We’re in the Home Stretch…Finals Week

Finals week: each semester we forget how draining it is until it sneaks up on us once again. The late night cram sessions, the fatigue, the crowded library tables filled with worn out students. The imperative need for a focused mind seems to make it that much harder to actually muster up the motivation for such a thing. Needless to say, the phrase “finals week” has become synonymous with “misery” for many a college student. Well, no more! As a seasoned veteran of plenty of finals weeks myself, I’m bringing you my little tips that always help get me through.

Plan: Even if you think it’s unnecessary, plan out your study schedule. Include meals, study breaks, and even a nap if you need one. Breaking the days down into segments will make the task at hand less overwhelming and will help you stay on track. Feel free to move things around each day too, to fit with what you accomplished the previous day.

Eat: This sounds simple, but it’s a concept forgotten by many students. I’m not just referring to eating a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner (you need fuel!), but to packing healthy and energizing snacks as well. Pack a banana, some water, some pretzels….whatever you prefer! Don’t get distracted by hunger when you should be focusing on the course material.

Ask: Ask questions if you have them! Stop by your professor’s office hours. If you feel comfortable with the material, ask about the exam format and if he or she has any advice to offer. If there is an area you can’t seem to master, ask them to go over it with you. Professors are a valuable academic resource!

Breathe: It’s test time! Stressing yourself out is of no use to you now (yes I know, easier said than done). You’ve studied hard, you know the material, and you’re ready to take the exam – all you need to do is breathe and envision it going smoothly. Now envision it again. Focus your energy into performing well, not worrying.

Celebrate: When I say “celebrate,” I don’t mean stay out until the sun comes up. What I do mean is that it’s important to acknowledge your accomplishment. By finishing another exam, you’re one step closer to being done for the semester. Even if you have back-to-back finals, go for a quick walk in between. Even if it’s for only a few minutes, take the time to revel in the fact that another class has been completed.

We can’t promise that finals will be easy, but you’ve come this far already so finish the semester off right! Being as prepared as possible will help finals week seem more manageable. Good luck!!

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5 (Easy) Ways to Go Green on Campus

Don’t think that just because you can’t afford a hybrid car or cover your roof in solar panels, you can’t help save the planet. Going green often starts small, in every day tasks that often require only a few actions on your part. The best part? Going green often helps you save green too!

1. Rinse. Brush. Rinse. – Do you ever wonder why many of us leave the water running while we brush our teeth? There is no real purpose to it other than simply being too lazy to turn it off. According to the Daily Green, leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth can waste up to 1.3-gallons of water each time you brush your teeth! If each person in a four-person house brushes his or her teeth twice a day, that’s over 72 wasted gallons a week! Take the extra second and turn off the water.

2. Turn off the Lights! - I’ll admit it, I’ve been an offender of this simple rule. However, saving energy by turning off the lights is as easy as flipping a switch (quite literally) and can save you big money on electric bills. Take advantage of the spring sunshine and open up the curtains in your dorm rather than turning on all the lights. Watching a movie? Flip off the lights and call it “mood lighting.” The most important rule to follow is to turn off the lights EVERY time you leave the room. Your furniture will not mind the darkness, I promise.

3. Rent Your Textbooks - Renting your textbooks (or buying and selling them back) is simply another extension of recycling. Once you’re done with the book you need, you can return it so someone else can use it. At campus bookstores, this can also help you save over 50% of the cost!

4. Recycle…a lot! – Enlist your roommate (or your whole floor!) and make a real effort to recycle. Designate bins for each type of item (ex – paper, plastic and glass) and make sure to toss appropriate items in each. Turn in old ink cartridges and cell phones so they can be properly dealt with as well. Many schools have recycling programs so check with your RA or an administrator for more information. Companies like Terracycle will take your waste and recycle it for you!

5. Carpool - Whether you commute to school or simply like going on outings with friends, carpooling is both environmentally AND budget friendly! Taking one car instead of multiple vehicles limits harmful emissions into the air and helps lower gas costs per person. It’s a win-win!

Want more ideas? Check out our recent blog post about the Garnier Beauty Brigade and how they are helping to keep beauty products out of landfills! If you have any of your own ideas, feel free to post a comment below. Happy Earth Day!

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Crazy, Wacky 5K Fun Runs

Now that summer is upon us, you may be wondering how to get that beach body in shape for the summer heat. Fear not! Crazy 5k races are springing up all over the country and they’re sure to kick your workout routine into high gear. It doesn’t matter what sort of runner you are, these runs are purely for pleasure! Check out all the wacky courses and themes:

Get showered in color at the Color Run!

The Color Run: Have you ever seen the Ke$ha music video for her song “Take it Off?” You know, the one with the colored powder flying everywhere? Whether or not you’re a fan of the song, you have to admit…it looks like fun. Now add in that craziness to a 5k and you’re left with the basic concept of the Color Run! Held in major cities all over the country this summer, the only rule of this race is that you must wear white! Volunteers throw a powdery (non-toxic) color mix at you the entire 3.1 miles. The finish line consists of a giant color fight! No one leaves this race without looking like a tie-dye shirt.

The Warrior Dash: This run, as its name suggests, is not for the faint of heart. The “battleground” consists of 3.1 miles of obstacles like jumping over fire, swimming across a river, and crossing a finish line while crawling through mud…under a barbed wire fence. The Warrior Dash is held all across the country (and even in the UK and Australia for those studying abroad!), and obstacles vary by location. If you can make it to the finish line, you’ll be greeted by a giant turkey leg, Viking garb and a giant party. One thing for certain, you’re going to get really dirty.

Finish the 5K and avoid the zombies!

Run For Your Lives: Similar to the Warrior Dash, this race consists of 3.1 miles filled with mud and obstacles. There’s just one small addition— there will be flesh eating zombies on your tail that want to eat your brains. All runners are given a belt with flags at the start of the race, and like an overly intimidating game of flag football, the zombies will try to steal your flags. Make it out of the course with at least one flag left, and you win, zombies lose. This race is great for those who may still be upset The Walking Dead season 2 is over (like me!).

Remember, no matter what shape you’re in, one of these races will probably be for you. Get colorful, muddy, and fight those zombies!

Written by Guest Blogger, Katie – Akron’s 5K Fanatic

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Download Worthy: Pulse

As college students, it’s important to keep up with not only what’s happening on campus, but what’s going on in the world. Pulse is the app that can help you do just that! This application (available on the Nook and most smart phones) adds an interesting twist to usual news and social websites by pulling all of your favorites into one, easy-to-read patchwork. Personalize your news to encompass all of your favorite topics and Pulse will add new content every week. The great thing is that Pulse is socially-oriented as well! Browse Facebook, Vimeo, Reddit, and YouTube from within the application and share interesting news stories with only two taps! Pulse comes FREE on both the Nook Color and Nook Tablet.

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What’s In My Makeup Bag?

Influenced by all the spring cleaning going on around me, I decided to set my organizational sights on something often overlooked by even the neatest of neat freaks: my make-up bag. I was able to toss a few old items (bye bye, two year old blush brush), as well as some less desirable options (anybody need sparkly lime-green eyeshadow?). A good number of items, however, did make my cosmetic cut. Keep reading to find out what staples I keep in my makeup bag!

1. CoverGirl Professional Loose PowderThe perfect way to look like you’re not wearing makeup (even when you are). It keeps my face from getting shiny, but is so light that it doesn’t look caked on.

2. Goody Bobby Pins – I always keep a few on hand in case a stray hair gets in my eyes. These work well for fancier updo’s too!
3. Avon 12-in-1 Color Palette - The shimmery shadows range from an ethereal white to a vibrant pink to a shadowy black. The colors all mix and match so I can build any look I want.
4. Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Shimmer Pencil (Silver)I’m obsessed with lining my bottom lashes with this silvery pencil. It makes my eyes look bigger and brighter which is great for when I feel tired.
 

CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 3-Kit Shadows in Dazzling Metallics

5. CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 3-Kit Shadows (Dazzling Metallics)Don’t be intimidated by the bright yellow and orange shadows. They instantly make your eyes pop while the black adds in a smoky feel.

6. e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner (black) - When I’m feeling dramatic (makeup-wise, I mean) or just want to make sure my eyeliner stays put, I instantly grab this liner. The applicator makes it easy to put on so don’t worry if you’re not an expert with liquid liner.
 

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara

7.CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara (Black)My all-time favorite beauty product! I have been OBSESSED with this mascara since it first appeared on shelves. It instantly makes my blonde lashes look longer and darker but doesn’t get clumpy like other brands.

8. Avon Glimmerstick (Sugar Plum) – This shimmery, purple eyeliner goes on easy but makes a big impact. I love wearing it during a night out with friends. It’s a nice alternative to black liner.
9. ChapStick Lip ShieldThere is no greater annoyance than chapped lips. Keep the sunlight out and the moisture in with this balm.
There you have it – your sneak peek into the mysterious world of my
cosmetic bag.
Were any of your favorites on here? Share your go-to items in the comments below!
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Freaky Friday: Friday the 13th

Everyone has heard about the superstitions that revolve around this supposedly haunted day, but has anyone ever experienced anything spooky first-hand? I, for one, have not…but I’m convinced there must be some good spooky stories out there. Why else would Friday the 13th have such a bad reputation?

Share your spine-tingling, hair-raising and downright scary Friday the 13th stories with us in the comments below and we may feature your story here next week! While you’re trying to remember your own spooky stories, get caught up on the entire Freaky Friday series with the links below.

More Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday: Shawnee State University
Freaky Friday: Washington College
Freaky Friday: Illinois State University
Freaky Friday: Rowan University
Freaky Friday: Nicholls State University
Freaky Friday: University of Tennessee at Martin
Freaky Friday: University of Mississippi
Freaky Friday: Boston University
Freaky Friday: Saint Louis University
Freaky Friday: Temple University
Freaky Friday: Marymount University
Freaky Friday: Northeastern State University
Freaky Friday: University of South Dakota
Freaky Friday: Yale University
Freaky Friday: University of Colorado at Boulder
Freaky Friday: Ohio Dominican University
Freaky Friday: Brooklyn College
Freaky Friday: University of the Cumberlands
Freaky Friday: Saint Martin’s University
Freaky Friday: New Mexico State University
Freaky Friday: The College of New Jersey
Freaky Friday: Ball State University
Freaky Friday: University of Tampa
Freaky Friday: Emporia State University
Freaky Friday: University of South Carolina
Freaky Friday: College of the Canyons
Freaky Friday: West Virginia University
Freaky Friday: Park University
Freaky Friday: Texas Tech

Freaky Friday: William & Mary
Freaky Friday: Columbia University
Freaky Friday: University of Rochester
Freaky Friday: East Tennessee State
Freaky Friday: Washington State University
Freaky Friday: USF Tampa
Freaky Friday: Pacific University
Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall
Freaky Friday: University of the South
Freaky Friday: Point Park

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Ways to Wear Your Favorite T-shirt…in a Stylish Way

During our daily Internet perusal, we came across a great How-To article on College Fashion. The idea? Incorporate your favorite, comfy T-shirt into a variety of fashion-forward outfits! Their advice ranged from layering a T-shirt with a cute jacket to pairing your go-to top with a flowy maxi-skirt. We loved their ideas (adding a vest? genius!) but couldn’t fight the urge to share a few of our own! Keep reading for our own T-shirt tips.

Layer with a Loose Cardigan – Adding a loose cardigan over you favorite t-shirt not only takes your outfit up a style notch, it’s very practical. Layering is perfect for dealing with the spring time’s varying temperatures, not to mention unpredictable gusts of wind. We chose to pair our t-shirt with a pair of shorts and fringed ballet flats for a slightly bohemian, completely simple look.

 

Throw on a Scarf – Need a quick fix for a plain outfit? Throw a loose scarf over a T-shirt and – voila! – instant spice. We decided to kee it casual with a pair of Levi’s jeans and Zoe & Zac ballet flats and were ready in no time to head to class or the library. You’ll only add about 30 seconds to your routine!

Accessorize – When in doubt, add some jewelry. Whether you line your arms with bangles, like the one below from Forever 21, or layer some chunky necklaces, appropriately placed accessories are sure to step up your outfit. Tuck your shirt into a pair of belted shorts, add some wedges (like the ones pictured, by American Eagle), and you’re ready to head out with friends. It’s not only easy, it’s comfortable AND affordable.

Do you have a go-to method for wearing your favorite T-shirt in a stylish way? Post a comment below and share it with us!

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Garnier Beauty Brigade

April is Earth Month – a time to grow your green lifestyle, to celebrate the environment, and to keep the world healthy!  So, did you know you can easily keep the world glowing with a Shampoo?  Seriously – Lather. Rinse. Save the World. Many Shampoos clean up your hair, but dirty up the environment, leaving nasty chemicals in our water supply.  Garnier Fructis Pure Clean is different – the formulas are 92% biodegradable and contain no silicones, parabens or dyes so you can love the earth and love your hair! The bottles are green, too.  Made from PET, the most widely recycled plastic, and 50% recycled plastic so you’re helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and saving resources.

Garnier has also teamed up with TerraCycle to help keep beauty products out of landfills by recycling them into fun, new items (like coin purses, pencil cases and tote bags).  Not only that, when beauty waste is sent to TerraCycle for recycling, money is donated to charities and non-profit organizations!

Want to Get Involved?

  1. Join the Garnier Beauty Brigade® at terracycle.com.  It’s totally free to sign-up!
  2. Collect enough personal care and beauty products to fill up a box or bag.  A list of accepted products can be found here.
  3. Download a pre-paid shipping label from terracycle.com.
  4. Ship the box to TerraCycle by affixing the pre-paid postage label and dropping it off at a UPS location.

You need a shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t weigh down your hair or the environment, so this Earth Day, pick up a bottle of Pure Clean and join the Beauty Brigade®. Get involved and help make a difference.

For more detailed information please check out the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade FAQ.

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The 25 Healthiest Colleges in the U.S.

We all know which schools are considered the “smartest” and which schools offer superior athletic teams, but do we ever pay attention to which schools are considered the healthiest? Luckily, the people over at Greatist decided to take it upon themselves to see how different schools are doing their part to provide students with a health-conscious environment. Using a rigorous scoring process, they narrowed it down to the 25 Healthiest Colleges in the US. We’re taking a look at a few of the schools that made the cut.

#11 Yale University: Did you know that aside from a diligent student population, Yale also boasts an on-campus garden? Perhaps this is why the university is highly-rated for its offerings of healthy and organic foods! They get an A+ for food from College Prowler, a website dedicated to college reviews for students and by students.

#14 Rice University: At Rice, student meal plans are unlimited which means plenty of opportunity to put together healthy and balanced meals. In addition, they offer an extensive well-being resource site and have a ton of health and fitness events put together by the rec department. Maybe this is why they have the happiest students according to the Princeton Review!

#18 Stephen F. Austin State University: This Texas university offers a lazy river, a rock wall, and sand volleyball courts – perfect for the active student. Health-conscious students also have extensive access to nutrition information on the school’s dining website.

#19 Tufts University: Need a little TLC before a long night of studying? Stop by the Tufts University Health Center where the school offers chiropractic treatment and

massage therapy. The majority of students – about 70% – deem this service both convenient and high-quality! I feel relaxed just thinking about it.

#22 Oberlin College: Students at Oberlin are often grateful for the wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, and organic meal options available on campus. They also have the option to take part in a co-op which includes cooking and eating with a group of students with similar preferences. Parents of students can feel at ease knowing there is a 24-hour nurse line open for any health situation that might arise.

For the complete results, check out the full article here. Do you think your school should be on the list? Post a comment below!

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Fresh Goals for Spring: Remain Fruitful, Fit and Fashionable.

College is the time to perfect a healthy, productive, and fashionable lifestyle. Though procrastination frequently permeates most college campuses, it is up to us to overcome our own habitual idleness. By staying active in our studies, exercising regularly, and taking care of our bodies, we will be able to look and feel our best. Check out our list of goals to help you get started!

How to Stay Fruitful:

  • Purchase a planner and stick to the deadlines you set
  • Join study groups and remain actively committed to class-related responsibilities
  • Determine which time-management area you struggle with and outline a plan to improve

How to Stay Fit:

  • Join an exercise class to attend 2-3 times a week (many schools offer these for free!)
  • Find a work-out buddy to help you stick to your fitness goals
  • Choose your food wisely and pay attention to portion control

How to Stay Fashionable:

  • Try ‘thrifting’ or other ways of bargain shopping (check our Style on a Budget blog for ideas!)
  • Find clothes that complement your personality and make you feel comfortable
  • Remember that looking put-together and polished is a valuable asset (especially on interviews!)

Which of these goals are you going to start working toward? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Post a comment below!

Written by Guest Blogger, Deunbra I. – Houston’s Motivator Extraordinaire

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