steps that you can take to get better quickly.

  • Drink plenty of fluids- liquids will help replace some of the fluids lost due to a fever or other ailment.
  • Sleep and rest as much as possible- the body needs time to recuperate and while you sleep, your body works to heal itself.
  • Take over the counter pain relievers- this can include Tylenol or Advil. It’s helpful for reducing fever, pain and body aches.
  • Eat and drink healthy- you can help your body recover by boosting the immune system to fight the infection. Tea, especially green tea, with organic local honey (for nutritional benefits) will sooth your throat and help heal the body.

It’s important to note that not all infections can be treated in this manner. Only illnesses that are bacterial need antibiotics prescribed for your doctor. Unfortunately for viral infections, you will need time for your body to fight them naturally.