Author: Julia Aldrich

Fall Albums You Should Listen To

Happy Fall 2016 everyone! If midterms, projects, finding a Halloween costume and the election stressed you out, I’ve got a temporary remedy. If there’s one thing that universally helps everyone eliminate stress, it’s probably music. Luckily, while Trump and Clinton were hitting the podium, some fantastic albums have been released. Whether you’re trying to relieve stress or just find some great new music to fuel your car rides or walks to class, I’ve got you covered. Regardless of what genre you’re partial to, these four fall albums are definitely worth a listen.

fall albums - 22, A Million - Bon Iver

1. 22, A Million – Bon Iver

Pull out your sweaters and light a scented candle, because Bon Iver dropped their new album. 22, A Million is an experimental record produced by musical group, Bon Iver who you probably know from his previous album Emma, Forever Ago. In comparison to their previous album, which had a more instrumental and earthy vibe, 22, A Million includes more electronic sounds and clips. But don’t be too worried if you’re a die hard “Emerson” type Bon Iver, because the album keeps the same familiar tone, just with some added instruments. The album itself got really high ratings too, so I suggest you listen!

fall albums - A Seat at the Table - Solange

2. A Seat at the Table – Solange

Solange really created something special with A Seat at the Table. The album tells a story through powerful lyrics spaced out by spoken interludes featuring people including her own mother. Through A Seat at the Table, Solange both voices her emotions from her experiences with racism and works to empower herself and the black community. The album isn’t meant for background study music, so if you get the chance, I suggest sitting down and actually listening to it in full. It won’t disappoint. This album also got very high ratings.

fall albums - Remember Us To Life- Regina Spektor

3. Remember Us To Life- Regina Spektor

If you were missing quirky songs and pretty piano melodies, guess who’s back? It’s been about four years since Regina’s album What We Saw From the Cheap Seats was released in 2012, and I don’t know if I could’ve waited any longer. Remember Us To Life is classic Regina, too. Her knack for storytelling through her songs accompanied by her signature piano instrumentals is just what we need for the colder months. Play it in the kitchen while you bake pumpkin pie one night and everything will feel amazing.

fall albums - Atrocity Exhibition- Danny Brown

4. Atrocity Exhibition- Danny Brown

Danny Brown brings something new to the rap game with his new album, Atrocity Exhibition. The album is classic Danny Brown with really neat beats and samples that really showcase his creative ability. Atrocity Exhibition also received a high rating. The songs includes production from Paul White and features Kendrick Lamar, Petit Noir, and Earl Sweatshirt. Its super high energy sets the album apart from other hip hop albums like Drake’s Views. If you’re throwing a party sometime soon, I suggest adding a few of Danny Brown’s songs to the playlist to get things really going. But given the explicit lyrics, make sure it isn’t a children’s party!

Enjoy these fall albums as your relieve stress and prepare for the holidays! Drop a comment below if you have more albums we should listen to listen to this fall.

The Best Things About Halloween Time

The most wonderful time of the year might be Christmas, but Halloween comes in a close second for me! With the days leading up to the holiday bringing colder temperatures, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin flavored everything, this time is difficult to hate. Every region in the U.S., from San Diego to Salem, has their own special traditions leading up to Halloween time, each just as great as the next. Growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania, I was lucky to experience Halloween time to the fullest, shaping me into the “Hocus Pocus” loving, candy corn binging, black cat owning girl I am today. For all of my Halloween time fanatics out there, enjoy the spook-tacular (too much?) list of the greatest things Halloween season brings to us.

The 13 Nights of Halloween

Halloween time - 13 Nights of Halloween

No true fan of the holiday misses a movie on Freeform’s ‘13 Nights of Halloween’. For the last 13 days of October, the television network airs Halloween movie favorites like The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family, and of course, Hocus Pocus. Cozy up with your black cat, gather some snacks, and watch out for the Sanderson Sisters, it’s that time of year again!

Pumpkin Patches

Halloween time - Pumpkin Patches

Whoever first thought to market off of a bunch of pumpkins growing in a field was near genius. With many pumpkin patches having fall activities such as hayrides and corn mazes, catching the feels for Halloween time couldn’t be easier. Plus, when it comes to making jack-o-lanterns,  you get acres of pumpkins to choose from. Also if you’re puzzled on where to take your first date, a pumpkin patch is a great choice!

Wearing Costumes

Halloween time

 

Separate from events like Comic Con or most music festivals, we don’t get much of an excuse to go all out with costumes. Thankfully, Halloween was bestowed upon us allowing us to transform into the characters we could never be otherwise. Parties are much more fun with ghosts, witches and vampires- you name it! Sometimes assembling a costume can be difficult, however- we’re not all Heidi Klum. If you need some inspiration, eCampus.com has put together a fantastically extensive list of ideas to look through. But remember to be respectful to races, cultures, religions, and people in general this year!

Scary Movies

Halloween

Okay, so Freeform plays some fantastic Halloween movies, but none are going to exactly give you nightmares. For the brave souls who can make it through all of the Halloween movies, bless you. Watching scary movies around Halloween is an annual rite of passage to amp up the scare. Networks like Netflix and AMC curated super scary watch-lists to give you your worst nightmares. After watching The Shining and The Exorcist, two horror classics, I recommend sleeping with one eye open.

Haunted Houses

Halloween

Who doesn’t love subjecting themselves to walking through dark corridors littered with horrifying things that jump out at every corner? I know I certainly do. Arguably one of the best things about Halloween time is the trauma of entering a haunted house. Every year, old buildings around the United States are transformed into these attractions designed to make us scream, shake, and sometimes wet our pants. If you’re feeling gutsy, make plans to visit one of the many haunted houses here in the United States. Good luck!

I hope you enjoy all of the fun things that come during Halloween time. What are your favorite things to do around Halloween time? Leave us a comment below!

How to Master College Courses 101

college courses

Summer is officially over which means class is now in session. For college students, classes could cause a whole lot of stress. With papers, exams, morning classes, labs and everything else wedged in there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is especially true for freshmen. Regardless of your major, things are going to be a lot harder than high school. Not only is there a heavier workload, but students have to constantly find new ways to manage time. After 3 years, 6 semesters and a study abroad trip, I’ve finally worked through the ins and outs and comprised a master plan for all college students alike on how to get through your courses and earn a good grade without increasing your risk for heart disease. Here’s how to master college courses:

Get to Class

First off, I’d like to show you, monetarily, how valuable college courses are. Let’s say you go to a private university. According to collegedata.com, the average tuition and fees, not including other expenses like room and board, is approximately $32,000. Yikes. Assuming you’re a full time student, that’s about 10 classes a year and most schools have about 15 weeks per semester. Therefore, each day ranges at about $72-$213 per class. That’s like two months worth of Chipotle per class missed. Beyond money, classes still go a very long way. By going to class (and paying attention there), you receive valuable information in the lecture that you can’t through your book or another student’s notes. Also, it’s also looks good on your part to show your face, especially when it’s grade time.

Participate

Let’s say you do make it to almost every class (nobody’s perfect). Most college professors appreciate participation. If you’re in a small-medium sized class, chances are it’s going to be somewhat necessary. Without overdoing it put in some input here and there. It will indefinitely look good to your professor who is in charge of your grade. The first few times you speak in class might be nerve wracking, it always is for me. But once you do it once or twice, it starts to become a lot easier.

Get to Know Your Professor

By going to class and participating, you’re automatically getting some appreciation from your professor. They live for that stuff. Past grades, because college isn’t only about doing well in class, your professors are invaluable. Talk to them after class occasionally and show up for office hours. Showing that you’re interested in the class can help you out in the long run. They could serve as mentors and help you out with finding the path you want to go on post-graduation. Most professors want you to succeed. Let them help you!

Keep Up With Your Work

One of student’s biggest culprits for stress is procrastination. It’s so easy to put things off until the last minute and end up in the library for 10 hours straight alternating between espresso shots and Red Bulls. THIS CAN AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED. Read over notes every night before bed. When you receive an assignment, immediately start plotting how you plan on putting it together. Doing even a little bit at a time could save you both stress and points in the long run. Most professors give you assignments in advance so there is no excuse. In short: pace yourself to avoid the worst!

I hope these tips help you get organized for your college courses and remind you to work hard to make sure your tuition money is well spent. Have some tips of your own to share? Drop us a comment below! 

How to Manage Stress in College

Ah college, where everyone feels like there one assignment away from cardiac arrest. Although stress in some ways is unavoidable, especially in school, there are quite a few ways in which we could manage it. Through maintaining a healthy(ish) lifestyle and taking care of your mind and body, high levels of stress could effectively be reduced or even avoided. As someone who gets stressed out very easily, I’ve learned a few methods that have really helped me out through my college career.

Stress

1. Don’t Take on Too Much

This might seem almost obvious, but you’d be surprised. Many students, especially freshmen, take it upon themselves to be a part of everything. I’ve noticed students with a full schedule attempting to be a part of so many clubs. Not even Hermione Granger could keep up with them. My advice? Start out slow and see how much you can handle. Most clubs and organizations accept new members throughout the semester. You don’t have to join everything at once!

Stress

2. Pracice Proper Hygiene

The importance of hygiene is something we might ignore when we’re too focused on other things, like school. However, a long shower can really make a difference. It’s agreed upon by many that bad personal hygiene could lead to lower levels of confidence. In my experience, making sure I feel clean and put together causes me to feel more positive altogether. You don’t have to look like royalty every day, but good self-care makes a pretty big difference, especially in how we deal with stress.

stress

3. Pace Yourself

Procrastination is arguably one of the biggest culprits of college students’ stress. By waiting until the last minute to study or start an assignment, we do ourselves and incredible disservice. Plenty of research shows how problematic procrastination is.  The best way to get through them is to sort through assignments and finish your work in a timely fashion. Never do them all at once. Getting an early start gives you enough time to figure out if you’re having trouble with certain concepts. Managing your work in an organized and well paced fashion makes life way easier.

Stress

4. Meditate

You don’t need to join an expensive yoga class in order to reap the benefits of meditation. Studies show how how effective mindful meditation can be in regards to reducing stress and anxiety. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, find somewhere quiet and comfortable to relax. Focus on your breathing and try to sort through all of your pressing thoughts. Mindful meditation allows you to become at ease with all of the pressures and stressors in your life in a very simple and harmless way.

Stress

5. Eat Healthy

Eating healthy is something often overlooked when stressed. Many people tend to cope with stress by eating. Studies suggest that sugar helps to decrease levels of stress. However, anyone can infer that binging on candy and soda isn’t going to make you feel that great. In this case, opt for fresh fruit or berries. When in season, I personally prefer blueberries, which are high in antioxidants and keep you going.

Stress

6. Make Sleep a Priority

College students are notorious for pulling all nighters without actually realizing how problematic they are. Getting a good amount at sleep at night is very important for brain functioning and overall health. By sleeping, you’re allowing your body to recover and prepare for the next day. Don’t pull an all-nighter, like, ever. It’s better to call it a night and set an early alarm (to finish work) than it is to force yourself to stay up. The more sleep, the better.

Managing stress in college is not an easy task! I hope these suggestions help you like they’ve helped me. Have any tips to add? Drop us a comment below!

Why You Should Study Abroad

Studying Abroad

Believe it or not, summer is already almost over and it’s time for college students, freshman and upperclassmen alike, to get ready for fall semester. Though college life is exciting for most of us, it’s easy to fall into a routine. Luckily, most schools in the United States offer study abroad programs, where for certain amount of time, you could take classes in a different country! This summer, take the time to do some research on programs that your school offers before deadlines. As someone who just returned from studying abroad in New Zealand, I firmly believe that anyone, yes anyone, could have a life-changing experience studying abroad! Here’s why:

   Studying Abroad 

1. Excitement of Friendship

Studying abroad forces you to make new friends, which is surprisingly not as unpleasant as it sounds. In college, people tend to form a friend group and stick with those people for the whole four years. Although we make new friends here and there, we rarely make new best-friends. Unless you happen to be going on the trip with your besties, which I recommend avoiding, you’re thrown into a foreign country with other people who are just as scared and lost as you are. The nuance of bonding is amazing when you get to meet people who you might not have talked to before departure. You get to share stories, have deep conversations, and discover some cool things about people through travelling and exploring.

     Studying Abroad

2. Cultural Awareness

This seems like a given, but it really is something you need to experience to believe. New Zealand seems close enough to the States custom wise, but there really is a lot of differences to consider. For instance: the history. When taking history classes in the United States, I learned about United States history and European history. Now, while studying here, I’m learning Pacific history that I truly knew nothing about. People tend to view culture on a broad and global scale, sometimes disregarding the small underlying things that keep the world diverse and interesting. By studying abroad, you really get to experience it in ways that you can’t by reading a book.

  Studying Abroad

 3. Learning Through Loving

The place that you choose to study abroad reflects who you are. Some people base it off landscape and architecture, or because of ancestral roots, or maybe because the area has a lot of history that they’d love to learn more about. You choose where you want to be, and if you’re excited to be there and to explore, then you will fall in love. You will meet people who have insane stories, see things that you only thought would be in books, make memories that feel novel worthy, and form friendships and bonds with amazing people. Through traveling and learning in a foreign country, enthusiasm fuels your experience, and the combination produces something extraordinary.

   Studying Abroad

4. Breaking from Habit

Routine has its pros, but in my opinion, young adults should stay as far away from routine as possible. The process of college is normally pretty hectic, but it’s still four years of classes in the same school. Studying abroad gives you a healthy break from that area. It also allows you to take classes in some great parts of the world without having to transfer or take a gap year. It removes you from the homogeneity of normal college routine and allows you to restructure how you go about your days. This keeps life exciting through a sense of spontaneity.

Obviously everybody is different but when considering the pros and cons of studying abroad, also remember the magnanimity of the opportunity presented. Traveling is special, but spending time in a foreign country where you get to go to school and have time to explore is really a once in a lifetime chance. If you’ve studied abroad, share your experiences in the comments below!