Fall Fashion For Fellas – The Tweed Blazer

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fashion1.tifThere was always something about your British Literature professor that you found… debonair. The female students in class would swoon about his accent as he was a true Brit. While other professor’s offices were drab and devoid of personality, his featured personal artifacts from his many travels and had the scent of leather bound books and whiskey. The thing that particularly caught your attention was the odd looking blazer he’d wear as he taught about Kipling and Austen. It’s not that you were new to jackets; you certainly got good use of the navy blazer your dad bought you for the end of the year team dinner, as well as the seersucker you wore to Oaks. This jacket however, was something more; informal yet sophisticated. You discovered this soft, brown, herringbone patterned coat was a material called tweed. On some days your professor would dress it up by pairing it with slacks and a knit tie. Other days, he’d exploit the jacket’s relaxed side with jeans, an oxford and a sharp pair of brogues. Once you got your own, you’d follow some of your professor’s worldly cues but would also add a touch of youth to your ensembles. You received several looks when you donned it with your lacrosse hoodie. The girls on Greek row whispered and smiled in your direction the day you wore it over a striped rugby. You got labeled “philosophical” when you added a crew neck (with an oxford collar peeking out the top) and pocket square to the mix. Now, as you sit on the steps of the library with a book of poetry under your arm you have no intention of reading, you’re considering taking up a tobacco pipe.

5 Strategies to Keep Your Dorm Room Clean!

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Keeping your room clean will help you stay focused. It will also help you be more organized and keep your brain from feeling cluttered.

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1. Make your bed in the morning- it takes 2 minutes and makes your room look a lot neater!

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2. Fold your laundry right away! Making sure you have time to fold and put away your laundry once its done is important for making sure your room isn’t filling up with dirty laundry and your dresser isn’t exploding.

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3. Take out your trash once a week- or as soon as it gets full, whichever comes first. This will not only keep your room neat, but nice smelling too!

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4. Do your dishes immediately after you’re done eating in the dorm. Then put them away. This will also keep your dorm from smelling. (In this vein, also clean out your fridge once a week.)

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5. IF you need motivation- Invite members of the opposite gender to come hang out. Nothing will motivate you to make sure your room is neat than a guy/girl coming over!

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Simple Ways to Live a Healthier Life!

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1. Switch to Whole Grains.

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Everyone loves carbs, but a lot of the ones many of us eat everyday are not great for you. Instead of white bread, go for whole wheat or multigrain bread. Instead of white rice, go for brown rice, quinoa, or wild rice. Whole grains have much more nutritional value and have tons of health benefits including heart health, reduced risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases, and slower digestion (which is good for lessening blood sugar spikes!) It’s actually quite easy to just substitute whole grains where you would normally eat refined grains without a massive change in your meals.

2. Go Carb-Free for One Meal a Day.

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This is typically easiest to do at breakfast. Go for things low in fat and high in protein, such as fat free yogurt or eggs. If you’re worried about the cholesterol in eggs, use one regular egg and the rest egg whites. You’ll still get the protein benefits with less of the cholesterol that comes with the yolk. For the yogurt option, you can go for a fat-free yogurt or low calorie Greek yogurt and then add fresh fruit and some chia seeds. Chia seeds are a super food with lots of protein, Omega-3s, and soluble fiber. They don’t really have a flavor so you can add them to lots of things for added nutrients! You can also incorporate the yogurt option into a smoothie with frozen fruit.

3.Eat More Soluble Fibers.

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Soluble fiber is better for you than insoluble fiber because it dissolves into the water in your body to create a viscous liquid/gel that prevents some of the fat and sugar in your food from absorbing, which can help reduce cholesterol or maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. It also helps to prevent your risk of diabetes. You can find soluble fiber in foods such as apples, oat bran, chia seeds, beans, barley, and sweet potatoes.

 4. Incorporate Regular Exercise into Your Routine.

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Take advantage of the gyms you have on campus. Try to go 3-4 times a week and find a fitness routine that you like and can manage. Do a mixture of cardio and weight training. Maybe get on the elliptical for a half hour and then head over to the free weights and resistance bands. If the gym isn’t your thing, try doing outdoor activities like jogging, hiking, biking, etc. You can even find guided workouts on YouTube if you’d rather exercise in your room! Just find something that works for you and stick with it. Eventually you’ll see results and you’ll be able to work up to more intense workouts. Go at your own pace, be safe, and don’t do more than you can handle. You’ll get to where you want to be eventually, so take it slow and build from there!

The Dreaded Freshman 15

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It’s about time for midterms so if you’re in your first year, by now you might be noticing some changes. New classes, new friends, new school, new… pant size? If you’re having to dance a little more to get into your skinny jeans, you’re not alone. You may be experiencing a very common problem: the Freshman 15.

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There are many reasons why this is such a common occurrence but one of the biggest reasons is the dining hall. You suddenly have unrestricted access to buffets full of food. At home, your parents and tight schedule might have kept you a bit more reigned in as far as your eating habits were concerned. But now, there’s no one there to swap out your cupcake for an apple. That’s up to you now.

To overcome this problem, try to remember what your eating habits were at home and revert back to those. Also, try keeping a log of everything you eat each day. At the end of the day you can look back through your food log and realize how much your eating habits have changed and adjust accordingly.

Another reason many new students experience the freshman 15 is stress. With all the new things introduced into your life so suddenly, many students begin to eat for comfort. More difficult course work also results in less time to prepare healthy home-cooked meals and often lead to ordering take-out food instead. This is especially true when you live in a dorm with no access to a kitchen. This one is a bit trickier to overcome, but in time you will adjust to your new surroundings and things will get much easier.

Another way to combat the freshman 15 is to take full advantage of your college’s rec center. Basically every college in America has some sort of rec center and the cost to use them is usually included in your bill so you might as well get your money’s worth! Combine regular gym time with healthy eating habits and you’ll see that freshman 15 disappear in no time!

How do you combat the freshman 15?

Does This Costume Make Me Look… Offensive?

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In fall of 2010, I was firmly sitting atop of the world. I had pledged one of the best houses on campus, my female peers were staring to notice me, and like every other freshman on campus that October, I was eagerly anticipating my first college Halloween party. When we got to the affair, the drinks were flowing and the music was pumping as sexy nurses mingled with vampires. Of all of the costumes we saw that night, a handful of them stood out. There was one guy dressed as pimp and another dressed in orange prison attire as a convict. These costumes would be commonplace for a Halloween party with the exception of one little detail; the guys in the costumes painted their faces black. Two weeks, one very uncomfortable campus rally attended by seemingly every black student on campus and tons of bad press later, my fraternity found itself on a seven month suspension.

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Anytime a party calls for a costume, there is always a possibility that someone is going to do something offensive. While culturally insensitive costumes aren’t exactly a new concept, it is kind of baffling why in 2014, given all of the very public and very embarrassing incidents we’ve seen, students continue to offend. Yet, whether it’s the 2012 Mexican Party hosted by the Penn State Chi Os, the self-titled “Racist Rager” put on by Duke’s Kappa Sigma chapter in 2013 or the CMT vs. BET soiree presented by the Phi Deltas and Phi Sigs earlier this year at McDaniel College, it would seem that cultural insensitivity is alive and well. Perhaps I give people too much credit.halloween2

Trying to get to the root of these issues is difficult as there are many “excuses” and “explanations” given. There is the tried and true “I wasn’t trying to be offensive”, which in a lot of cases, I tend to believe. Call me naive, but I like to think my fellow man wouldn’t intentionally participate in harmful behavior. The problem with this excuse however, is that it is usually given in order to absolve one of any responsibility for their actions. However regardless of intention, the damage is still done.

halloween3There is also the “I did it to give my costume a sense of realism”. I’m almost sure that is what Dancing With The Stars’ Julianne Hough was shooting for when she donned blackface to go along with the orange jumpsuit and bantu knots of her Crazy Eyes costume (from Orange is the New Black). This “attention to detail” is usually not warranted.

And let us not forget the “Come on dude, I’m just trying to joke around” crowd. You know them; they were the once who painted bullet wounds on their hoodies last year while holding a can of Arizona Ice Tea and a pack of Skittles. And thank goodness that we had these merry jokesters to help bring humor to the slaying of Trayvon Martin; I don’t know how I would’ve otherwise coped.

Halloween doesn’t have to be a time of ignorance, hurt feelings and university sanctions. With the smallest bit of commonsense, a lot of these mishaps can be avoided. Because I know how much this blog just loves a good list, I present: Tips For Not Offending People This Halloween.

halloween41. If your costume portrays a racial, ethnic, religious, LGBT or cultural stereotype, DON’T WEAR IT.

Have a happy Halloween y’all.