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One of the hardest parts about going home for winter break is missing all of your new college friends. I speak from experience when I say spring semester is much closer than you think, but just to make sure you don’t lose touch, here’s a few ways that I’ve found make it easy to stay in contact.
- GROUP TEXTS – After the ‘Hey! How are you?’ part of the text conversation, it can be really hard to find things to talk about in a one-on-one convo. Especially, if you speak with your best friend every day. I find that group chats are infinitely entertaining, even if you don’t have time to participate other than a quick emoji or ‘lol’. The more people involved the better! Create multiple conversations with each of your groups of friends. You’ll never be bored and you’ll find that you can keep in touch with very little effort. *Thumbs Up Emoji*
- SEND POSTCARDS OR LETTERS – Going on a trip? Keep it old school and send your friends postcards from your vacation destination. Or if you’re staying home for break, write a plain old notebook-paper letter and send it off. It will be just like the good old days of passing notes in the hallway of your HS. Feel that? It’s the 9th grade nostalgic experience you never thought you’d have.
- COLLAGE BLOG – Think about what interests you and your BFFs share. Anything from exercising, to cooking, to music, to crafting, to reality TV – literally anything! Use this as the theme for your group blog. Choose some topics to write about and set a schedule (everyone posts once a week, twice a week, etc.) for your site. Blogging can not only help you keep a connection with your friends, but it’s a way to express yourself and potentially lead to opportunities in your future career. That’s what I like to call a win-win situation.
- VIDEO CHAT – Whether you choose to set up Skype dates or host impromptu FaceTime sessions, video chatting is the simplest and most personal way to keep in touch with your long-distance friends. It’s about the closest thing you can get to being together, and depending on your app of choice you may be able to set it up with multiple users and/or use it for FREE. Isn’t technology the best?
- GCHAT DURING TV SHOWS – Undoubtedly, there are one or two or ten shows that you and your bestie go insane over. (We’re talking turning off phones, locking doors, not speaking a word and barely breathing until it’s over kind of insane.) To keep the tradition going and to get your QT in, set up a GChat on your laptop before the show. Somehow typing to your BFF (ONLY during commercials) is the single form of acceptable communication during such an event. Again, technology, you’re saving our lives here! <3
- SOCIAL MEDIA – At least once a day, make it a point to send your friends a snap, post to their FB page, or tweet at them (preferably something ridiculous). It’s a fun, but short and sweet, way of keeping in touch. It will keep a flow of communication going back and forth, and some of your other friends may even join in. Plus, who doesn’t love the feeling of notifications waiting on your social accounts? I just need to be poked, darn it.
- PLAN A TRIP – If it’s doable, save up some money and plan a visit. Trek out to your BFF’s house, have him/her come stay at your place, or plan to meet in the middle for a spontaneous little adventure. It’s always fun to experience new places with great friends, plus there is NO better time to travel! Commence wanderlust…
That’s it! Pick one or more of these options for keeping in contact with your college friends and before you know it you’ll be back at school. How do you keep in touch over the holidays? Have any more recommendations? Let us know!
Ahh, winter break. What could be better than that feeling of pure relief after finishing your final exam? Knowing that you are on your way to a month+ of winter vacation before the all-too-quick arrival of spring semester, of course! This year, I have prepared a very special list of holiday must-haves that will ensure that all of my long-term lounging goals are fulfilled. I introduce to you, my Winter Break Wish List!
- EAR BUDS* – These are simply a non-negotiable for literally every situation, but especially for an extended stay at home. You can play video games silently in the middle of the night, listen to music while working out around the house, and even tune out irritating family members for lengthy periods of time. DO NOT LEAVE LIVE
- COLLEGE HOODIE* – A fluffy, over-sized school sweatshirt is another winter break necessity – certainly a must-have for achieving optimal cold weather comfort. I like to think of mine as a friend that’s always there to give me a hug.
- HILARIOUS COFFEE MUG – Winter break is always filled with hot holiday drinks – ideally served in a sassy coffee mug. Pour a cup of hot cocoa, drop in some marshmallows, and let the wave of sweet nostalgia wash over you. This is home. Find yours at Zazzle.
- SUBSCRIPTION TV – The winter weather forecast calls for a morning of Hulu with an afternoon and evening of heavy Netflix. When the snow is falling and youare clearly not going anywhere, subscription services are there to save you from the impending boredom that awaits you. Pop on a season of 30 Rock and binge-watch the night away.
- SLIPPERS – What could anyone hate more than cold feet? Absolutely nothing. I’m sure of it. Slippers, as everyone knows, are the perfect compromise between the comforts of shoes, socks, and bare feet. No adult human should go a winter without a pair – even if you typically sport footed-pajamas. You know who you are. Slip into something cozier at ThinkGeek.
- GOOD BOOK – Winter break is the perfect opportunity to finally get to that book you’ve been dying to read. Find a cozy corner and let your imagination run wild! My pick for this year – The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year – because I just don’t know where I would be without BravoTV in my life. Order yourself a copy here.
- BEANIE* – Never underestimate the power of a great beanie. Besides looking cute on all girls and guys, they can save you from the roughest of hair days. Frizzy? Unwashed? Good ol’ beanie has you covered. Bonus: they keep your ears warm!
With these 7 amazing items, you will undoubtedly have the best winter break yet – I know I will! Did we miss anything? What’s on your wish list?
*Check your B&N College bookstore website for available options.
Hosting a festive holiday gathering in the confines of a dorm room is no small feat. Fear not! We’ve got your snack (and decorations!) covered. We’re sticking with an oldie-but-goodie as the basis for our sweet recommendation: Rice Kripsies Treats.
Rice Krispies Mini Holiday Candy Cottage Recipe
(Find the original recipe on the Rice Krispies website).
Yes, this is as delicious as it is adorable. The best part? It’s easy to make! Grab your roommate and get to work on your own. Who needs gingerbread anyway?
What You’ll Need:
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
- 2 packages (10 oz. each, about 80 total) JET-PUFFED Marshmallows, divided
- 8 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
- 12 cups Kellogg’s® Cocoa Krispies® cereal
- 12 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
- Canned frosting or decorating gel
- Assorted candies
What You’ll Do:
1. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add one package of the marshmallows and stir until melted.
2. Increase heat to medium and stir about 2 more minutes or until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat.
3. Add six cups of Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies cereal. Stir until coated.
4. Coat a 13x9x2-inch pan with cooking spray. Use a buttered spatula to evenly press mixture into pan. Let cool.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 using the remaining butter, marshmallows, and cereal. This time, press the mixture into a 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan. Let cool.
6. Begin to assemble the house. Place cereal mixture from the first pan (13 x 9 x 2) onto a foil-lined tray. This will be the base.
7. Cut the remaining cereal mixture into four 5×3.5-inch rectangles (sides + ends of the house). Cut two 8×3-inch rectangles for the roof.
8. Lay one 5×3.5-inch rectangle vertically and cut the top corners at an angle to form the peak of the house. Repeat with second 5×3.5-inch to form the back of the house. The side walls, laying horizontally, should match bottom of angle cut in height.
9. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the six pieces one-inch apart on the sheet. Bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. If necessary, use a knife to reshape the pieces. Let cool.
10. Stand the house near center of your base. Attach house sides to house back + front using frosting (be generous!). Pipe frosting to attach the roof.
11. Decorate your house using additional frosting and the candies you chose! Voila!
Find more recipes on the Rice Krispies website! Which one are you going to try out?
Five Things You Don’t Know About Me with Frank WarrenFrank Warren is the founder of PostSecret. It is a community art project in which people anonymously send in their secrets on homemade postcards, some of which will be featured on the PostSecret website. Warren has also put together several PostSecret books and speaks at events across the country.
Frank Warren is arguably the biggest keeper-of-secrets in the world. As the founder of PostSecret, he holds thousands of deep, dark secrets scrawled across homemade postcards. Who better to share some of his own secrets…
1. When my mother discovered that I was asking strangers to mail me their deepest secrets on postcards, she called the idea, “diabolical”. It wasn’t until she watched me talking about the PostSecret books on Today and saw that Meredith Vieira appreciated the funny and heart-breaking secrets that she began to accept it.
2. I have one of my secrets in each of the six PostSecret books. The second book, My Secret was a book I created based upon how I felt in high school and college. I selected postcards that would have helped me during those times when I felt isolated and without direction. My Secret is the book I wish I could have handed to my younger self so I wouldn’t have felt so alone with my secrets. This is the postcard I made for that book:
3. In my previous life, before PostSecret, I was never that person who people would tell their secrets to, so for me it feels like such a privilege to have received a ton of secrets on postcards from around the world.
4. Some of the secrets I receive are about personal struggles with mental illness. When we believe we are carrying a secret by ourselves, it can feel like a great burden… but I know that is only an illusion. No one is alone with their secret and if we can find the right ways to release them [our secrets], they go from being walls to bridges.
During the ten years of the project, the PostSecret community has raised over $1,000,000 for suicide prevention and I have worked closely with two non-profits that offer young people hope and leadership in moving our national conversation about mental wellness forward: Active Minds and IMAlive. Find more info about each of these great organizations here:
5. My email is secret, but sometimes people find it and send me messages. This message might have been my favorite:Dear Frank, I have made six postcards all with secrets that I was afraid to tell the one person I tell everything to, my boyfriend. This morning I planned to mail them to you, but instead I left them on the pillow next to his head while he was sleeping. Ten minutes ago he arrived at my office and asked me to marry him. I said yes.
Be sure to get YOUR copy of Frank’s newest book, The World of PostSecret. Find more postcard and app secrets than ever before PLUS get the inside scoop regarding some of the most controversial and compelling secrets to come through. Order your copy here.
And don’t forget to check out all of the secrets that come through on PostSecret.com.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you know what that means… FOOD. As someone who is a proponent of all things tasty and has referred to mashed potatoes as her “best friend” on more than one occasion, you might say I enjoy a good Thanksgiving meal. However, as what I can only assume is fate’s cruel joke, I have never been much of a cook (i.e. still growing my eyebrows back from last Thanksgiving). SO! For this year’s Friendsgiving, I have prepared myself with the easiest, most delicious, and Thanksgiving dishes. Read on for a fool-proof step-by-step guide to great grub for your Gobble Gobble Day.
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE – Approx. 20 minutes, Serves 6
- 2 cans (1 lb. each) green beans, drained
- 1 can (10¾ oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- ¾ cup of milk
- 1 can (2.8 oz.) French fried onions
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- Combine green beans, milk, mushroom soup, pepper and ½ can of fried onions and pour into ½ quart microwaveable dish
- Cover and microwave on HIGH for 8-10 minutes (turn and stir halfway through)
- Top with remaining fried onions
- Microwave uncovered on HIGH for 1 minute
CRANBERRY-GLAZED SWEET POTATOES – Approx. 30 minutes, Serves 8
- 6 medium peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 lbs.)
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
- Orange rind (optional)
- Microwave potatoes in a covered 2-quart casserole dish on HIGH for 10 minutes or until tender
- Combine sugar, margarine, OJ, and salt in a 2-cup glass and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes (stirring every minute)
- Add mixture to cranberry sauce and potatoes, toss gently
- Microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes or until heated through (baste in sauce twice during cooking)
- Garnish with orange rind
PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE MUG CAKES – Approx. 7 minutes, Serves 2
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons brewed espresso coffee, or very strong coffee, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup pancake mix
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch of salt
- Whipped cream
- Ground Cinnamon
- Add melted butter, egg, espresso, and pumpkin to small bowl and whisk
- Add sugar, pancake mix, pumpkin pie spice and salt to mixture and mix until incorporated (may be lumpy)
- Divide batter between 2 microwavable mugs and microwave uncovered on HIGH for 2 minutes
- Top with whipped cream and sprinkled cinnamon
…and enjoy! You are now officially ready for Thanksgiving, no matter who you spend it with or where you celebrate. Be sure to sign up for our Thank U Sweepstakes and let us know why you’re thankful for your education! Enter here: http://bnc.pgtb.me/v9dV8f
Brought to you by Cricket Wireless
It’s rare to hear a college student complain about having too much spending money. That’s why it’s important for students to budget and live within their means while on campus. Check out our finance-savvy tips below:
1. Apply for scholarships – even when you’re already enrolled!
Continue applying for scholarships, even after you’ve started at your college/university. Apply for as many as you can and ask around for help.
2. Find the right textbook option for you.
There are plenty of ways to save. Check for rental and used options in order to save big! Ask the booksellers at your campus bookstore for their recommendations and insight.
3. Eat on campus as much as you can.
Sure, the dining hall isn’t exactly a five-star restaurant. However, constantly eating out or ordering in adds up….fast. Try new things on campus and make it work for you!
4. Cut costs when it comes to your cell phone.
Consider switching to a provider like Cricket Wireless. You’ll be free of annual contracts, but still have access to the hottest smartphones and data plans – starting at just $35 a month! Plus, you’ll experience more 4G LTE coverage than Sprint, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS.
Do you have any advice for your fellow students? Post a comment!
We have a #CareerNow EXCLUSIVE, just for you! After your next interview, keep these tips in mind…
Don’t forget to head to the @BNcollege Twitter Page on 11/5 at 8pm ET for our second Twitterview with career expert, Joan Kuhl. Whether it’s interview tips or internship advice, get answers to even your toughest career questions. Tweet in your questions using the hashtag #CareerNow and find the answers right at your fingertips. Plus, one lucky participant will snag a $25 B&N Gift Card!
Surviving College and Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse: Why They’re Basically the Same Thing
When you think about it, the experiences of going away to college and living during the zombie apocalypse are eerily similar. Frankly, I can’t say that I haven’t more closely resembled “walker” than human after an all-nighter or two. Let’s break it down.
1. (EDIBLE) FOOD IS SCARCE – Let’s just say the dining hall food isn’t exactly something you’re writing home to Mom about. With a limited budget and ever-dwindling stash of slow-to-expire snacks, good food becomes harder and harder to come by. Suddenly, you’re willing to try unidentifiable solids in hopes of discovering a delectable delicacy that no one else dares touch. Baked brain, anyone?
*Pro Tip: Get creative! Find a painless way of adding fruits or vegetables into your daily diet accompanied by some of these Dining Hall Hacks. Nuts and granola are great long-lasting, healthy snacks to have stored in your dorm room for those late-night cravings!
2. LACK OF SLEEP – College students are well-known for their little/varied amounts of sleep. Between going out with friends and staying up late to study, you can find yourself feeling, well, a bit like a zombie. Students and survivors tend to follow the same motto, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.*Pro Tip: Get in a routine. Keeping on a schedule will help your body feel more energized and you’ll require less sleep to function efficiently.
3. HANDLING DIFFICULT ROOMMATES – Small living quarters, no privacy, dealing with different personality types, sharing your things and/or having your things stolen…sound familiar? Unfortunately, if you want to survive college (or the zombie apocalypse), you need to keep calm and find a way to get along.*Pro tip: Set some ground rules. Sometimes a roommate contract or an agreed upon schedule make for the best solutions to roommate issues before they even arise (find more tips here!).
4. BEING SEPARATED FROM LOVED ONES – Being homesick isn’t unusual for college students, especially in your first year. A lot of what is so hard about being away from home is missing your family, friends and, in some cases, your significant other. The best outlook to have is that you will be reunited in the future…even if it’s as “biter” baes.
*Pro Tip: Keep yourself busy. If you spend all your time bumming out and thinking about your family and friends back home, you won’t get the best college experience you can. Join in on activities with others and make time to call and text your friends and family at the end of the day. Winter break will be here before you know it!
5. TRANSPORTATION IS HARD TO COME BY – Much like the end of days, finding someone with a car to cart you around in is just not that easy. Could you travel by foot to that class across campus? Sure. If you want to walk alone. At night. In the dark.
6. COMMUNAL BATHROOMS – Okay. Sharing the bathroom with one person is one thing. But sharing a b-room with 20 people? That’s what I call a … less than ideal situation. And not that it really needs to be said BUT some people have more trouble keeping up with their hygiene than others. If it’s this bad in college, one can only imagine the horrors that await us during the apocalypse.*Pro Tip: Bring flip-flops! Get in, get clean, get out. There isn’t much you can do to make the situation any better except make sure you aren’t part of the problem. Clean up your messes and hope that everyone else will do the same.
7. LACK OF CLEAN CLOTHES – The rules of how many times clothes can be worn until they are deemed “dirty” in college are very much skewed from the outside world. Underwear = 1 wear. Shirts = 2 wears. Sweaters = 5 wears. Jeans = Infinite wears. “Does it smell? No? Put it on,” might be the thought that crosses your mind when picking through that heap of rumpled clothes on the floor. Unfortunately, clean vs. dirty during the zombie takeover is probably more like, “Is it bloody? Yes, but only on the elbow? Put it on.”
*Pro Tip: Febreeze. Reuse clothes without washing *in moderation* and Febreeze between each wear. Be sure you keep your used and new clothes separated so that the clean clothes don’t get “contaminated”.
8. IMPOSSIBLE TO AVOID EXES – Your campus seems HUGE and filled with so many new faces…until your first break-up. Not only do you have to see their annoying face everywhere (SO annoying!), but you see their friends in the dining hall, their new love interest in your psych class, and their study group in your dorm lounge. Sadly, during college (or the zombie apocalypse), the only option is to accept it and move on. All the good ones are taken (or eaten).*Pro Tip: Move on. Relationships will come and go throughout college and you’ll look back on your break-ups a month or two later with a totally different perspective. Focus on your studies and having fun with your friends.
9. IT GETS REALLY HOT – Dorms without AC are quite common, especially at older universities. The sooner you embrace the fact that you WILL closely resemble a wet rat for the hotter months of the year, you’ll be better off. Air conditioning must never be taken for granted, and The Walking Dead has proven that.
10. LACK OF EXERCISE WILL COME BACK TO BITE YOU – Don’t give up on that exercise routine just yet! With all of the changes in sleep, diet and stress, weight gain is not uncommon for college students. Fight off the “Freshman 15” with a healthy amount of exercise so that you don’t have to work twice as hard to get the weight off because…it will be a fight. Plus, toned biceps let you do cool things – like fight off walkers with a katana.
*Pro Tip: Stay on a schedule. Exercising doesn’t seem so daunting when you get into a daily routine. Not only will you keep the extra weight off but you will feel happier and more energized. Try this simple dorm room workout if you can’t make it to the gym.
You’ve survived! Don’t forget to check your Barnes & Noble College campus bookstore for our The Walking Dead Graphic Novel Displays! #ZomBNC
I know you may feel like you are just starting to get settled on campus, but this is also the time to get focused on your career. If you are the type of student who is motivated by success and making a difference, then it’s important to start your career strategy now.
Students can experience a lot of anxiety and pressure about transitioning from college to their dream careers. So, with your campus bookstore, we want to help set you up for the success you deserve and help you showcase the talents you bring to the table. Time flies by quickly in college so it is important to build experiences and skills that will help you stand out in the workplace and your community after you graduate.
If you are taking the time to read this then you are most likely the type of student who will:
- Do what it takes to maximize your career resources
- Get experiences that will help you stand out from a crowd
- Invest in your future
And this will pay off for you as you build a competitive advantage in the job market!
Launching this term, I’ll be sharing tips and advice; connecting you to helpful resources online and on campus; hosting twitter events and live workshops from campus bookstores across the country all about career prep. We will tackle the topics that you’ve told us are on your mind:
- Personal Branding
- Finding Mentors and Sponsors
- Getting Organized
- Developing skills that get you hired
- Leadership and Influence
- Managing stress and prioritizing your health
Send us your feedback and questions to email@example.com or tweet me @joansnyderkuhl so we can bring you the resources that matter most to you! Even if our workshop doesn’t make it to your campus, we will make sure you have access to the information and strategies to launch your dream career right here on The College Juice.
Let’s kick this off with a must do list for your first 2 weeks back at school:
- Find a Mentor – a faculty member, leader in your academic department, a Dean, Graduate student or an Alumni are great people to get to know (It’s never too early to understand the value of building relationships with Mentors and Sponsors)
- Book an appointment with your Career Center (even if you are in your 1st year on campus) Learn more about your school’s resources, career fair schedules for internships and full time positions, employer and alumni connections. Develop a relationship with a career advisor so they will keep you in mind as opportunities and events arise around your interests.
- Get involved – on your campus AND in your school’s community. Most schools host a student activity fair within the first couple of weeks back to school. Make an effort to meet and get to know different organizations. If you don’t see an organization that matches what you are looking for then start your own!
- Plan to drop by Professor office hours – Prioritize the two courses you feel will be most challenging for you this semester. Introduce yourself and ask for their advice and expectations around best mastering this subject and staying ahead of assignments.
- Send a note to introduce yourself and share your excitement for being a part of this school to one of its top leaders– could be a Dean, President or Chancellor…Trust me, they want to hear from you and could be great sponsors throughout your education experience.
- Stop by your bookstore – check out the Career Section and the area with titles related to your major. Maybe pick up a journal to record your student and career goals to remind you how important it is to plan ahead.
Stay tuned to The College Juice for more tips and information. And we want to hear from you! If you have any questions, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet Joan directly @joansnyderkuhl
Written by Guest Blogger, Joan KuhlJoan is a millennial career expert with more than 16 years of mentoring and coaching experience. She has worked with students and young professionals around the world helping them achieve their potential. Her efforts are focused on helping students to maximize their college and early work experience to accelerate their success. Joan launched Why Millennials Matter to help employers and organizations adapt their culture and programs to be sources of innovation and inspiration for future talent.