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Why I Love the DUO Binder (And Why You Will Too)

The Duo Binder
When I heard about a new student-designed binder, I couldn't wait to find out more information. As a student, staying organized is always at the top of my mind. It is my great honor to introduce my fellow students to the coolest organization system out there: The Duo Binder! The Duo Binder is perfect for organizing notes, syllabi, and other worksheets for all of your classes. Each binder has three rings to hold loose-leaf paper for your notes and an expandable folder system that can hold various other papers. They don’t call it “Duo” for nothing, folks! It's the perfect way to stay organized because everything fits comfortably in one binder. No more forgetting important papers in your dorm! Keep reading... Full posts →
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Beach Bag Essentials

Summer has arrived and it’s time to hit the beach! Now that you’ll be having some fun in the sun it’s important to be prepped and prepared with the perfect beach bag full of your summertime essentials. Here are some of the things that I like to keep stowed away for my beach days:

This straw tote from Target is super chic and since it’s black it matches with everything! The towel is a fun pop of color and very fitting for the beach with it’s fish scale pattern.

As I’m sure you all know by now, sun protection is super important! I opted for this Hawaiian Tropic spray on sunscreen in SPF 50 (gotta protect my Irish skin). It’s super sheer and it smells like coconut, yummy! The EOS lip balm also has SPF 15 to protect your lips AND it smells just like lemons. To protect your eyes, always keep a pair of sunglasses handy. These reflective pair from Nasty Gal are stylish and functional.

Since you’ll be in the sun all day, hydration is super important – so grab a reusable water bottle and fill it to the brim with ice water. Also, it’s good to keep a snack handy. I am in love with the pomegranate blueberry pistachio KIND bars.

In the beauty department, water proof mascara is everything! Lights, Camera, Splashes by Tarte is amazing. It stays put through sweat and salt water. Don’t forget to throw in some hair elastics. I know I always find myself tying my hair up when I’m out in the sun. Try to find a pair that won’t cause breakage to your strands.

Last but abso-LUTELY not least, a beach day wouldn’t be complete without a good book. I highly recommend The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (I’ve already read it four times). And after all, the book is always better than the movie!

What do you keep in your beach bag?

Shop the look: Fishscale Towel from Target ($14.99), Nasty Gal Sunglasses ($18), Target Merona Straw Tote ($27.99), Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Clear Spray SPF 50 ($7.99), EOS Lemon Drop Lip Balm with SPF 15 ($3.29), Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio KIND Bar ($1.39/bar), J. Crew Water Bottle in Soft Mint ($19.50), Scunci No Damage Hair Elastics ($2.99), Tarte Lights, Camara, Splashes Waterproof Mascara ($20), The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ($9.99)

Written by Guest Blogger, Chloe L. of Penn State

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Party in the USA! 4th of July BBQ Ideas

America’s favorite holiday is right around the corner, so it’s time to start preparing for this years 4th of July summer BBQ! Here is a list of different recipes to cover all your drinks, dinner, and desserts options, which will please everyone!


Patriotic Punch – A mixture of cranberry juice, your favorite blue-colored sports drink, sparkling water (or a diet clear soda), and ice will leave you with a refreshing 4th of July drink that everyone can enjoy.


Patriotic Pasta Salad – Who says your dinner can’t also be America’s colors!  This pasta salad filled with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and normal and blue dyed pasta will definitely set you apart from other BBQs.


Fourth of July Cake – You know you have seen or had a piece of one of these cakes before.  Now it’s your time to finally make one for yourself! This cake will be a huge crowd pleaser.  Trust me, everyone will want to be Instagramming your cake! Click here for the recipe.

Red, White, & Blue Krispies – Who doesn’t like rice krisipie treats?! They are so easy to make.  Simply combine rice krisipie cereal, marshmallows, and a little butter in a pan over medium heat.  Then scoop the mixture into a container and to cool.  Once they have cooled, cut them into pieces and add some red and blue food coloring to turn your boring rice krispies into a tasty, patriotic treat!

For more mouthwatering recipes or ways to step up your 4th of July BBQ game be sure to check out Pinterest for more great ideas!

Written by Kat P. of Elon University

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Eat $mart in College

The first year of college for most freshmen can usually be considered somewhat of an adjustment period, regardless of the person’s educational background or experience. One of the biggest adjustments most students experience in college is usually that of financial freedom – the ability to spend money out of one’s own bank account. I remember when I was a freshmen (at Emerson College), I made the mistake of shopping for food, drinks, and other grocery items from outside stores instead of using the meal swipes and “BoardBucks” (or your school’s equivalent) I was already provided on my ID card through Room & Board. Because I didn’t utilize a large portion of the swipes and points my parents had already paid for my first semester, I ended up spending a lot more money on things I could have easily bought from my school’s cafeterias and attached convenience stores.

My tip for any incoming freshmen is to first look over exactly what has already been paid for. Then, budget out meals and snack items from the dining hall or the school stores rather than waste all of your money on outside store items. The reason for doing this is not just to be cheap, but to also save money for more exciting off-campus activities. For example, if your friends are going out for dinner one night, by remembering this tip and keeping track of your food spending, you will have more “real cash” in your pocket to spend on “real food” off campus without feeling guilty that you spent it already, not knowing the amount of money on your card that you can use with your school’s catering provider. Dining hall food is really not that bad (I SWEAR!) and you’ll save tons of money while all of your friends dine elsewhere. Check out your school’s convenience stores (if they have them) – sometimes they allow you to use your swipes or points on the items they carry. Also, check your campus bookstore! Many of them have convenience sections that offer discounts and deals from time to time.

The college years go by quickly! It’s important to enjoy every opportunity, while making smart decisions with your money. Spend it wisely when it comes to meals, using money already spent on Room & Board to your advantage. You’ll have extra money in your pocket without compromising your dining experiences.

Written by Dan H., of Emerson College

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Summer Activity to Try: Gardening

Whether you’re stressed out from your job or internship or bored sitting at home, take advantage of your summer break from school by adopting a great new hobby: gardening.  If you live in the suburbs and have a lawn, it won’t be too hard to ripen that green thumb.  If you’re from the city, look into urban agriculture nearby or maybe even visit a farm.

Gardening is perfect for those of you who are working long hours- especially indoors- because it will get you outside and allow you to breathe some fresh air (and catch up on some vitamin D!).  Also, it is highly relaxing, so prepare for all that stress from work to just melt away…

If you’re mostly spending your summer break at home, then what better way to get outdoors and experience something new? And who knows…if you end up really enjoying it, maybe your new hobby will come back with you to school in the fall! Maybe you’ll even get your friends into gardening too!

Visit your local plant exchange and ask the employees about which plants would grow best in your area.  Personally, I really enjoy growing herbs because they smell good and you can eat a lot of them.  Nothing like some fresh basil from the garden! Gardening is the perfect way to feel like you’re doing something productive and beneficial to yourself during your summer break!  Happy Planting!

Find more inspiration on our Environmentally Friendly Pinterest board!

Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers University

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Healthy On-The-Go Snacks!

Being a college student myself, I know we are constantly on the go – running from class, to the gym, to the library.  These hectic schedules typically cause us to grab the most convenient snack option. Unfortunately, often times these fast snacks are not giving us the extra boost of energy that we need to get us through the day.  So, instead of walking out the door and reaching for that bag of greasy potato chips or chocolate chip cookies, try these healthier on the go snack options that taste just as good!

1. Fruit – Apples, bananas, pears, etc. are great fruits that you can eat on the go! If you prefer to have these fruits in slices, just take a few minutes to cut them up and put them in a plastic bag.  Many grocery stores also sell prepackaged sliced fruit that you can keep right in your fridge.  These fruits will keep you full throughout the day, unlike “fruity snacks,” which have limited nutritional value.

2. Trail Mix – You can find tons of pre-made bags of trail mix at any grocery store.  Try to find mixes that contain mainly nuts with the least amount of salt. Feel free to also make your own trail mix by combining your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips!  For more ideas of what to add to your homemade trail mix, check out these recipes here.

3. Bars – I’m not taking about candy bars! There are many nutritious bars containing natural and healthy ingredients that you can easily grab and eat on the go.  KIND bars, Luna bars, and LARA bars are all great options and come in a variety of delicious flavors (plus, you can find most of these at your campus bookstore!).  One of my favorites is KIND’s peanut butter dark chocolate bar.  It tastes just as good, or even better, as a Snickers bar!

Any suggestions? Tweet us @BNcollege, hashtag #healthyBNC!

Written by Guest Blogger, Kat P. of Elon University

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Top 5 Movie Night Necessities

If you’re looking for a cheap, but entertaining way to spend some time with friends, a movie night is perfect for you. With just a few inexpensive items, you’ll be on your way to the ultimate movie night.

Keep reading to see what we came up with…

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The IT List: Coral

Now that summer has finally arrived it’s time to kick those neutrals to the curb and play it up with the hue that’s been making a big splash. Coral is everywhere right now, from subtle pops of color in accessories to full-blown attention grabbing lipsticks….and let me tell you, I am obsessed. This color can be a little tricky to navigate, but once you find the right shade you can rock this trend all summer long.

Let’s start with some subtle pops of color…Get the look: Essie Nail Polish, J. Crew Sneaker Laces, Forever 21 Cool Girl Geo Baseball Cap, J. Crew Reusable Water Bottle

…and then move on to bolder statements.

Get the look: NARS Lipstick, SheInside Pink Boyfriend Blazer, Neon Coral Crossback Cami Dress from GlamorousKeds Champion Ikat in Coral

Are you loving this coral trend for the summer? Let us know!

Written by Guest Blogger, Chloe L. of Penn State University

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Impressing Your Professors: A ‘How To’ Guide For New Students

Going to a new school can be scary – from moving into a dorm to trying to navigate through the dining hall.  Luckily, I have a few tips to help you do well in your classes. Once you feel comfortable in the classroom, I promise that the other new aspects of college life will fall into place.

Although adjusting to college life can be difficult at first, it will get much easier once you feel comfortable in class.  For this reason, it is vital that you create strong connections with your professors.  The first step is to sit in the front of the classroom. This will make a great impression on your professor, even if you’re in a huge lecture hall.  Also, it will prevent you from getting distracted as easily during class and keep you off of your phone and Facebook.  Not to mention, since you’ll be paying more attention to lecture material, there’s a good chance your grade will increase as well.

The second step is to go to office hours!  Even if you understand the material fairly well, it can still be very beneficial for you (and your GPA) if you pop in and say hello to your professor during their office hours. They schedule these hours purposely so that students can come by. They can provide additional helpful information and clear up all of your questions.  Another great part about visiting your professors during office hours is that it may help you to find a clearer path concerning what you’re interested in as a major or career.  They can become your mentor and help inspire you to choose the direction in which you would like to go.  After all, isn’t that why they’re there?

The last step is something you probably know from high school, but is just as important now.  Can anyone guess? That’s right…class participation!  It is very important that you participate regularly – and not just for the sake of your grade. It’s also important that your professor gets to know you and (hopefully) is impressed with your enthusiasm toward learning.

Follow this “How-To Guide” and you will be good to go! I have no doubt that these helpful tools will be of great service to you! I wish you luck in school, but now I am confident that you won’t need it!

Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers University

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World Cup 2014: U.S. Players to Watch

With the World Cup kicking off (pun intended) this week, I thought I’d put together a list of 5 United States players to watch this month.  The success of the U.S. will depend highly on their performance. Plus, you’ll be able to impress your friends with all of your “fútbol” knowledge whenever the World Cup comes up in conversation (you’re welcome).

Player #1: Tim Howard – Goalie

At 35 years old, this may be Tim Howard’s last opportunity to bring World Cup glory to the United States.  The long time goalie of the United States team has had a successful career in the English Premier League, having played for Everton since 2007.  He has been the starter for the U.S. for many years now and has a history of playing through pain and injuries.  The U.S. is going to have to keep him healthy and hope he has a strong performance if they hope to beat teams like Germany and Portugal who are both loaded with talented forwards.

Player #2: Clint Dempsey- Forward/Attacking Midfield

Dempsey is another American who has had success playing in England’s prestigious Premier league.  He has played for Tottenham Hostpur, and Fulham, where he is the club’s highest premier league goal scorer of all time.  He has most recently been playing for the MLS team, the Seattle Sounders F.C. on loan.  Dempsey has been struggling as of late to score as many goals, but hopefully he can change that. I’m hoping he will lead the U.S. team and help them keep up with the other high powered offenses in their group.

Player #3: Michael Bradley – Midfielder

This world cup is Michael Bradley’s chance to establish himself as the face and leader of American soccer.  He will need to come up big and control the middle of the field if the U.S. hopes to compete.  Being the son of former team U.S.A. coach Bob Bradley, Michael has been involved with soccer at a competitive level his whole life. This World Cup is his opportunity to show the world that he should be recognized as one of the dominant midfielders in the game.

Player #4: Jozy Altidore – Forward

Along with Bradley, Jozy Altidore is part of the next generation of American Soccer players, working to establish the United States as a legitimate World Cup competitor.  Altidore is only 24 years old and has already proven to be a key player for Team USA in international matches.  Although he has been quiet as of late, on June 7th he scored two goals against a solid Nigerian team. Hopefully he can carry that momentum into the World Cup and provide team USA with some serious firepower.

Player #5: Julian Green – Midfield

Playing for the German powerhouse Bayern Munich, Julian Green has experience playing with – and against – the best players in the world.  The 19 year old superstar actually has dual citizenship in the United States and Germany – he was born in the United States to a German mother and American father, but moved to Germany at the age of two.  Lucky for America, he chose to represent the United States in the World Cup. Here’s hoping he makes Germany regret not being chosen!

Which players are you keeping your eyes on? Have you been following the World Cup?

Written by Guest Blogger, Jared B. of Vanderbilt University

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Father’s Day: Best Gifts For Dad!

Don’t forget, Father’s Day is June 15th!

Make it your mission this year to be the best son or daughter out there and get your dad the absolute coolest Father’s Day present. If you’ve been giving him the same tie (in a different color, of course) for the past few years, it’s time to switch it up. Check out these unique gifts that any dad would love to receive!

Vintage Wooden Golf Club iPhone 5 Dock

If your dad is into golf, he will love this clever iPhone charger.  Trust me, he will gladly use it at work and show it off to all his friends. Find it here!

Monogrammed Branding Iron

If your dad loves to BBQ, he will be ecstatic to receive his own customized branding iron. There is a good chance your dad will want to proudly display his initials, so get ready to eat steak for dinner for the next few weeks. Find it here!

Logoed Cufflinks

Few things make dads prouder than talking about their kids. Give yours the ultimate conversation starter with a pair of cufflinks with your college logo on them! Find this pair here (but check your campus bookstore too!).

Which item will you be picking up for Dad? Share your ideas with us!

Written by Guest Blogger, Kat P. of Elon University

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