Fall

College Football Tailgating Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- College Football Season! Sure we all love a good rivalry and a hard fought game, but we are talking about the real show. The game before the game. You guessed it: tailgating. According to Google, tailgating is an informal meal served from the back of a vehicle. For anyone who has actually been to a proper tailgate, you know it’s so much more than an open trunk and some food. It’s a place where college students, alumni and bandwagon fans alike can gather and celebrate. For some college football fans, it’s more like a religious experience. But there are certain unofficial rules that one must follow to have a good tailgating experience.

Things You Will Need.

  • Music: Nothing gets a party started like good music. With all the small, portable devices you can plug your phone into there is really no excuse to tailgate in silence.
  • A cooler: It’s going to be a long day of drinking and you don’t want the beer to get warm. If you don’t feel like dragging around a giant plastic cooler, you should consider a stylish freezer tote bag!
  • Junk food: You don’t need to make some fancy BBQ platter, just grab some chips and pretzels on your way out and I promise you won’t regret it.
  • Fan wear: If you’re not going to proudly represent your team, then you might as well stay home! Visit the eCampus.com College Clothing Shop for a huge variety of apparel  and FREE SHIPPING on all orders.
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Things You’ll Want to Leave Behind.

  • A bad attitude: We all know you love your team and you probably hate the opposing team, but there is no reason to trash talk. Leave the beat down for the players on the field.
  • Chairs: You may disagree with me, but I find that if I am sitting down at a tailgate I get a little sleepy. If you stand up and mingle you’ll probably have a better time.
  • Your dog: Dogs are great. Everyone loves dogs. But unless you go to the University of Georgia and you have a bulldog, you should probably leave Sparky at home.
  • High heels: Ladies, we know you’ve got some great shoes that you want to show off, but a football game is NOT the place for it. You will be much more comfortable in a pair of flat boots or sneakers. Especially if you’re drinking!

If you are a freshman and getting ready to experience your first real tailgate, get ready to have the time of your life! You will probably see some things you’ve never seen before, or meet a few of these 16 Tailgaters!

16 Tailgaters You Meet in College Football

How Much Money Do I Need to Start the Semester?

cost of college
You did it. You received that highly anticipated bigger rather than smaller envelope in the mail stating you have been accepted into a college. You’re ecstatic. Then another piece of mail comes and it’s your tuition bill. That’s when it hits you. College is expensive, but just how expensive is it and what will you need to fork over for your first semester?

Tuition
Your first order of business should be calculating your tuition costs, which vary greatly from state to state and are a huge factor in determining how much student loans you may need. According to the College Board’s 2012-2013 Trends in College Pricing survey, the average cost for tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year institutions was $4,327 a semester, while the average at private nonprofit four-year institutions was $14,528 a semester.

Room and Board
The average cost for on-campus living for undergraduate students attending public four-year institutions is $4,602 a semester, and $5, 231 a semester if you attend a private nonprofit four-year school. If you live off campus without roommates, your living expenses can double.

Books
Renting textbooks is becoming increasingly popular among college students. Your total book costs depend on your major and other factors, but on average, if you rent your books, you could spend $300 a semester, which is significantly less than if you were to buy your textbooks.

And when you rent your textbooks from eCampus.com, you may save even more money. Not only can you spend less on your books, but you can receive cash back when you sell your books to eCampus.com, so other students just like you can buy them at a lower price. It’s fast, easy and saves you money!

Transportation
Depending on whether you own a car, use public transportation, live on- or off-campus and how far you travel, your average semester cost for transportation is about $700 and parking may cost $70 a semester.

Social Life and Miscellaneous Expenses
Depending on how much you spend on eating out, you could spend  $1,000 a semester just to keep your social life intact.

Financial Aid
After you calculate all your expenses, consider how much financial aid you might receive. According to College Board, in 2012-2013, undergraduate students attending public four-year institutions received an average of $2,875 a semester in grants and federal aid, while students attending private nonprofit four-year institutions received $7,840 a semester.

Estimated Cost for Your First Semester of College (with financial aid):

  • $8,124 for public four-year institutions
  • $13,989 for private nonprofit four-year institutions

Estimated Cost for Your First Semester of College (without financial aid):

  • $10,999 for public four-year institutions
  • $21,829 for private nonprofit four-year institutions

Keep in mind, there are many factors that determine your actual cost of attendance. For a more exact cost, you may want to contact your college’s financial aid department.

Kaitlyn Fusco is a content writer for Debt.org. She combines her interests in writing and overcoming debt to inform the public about issues related to credit, debt and personal finance.

151 D.I.Y. Halloween Costumes: Easy, Fast, Cheap!

It’s that time of year again: HALLOWEEN! If you’re anything like the typical college then I’m sure you’re on the lookout for fun and unique costumes on a budget. This year, we got our creative juices flowing and came up with 151 homemade costume ideas that you can easily throw together for the big Halloween party. We’ve provided directions for each idea, but strongly encourage you to think out of the box and use your own creativity to make these the best costumes ever!

Frosted Mini Wheat
Frosted Mini-Wheat

Use foam for this costume, cover it in brown felt, then use white spray paint to give it the “frosted” look.  Cut out the eyes and grin with black felt and hot glue to the brown felt. Glue an empty milk carton to a ball cap with some really thick looking white pipe cleaner coming out of the spout to look like milk is pouring out of the milk carton.
Load of Laundry

Take a tall laundry basket and cut a hole in the bottom that you can fit your body through.  Tie two pieces of string to the top of the basket to hold it up.  Fill the basket with laundry. Do not insert detergent.

Replacement Referee

Find a referee shirt, create one by applying black stripes to a white shirt, or vice-versa. Make sure you have a whistle around your neck. Final touch: paint your face like a clown. Touchdown!

Donald Trump

Wear a spiffy suit with a shiny tie, find an awfully unrealistic toupee like wig, and be a complete jerk to strangers. Talk as loud as you can with a deep voice. You will be surprised how much you look and sound like Donald Trump.

Dorito Taco

This costume is a great arts and crafts project!  You will need a lot of colorful foam (found at most arts and crafts stores) and a hot glue gun.  Start by cutting out a large red foam circle.  Then, cut strips of different colored foam and glue them on top of the circle.  When you are done gluing the foam strips, cut arm holes on each side of the circle.  Place your arm through the holes and wrap yourself up like a taco!

See all 151 costumes!

Entering The Housing Selection Process by Yourself?

Entering housing as an individual is a tough thing to do. It builds anxiety as you wait to see who you will be paired up with. Will you have one roommate, or will you have 2 roommates? Will you have to share rooms, will you have bunk beds? Will you have to share a shower with the whole floor, or just with your roommates? These are the things incoming students, or even transfer students think about as they get ready for a semester at their new school. For some schools, you are given your assignment early in the summer along with who your roommates will be as well. I know for returning students in my college, housing assignments along with who you are paired up with are not given out until the middle of August. This brings major anxiety to individual students. It just simply does not give much time for roommates to communicate on what is needed for the dorm, who will bring what accessories, and not enough time to even get to know each other.

I heard a statistic once that 75 percent of first year roommates that were randomly paired up end up staying together. That truly is an amazing statistic to know that for the most part these schools are essentially doing the right thing when pairing roommates together. I know in my case as a transfer I was put together with two random roommates who had many similarities but they are not my roommates for the upcoming year. I did not have any problems living with them and that is a great thing.

Colleges pair people up by using surveys. In these surveys they ask questions about all types of things including, sleep schedule, favorite music genre, interest in sports, if you smoke, activities, hobbies, etc. A few of these things can easily be used to pair people together and create an instant connection. So, certainly do not fill in information that you think is “cool”. Do not fill information that is incorrect because then you will be paired incorrectly.

All the built up anxiety going into your freshman year, or just simply as an individual will hopefully lead up to roommates that you will enjoy and won’t have a problem with. I sure know I had anxiety to find out who I would be rooming with. I knew I would immediately Facebook them, message them, and see who was bringing what. It’s an interesting thing the housing selection process and apparently it’s decently accurate. As I said before, I won’t be rooming with the roommates that I was randomly selected with for this most recent year and it certainly isn’t because we didn’t connect, I just found kids that I consider my best friends now and I couldn’t turn down rooming with them.

Don’t panic individuals! The statistics prove that MOST of you should be fine. Those of you that do not like your roommates, well, you must have bad luck. There is always next year. Good Luck!

Must Haves For Back To School

The school year is approaching fast and preparation is in order. Lately I’ve been thinking about the things I need before fall rolls around. Now that I’ll be a sophomore I have a little experience under my belt. Here are the “must haves” for this fall.

The first thing you’ll want might seem odd in this hot weather. You’re going to want a good sweat outfit. It can get chilly in dorms and sweats are the perfect cozy option. Along with being cozy you should try and find a cute pair so that you can walk to food halls, laundry, and study hall cozy AND in style. My favorite sweats are from the Victoria’s Secret PINK collection. They have adorable campus pants, collegiate wear, and yoga pants. Most of the pants have a match back sweatshirt. This year Victoria’s Secret is more than ready for back to school with stylish backpacks, water bottles, planners, and even ID card holders!

Next, you’re going to need a cute pair of flat easy to walk in shoes. My favorite back to school shoes are TOMS. There are so many different styles of TOMS these days, so there is one for everyone. If you choose a basic color they can match everything. They are cushioned on the bottom making them extremely comfortable to walk around campus. Another cool thing that TOMS do is give back. Every time a pair is purchased another pair is sent free to Africa for a person in need of shoes, as if you needed more inspiration to buy a pair!

Another thing you’re going to need is decorations! It’s a lot of fun to decorate your room to fit your personal style. Most places won’t allow you to nail anything into your walls, but they make stick on wall art now that’s perfect for a dorm! I had one on my wall all year and when it was time to move out it peeled right off. Target is usually my first destination for any decorations I might want for back to school. They have the wall decals there along with pretty much anything else you’d want to make your dorm room beautiful. Target is also very affordable and available online for your convenience.

These are the three things that every girl must have before heading back to school. I hope I’ve helped you come up with some good ideas for things to buy before the fall. Have fun being comfortable and stylish in your fashionable dorm room. Take this opportunity to really showcase your style and be confident! Best of luck shopping!