5 Pieces of College Advice for Freshmen

As a senior I’ve been thinking back on my college career and there are a bunch of things I wish someone told me. I’m the oldest child so going into school I was completely unprepared. Here are a few pieces of college advice I wish someone gave me before freshman year:

1. Make Friends in Your Classes

5 Pieces of College Advice for Freshmen

Even if it’s awkward to put yourself out there sometimes, it’s awesome when you make friends! There are many benefits to having a friend or two in a class. If you miss a class you can get the notes you missed, you can gain a study buddy and if the class is boring you have someone to suffer with (misery loves company)!

2. Communicate with Your Roommate

5 Pieces of College Advice for Freshmen

I can not stress this enough. Communication really is key. There were so many fights I could have avoided had I just expressed my feelings to my roommate. Start by saying “This make me feel like this” instead of “You did this and you did that.” You don’t want your roommate to feel like you attacking them. If you can’t resolve the issue I suggest you look to your RA for guidance. It’s a bonus if your roommate is also your friend. You wouldn’t want to lose that opportunity over a small argument.

3. Read, Read, Read

5 Pieces of College Advice for Freshmen

Any class that requires you to read, DO IT. I know it’s boring and time consuming, but I promise it will help you greatly. Not only read, but keep up with it meaning as the professor assigns it do it. Don’t wait until the night before the exam to read. You most likely won’t be able to do it and you won’t be able to retain the information if you do get through it.

4. Hand Write Your Notes

5 Pieces of College Advice for Freshmen

In today’s society computers are all the craze. There are positives of typing notes but the negatives are far greater. The internet is full of distractions from online shopping to online games to social media. A lot of professors put their PowerPoint slides online so there is really no reason to type them out. Handwriting notes has been proven in multiple studies to be a better way to learn and retain information. It helps to have the PowerPoint slides up on your screen and take notes on paper about what the professor says.

5. Work Now, Party Later

5 Pieces of College Advice for Freshmen

You’re going to be in school for four years. That means four years of parties and fun. Do not make the mistake of getting wrapped up in the party scene. The reason you’re there is to get an education. I know you’re probably hearing this from your parents and family members but it really is important. Is going out to that party more important than failing that exam? Probably not.

I hope these pieces of college advice can help you during your college career. I know they would have helped me four years ago! Have anything to add? Drop them 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!

Cool Dog Treats for the Summer

This summer has been hot hot hot! For us humans we can easily grab a tasty ice pop to help battle the heat. For our furry friends, staying cool can be a challenge. Regular old ice cubes do the trick, but how boring is that? Use these recipes to add some flavor to your dog treats that your dog is sure to enjoy!

Cool Dogs Treats for the Summer

Stuffed Kongs

Kongs are a great way to keep your dog entertained to begin with but throw it in the freezer and you have a way to keep them cool. Here are a few ways to stuff and freeze a Kong, but be sure not to stuff it to the brim!

  1. Mash a ripe banana and mix with one tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter. Stuff the mixture into a Kong and freeze.
  2. Stuff the Kong with treats and chicken brother. Seal the hole with peanut butter and freeze. As it melts, it can get messy so it’s best to give this treat to your pup outside.

A Twist on Ice Cubes

Pour chicken or beef broth into ice cube trays. When frozen, place a few of these yummy pooch ice pops in the food bowl with your dog’s kibble or simply add to the water bowl for a flavored beverage.

Bone Marrow Bones

You can go to your local butcher and ask for bone marrow bones. One your pup chews the marrow, you can reuse the bone. To make it a frozen treat, add peanut butter inside the bone and freeze!

Banana Bites

Cut up a banana into pieces and freeze. You can even coat the bites in peanut butter to make it extra tasty!

I hope these summertime dog treats help cool down your pups! Have some recipes to add? Leave 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! 

Miss Teen USA Makes a Positive Change

Miss Teen USA

The Miss Teen USA pageant will no longer include the swimsuit portion. Instead, the contestants will be judged in a brand-new athletic wear competition. Over the past few years, the well-known pageant has been evolving and the stereotypical contestant has begun to fade. Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty will compete as America’s first openly homosexual contestant this year. The first hearing impaired contestant, Miss Pennsylvania Elena LaQuatra, will also be competing this year.

In order to justify the swimsuit category in the past, pageant officials have said it was to show off the athletic side of the contestants. However, that portion of the competition, for many young viewers, has instead focused purely on physical appearance. Young girls and teens in today’s generation have a high expectation for what their bodies should look like and the competition only adds fuel to the fire. According to the National Eating Disorders website, half a million teens struggle with eating disorders or disordered eating.

So far, the response to the new change has been overwhelmingly positive. Katherine Haik, the reigning Miss Teen USA told USA News: “This new direction for Miss Teen USA is a great way to celebrate the active lives that so many young women lead and set a strong example for our peers.”

Miss Universe president Paula Shugart shared in a memo that this shift is meant to “celebrate women’s strength, confidence and beauty” in a more positive way. “This decision reflects an important cultural shift we’re all celebrating that empowers women who lead active, purposeful lives and encourage those in their communities to do the same,” she wrote. Our hope is that this decision will help all of Miss Teen USA’s fans recognize these young women for the strong, inspiring individuals they are.”

It’s possible that the pageant will see an influx of competitors as parents may now be more open to the idea of their daughters competing. The change is also a smart business move. Former Miss Virginia Nancy Redd said: “Teens are spending .1 percent of their life in a bathing suit and 50 percent in athleisure. The pageant is following the trend of who can sponsor them.”

It’s nice to see the competition changing to focus more on who the girl is rather than what her body looks like. It’s time that women embrace their physical abilities rather than physical appearance and it also sends a positive message to young teens.

The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant will be held in Las Vegas on July 30.