eCampus

HOW TO: Study Groups

studygroups1Utilizing the “study group” can make or break your semester grades. Although generally college students aren’t a fan of “group” stuff (such as work, projects or presentations), the “study group” is the unique situation in which students, like yourself, may actually find more helpful than harmful.

Step 1: Find a Study Group – if you can’t find one, make one. Email the people in your class (who you can find on a class website or in class). Find people who can work with a similar schedule to your own and then schedule.

Step 2: Meet up – Find a place to meet that is central or well known. Also, if you are expecting a lot of people, make sure you meet in a place that has the capacity for that amount of people (don’t meet up in the library if you are expecting 20 people to show up)!

Step 3: Get people’s names and emails – Make a list, with people’s names, emails and numbers so that they can be contacted. A good way to do this is to use Google forms and send it out asking for this information.

Step 4: Get Studying! – Once you have a list of people’s names and numbers, rather than complaining about the class, or discussing how much you hated what the dining hall served for dinner you should get down to business. People have lots of work to do and other classes so try to be as productive and efficient as you can.

Step 5: Get Notes – If you’ve missed class or don’t understand something a study group is the PERFECT time to get this information. Your classmates might understand better than you did and you will be able to discuss information until you do understand it.

Step 6: Wrap Up – Don’t spend longer than 2 hours (unless studying for a test or midterm, in which case take a break after 2 hours) in a study group. 2 hours is a good block of time that you can get through information, but with reasonable amount of other time so that people can hope to get to there other homework as well.

Study groups are a good place to discuss, understand, and organize information from class and lecture. If you bounce information off other students in the class, you’ll likely do better in the class yourself!

Classic College Cinema

With “sweater weather” on the horizon nothing is better (and cheaper) than skipping the movie theatre, inviting the significant other over to the dorm (within visitation hours of course), slightly burning a bag of popcorn and watching a movie. Whether you still stack DVDs to the ceiling or you are a total Netflicker, there are some classic films about “the four best years of your life” that every undergrad should go out of their way to watch. Here are a few of my “oldies but goodies.”

Animal House

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If you’re in a fraternity, then this is your Godfather. Though this is a film set in the 1960’s, many of the movie’s events are time honored college traditions; from the toga party to the random road trip. Fun fact; during filming, the actors portraying the Delta fraternity were encouraged to have rambunctious parities (resulting in a piano being stolen from the hotel lobby) to promote cast bonding. The Delta actors also harassed the actors portraying the Omega fraternity in order to fuel their onscreen rivalry.

 Best time to view: The beginning of pledge semester.


Roadtrip

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A cheating boyfriend on the east coast accidentally mails a videotape of his sexcapades to his girlfriend on the west coast. What is the logical next course of action? If you said getting your buddies together to go on a cross country excursion to intercept said tape while making a bunch of hilarious stops along the way, then this is the movie for you. When I came to college, this was one of the only DVDs I owned. Needless to say, it was viewed at great frequency. This movie is also proof that, at one time, Tom Green was actually funny.

Best time to view: Right before your weekend road trip to the party school one state over.


PCU

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This one is a little more obscure than the others on this list but it is an absolute cult classic. For many students, college is a time to take up a cause to be passionate and active about. PCU (Politically Correct University) humorously riffs on what happens when people take these causes a little too far.

Best time to view: Right before the silent, candlelight protest over the rising prices of chicken nuggets in the student union.


Revenge of the Nerds

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A quintessential 80’s movie, Revenge of the Nerds is a cautionary tale of what happens when you push people who are smarter than you too far. This film is pure fun as the war between jocks and nerds (before being a nerd was cool) spawns prank after hilarious prank.

Fun fact: Curtis Armstrong is the actor that provides to voice for the character “Snot” on the show American Dad. Snot is based upon a character from Revenge of the Nerds named “Booger”, also played by Armstrong.

Best time to view: After going pocket protector shopping.


Legally Blonde

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For the life of me, I can not remember which girlfriend talked me into seeing this; however I’m glad she did as this is easily the most inspirational film on the list. Underestimated by her jerk boyfriend, sorority president Elle, decides to one up him at his own game by gaining admittance in Harvard Law school. Despite starring the gorgeous Reese Wetherspoon and being hilarious, Legally Blonde carries the message that a girl can be beautiful, sociable and smart; excelling in one of the hardest collegiate program while being a master of the good old bend and snap.

Best time to view: When someone is telling you that “you can’t.

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.

5 Things I Wish I Brought to College

As August approaches and summer winds down, you can’t help but think of the upcoming fall semester. Don’t forget to add these items to your list to make your dorm life a little bit easier.

Ear Plugs

1. Earplugs: Your motto may be “early to bed, early to rise” but that may not be the case for your neighbor. Stock up on disposable earplugs to get through raucous nights and studious nights alike.

Vacuum

2. A small vacuum: Apartment dwellers will easily remember to bring along cleaning supplies but if you’re living in a dorm, this may not be at the top of your list of priorities when you’re making your packing list. A vacuum or broom will come in handy more often than you might think.

Brita

3. Water purifier: Rather than stocking up on bottled water, try bringing along a small purifier to keep in your room. Be sure to bring at least one washable cup along as well. Bonus: It’s much more environmentally friendly!

Desk Accessories

 4. Storage and Organization: It can be easy to overlook things like pencil cups but having an organized room makes a huge difference especially during stressful times. Don’t forget extra storage bins for under your bed as well.

Printer

5. Printer: Many colleges have free printing but don’t underestimate the convenience of being able to print a paper at 3am. Printing everything on your own can get expensive quickly though so make sure you’re using it only when it is completely necessary.

What did we forget? Tell us about your overlooked dorm essentials in the comments below!

5 Best Stores for College Students

Whether you are running low on groceries or need textbooks in a pinch, this list of the 5 best stores for college students  will definitely help you out in times of distress!

1. Target

This one may be a bit obvious but Target will nevertheless remain number one on my list. This glorious palace of red is a one stop shop where half of your paycheck mysteriously disappears during a trip for “just a few things”. You can walk in only needing paper towels, but you will walk out with trail mix, 3 dresses, a necklace, a mop, candles, and the complete second season of “The Office”…and probably no paper towels. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Shop now: www.target.com

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2. Forever21

Oh Forever21, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. There are so many nice things you can find here at such low prices. Say it with me: two dollar cami’s. (Don’t worry, guys, there’s a men’s section too!). Shop now: www.forever21.com

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3. Marshall’s and TJ Maxx

I cannot stress how much I LOVE shopping at these two stores. Every shopping trip is like a mini treasure hunt. You never know what you’re going to find there. They have a little bit of everything including clothes, electronic accessories, home decor, groceries, and books. Everything is marked down way below retail price which makes it easy to find nice things that guys and gals on college student budgets might not usually be able to afford. Shop now: www.marshallonline.com and www.tjmaxx.com

TJ Maxx & Marshallswww.tjx.com

4. eBay.com

Okay so this one isn’t exactly a “store” but it sure comes in handy in a pinch. You can find literally anything you will ever need on eBay (I personally use this site to find art supplies for class) at much lower prices. Some of these items are brand new while others may be used, so it takes a smart shopper to find the hidden gems. Shop now: www.ebay.com

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5. eCampus and Knetbooks.com

If you need textbooks (who doesn’t?) but are not a huge fan of the price tags, check out these stores and sites. You can save up to 90% on textbooks as well as rent or sell used textbooks. You’ve read the blog, now go check out the rest of the site! Shop now: www.ecampus.com and www.knetbooks.com

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