Fighting the Flu: An Interview with Dr. Travis Stork

Dr. Travis Stork, a board-certified emergency medicine physician and Emmy®-nominated host of the successful talk show, The Doctorstook some time to chat with our guest blogger, Dan. Dan is currently a sophomore at Emerson College and had some questions for Dr. Stork about fighting the flu, especially while living on campus. Full posts →

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The New Term/Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide

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?

Carl and Pudding*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”.Daryl Sleeping*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.Watch Your Mouth*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.

Glen and Maggie*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.

Lizzie and Mika*Pro Tip: Plan ahead. If you have a long ride on the bus to class, leave early and study before if you have extra time. You can also try biking to class – it can’t hurt to get some exercise!

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.Bathrooms*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.”

So Much Laundry*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).Andrea and the Governor*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.

Maggie*Pro Tip: Be prepared. Make sure you have a few rotating fans for you and your roommate and (lots of) deodorant. It might even be time to try out that new ponytail ‘do or embrace your natural curls!

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.

Michonne*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

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

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

The Duo BinderWhat might be the coolest thing about this product is that is was designed by an actual college student! Kelly Harden, an intern for Noble from The University of Central Florida, designed this binder with her fellow college students in mind.  She came up with the idea at a company-wide brainstorming meeting. Employees were discussing unmet consumer needs and she emphasized something that was affecting her personally: organization. Kelly envisioned one “grab and go” system to keep all of the pieces together. As a college student who knew what it was like to feel overwhelmed and disorganized, she felt that there needed to be a better way to organize paperwork, syllabi, etc. It’s no surprise that her school experiences helped her focus on what students really need.

I would definitely recommend investing in a Duo Binder (or 5…). They are available at select Barnes & Noble College bookstores, so check with yours! Happy organizing!

Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers University

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College Move-In Day Essentials

Between the packing lists, the checklists, the textbook lists…you probably feel like it’s impossible to forget anything you might need for your freshman year. But then, move-in day comes along and you’re left wishing you had a few extra things with you! To prevent this from happening you, we made a list of things to help you avoid those feelings of “I wish I brought that…” on move-in day!

Item #1: Tape Measure – Most freshman dorms tend to be on the smaller side. Therefore, it is key to have the perfect furniture arrangement. An easy way to do this without wasting time and energy on moving desks and beds all over is to bring a tape measure! Simply measure the item you plan on moving and see if that length fits in the spot you want it…before you haul it across the room.

Item #2: Handtruck – Moving in as a freshman, I guarantee your car will be filled to the top with all of your college stuff. To avoid making one hundred trips back and forth to your car (not to mention avoid any potential back pain the next day), invest in a handtruck! With these, you can pile up heavy boxes and crates and easily wheel them to your dorm room. Plus, most handtrucks will fold up so you won’t have to worry about sacrificing any room in the car. These work very well with mini-fridges and other heavy appliances.

Item #3: Mini fan – No matter how high the air conditioning is on in your dorm (if there IS air conditioning), it is going to be hot! With everyone moving in at once, the hallway becomes very hectic with people moving things in left and right. To stay cool amidst the craziness, I recommend bringing a mini fan that you can simply pull out anytime you need a wave of cold air.

Move In Day EssentialsGeneral Tips:

  1. Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers! You are going to be moving boxes and other college supplies, not going to a fashion show. Your feet will thank you later.
  2. Bring water! Trust me, you will need to stay hydrated. Keep some water on hand to stay cool.
  3. Know where you packed scissors! Chances are you are going to need to open things once you arrive. It will save you time and stress if you can easily access them!
  4. Label everything! Someone else will probably have the same plastic drawers or lamp as you. To avoid any confusion, label all your things with your name and dorm room/number. Also if anything gets lost, they will know where to find you!
  5. Breathe! You will have all year to make sure everything in your room is just right. There is no need to stress over little things or get upset if you don’t like how something is arranged, you can always move it!

Written by Kat P. of Elon 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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5 Questions to Help Your New College Student Map Out the First Several Months at School

Leaving for college doesn’t just affect students, it affects parents as well! Below, we’ve got some exclusive content just for parents from Harlan Cohen’s book, The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only.

Mapping out a path or a plan for your soon-to-be college student can really set them up for success.  Spend some time with your son or daughter and ask the following questions.  These questions will help focus on creating BIG, but also realistic expectations, will create a timeline to reach these expectations, and will create options. Options are important. A student with options (and lots of places to find connections on campus) will make smarter, better, and safer decisions.

1. What would be your perfect first year in college (topics to discuss include friends, academics, visits home, social life, activities, and experiences outside the classroom)? This question is about creating expectations. Without expectations one lacks direction. You don’t want your child to just wait for it all to happen.

2. How do you plan on making this happen? Without a plan, it’s hard to turn expectations into reality. If your child hasn’t thought about this yet, be patient. Make it clear that you want him or her to get involved outside the classroom.  Try to get your son or daughter thinking about the activities, organizations, and opportunities available on campus.

3. Who are some people on campus who can help you make this happen? Suggest your child identify five people he or she can turn to for advice and help along the way (students on campus, friends, family, professionals, etc.).  Your child needs support and help when you’re not there.

4. How much time are you going to give yourself to make it all happen? It doesn’t usually happen in one week, one month, or even one year. It can take time. You need to be patient and your child needs to be patient. Too many times students are in a big hurry to reach big goals and get disappointed if it all doesn’t happen right away. Plant the seed that it can take a couple of years—not a couple of weeks or months—to make it happen.

5. What can I (we) do to help support you to make it happen?
Asking what you can do sends a message that you are willing to help, but more importantly, that you don’t assume your child needs your help. There’s nothing wrong with coaching him or her, but your student needs to be the one to make it all happen.

A Happy Way to End the Conversation: If you don’t already do this, it’s nice to be reminded that no matter what happens during this experience, you will always be there for your child. Telling, showing, and sending lots of care packages (students love care packages!) will help remind your child that you love him or her and will be there no matter what.

To learn more or to purchase Harlan Cohen’s book, click here.
To sign up for Harlan Cohen’s Free Mini-Course, 5 Simple Rules for College Parents, click here.

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Roommate Do’s and Don’ts

With college acceptance letters rolling in and freshman year looming on the horizon, we know that high school seniors have a lot on their minds. Adjusting to campus can be an overwhelming feat but, with the right attitude and right advice, it can also be a lot of fun.

A few weeks ago, we posted our How To Be A Darn Good Roommate blog with three major tips for getting along with your new freshman roommate. This week we’re back with more Do’s and Don’ts from our friends at Seventeen Magazine.

Get more tips and tricks from the Seventeen Ultimate Guide to College: Everything You Need to Know to Step Onto Campus and Own It, Running Press 2014! Find more information or purchase it here.

Roommate Do and Dont

What advice do you have?

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Attention (Soon-To-Be) Graduates: How to Wear a Cap & Gown

Graduation is coming up faster than you know it and despite how simple it may seem, wearing a cap and gown correctly can be confusing. Whether you’re receiving your Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree, we have your recipe for success! Watch the video or follow the steps below to look your best on graduation day.

BACHELORS

1. PRE-USE – Remove gown from plastic bag and place on a hanger to drop out any wrinkles. Use a cool iron or steamer if necessary, but DO NOT wash or dry clean
2. GOWN – Wear with zipper in front. Sleeves should fall below the elbow and above the palm of the hand, bottom should fall below the knees and above the ankles.
3. CAP – Front of cap is indicated by the crown. Crown should rest about 1 inch above eyebrows and the top of the cap should be level to the ground.
4. TASSEL – Starts on right side, moves to left after graduation

 

MASTERS

1. PRE-USE – Remove gown from plastic bag and place on a hanger to drop out any wrinkles. Use a cool iron or steamer if necessary, but DO NOT wash or dry clean.
2. GOWN – Wear with zipper in front. Hands fit through wrist openings and back of sleeves should hang down at the bottom. Sleeves should fall below the elbow and above the palm of the hand and the bottom should fall below the knees and above the ankles.
3. HOOD – Place hood over neck so it hangs down your back. Decorated portion should be displayed. Fasten cord (in front of hood) to shirt or dress to keep in place.
4. CAP – Front of cap is indicated by the crown. Crown should rest about 1 inch above eyebrows. Top of the cap should be level to the ground.
5. TASSEL – Will depend on your school’s tradition, so make sure you find out.

 

DOCTORAL

1. PRE-USE – Remove gown from plastic bag and place on a hanger to drop out any wrinkles. Use a cool iron or steamer if necessary, but DO NOT wash or dry clean.
2. GOWN – Wear with zipper in front. Will typically have bell sleeves and velvet panels. Sleeves should fall below the elbow and above the palm of the hand and the bottom should fall below the knees and above the ankles,
3. HOOD – Place hood over neck so it hangs down your back. The decorated portion should be displayed. Fasten cord (in front of hood) to shirt or dress to keep in place.
4. CAP – Front of cap is indicated by the crown. Crown should rest about 1 inch above eyebrows. Top of the cap should be level to the ground.
5. TASSEL – Will depend on your school’s tradition.

A lot more to it than you thought, huh? I hope these steps make your graduation day just a little bit less stressful. After all, it’s supposed to be a celebration! Congratulations and enjoy that very bright future that you’ve made for yourself – you earned it!!

Written by Blogger, Sandy Gomez

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How To Be A Darn Good Dorm Roommate

Living in close quarters with someone – friend or stranger – can become a toxic situation very quickly. By the end of your college career, you will have more than enough fill-in-the-blank roommate stories. Don’t let the memories of the best time of your life be clouded with negative thoughts about how your first roommate almost ruined your freshman year.

Try these 3 tricks for living harmoniously… or something like that:

1. LAY DOWN THE LAW – And yes, I do mean a roommate agreement. You don’t need to take it as far as a signed contract – but be sure to cover all the matters that are important to you and your happiness for the school year. Here’s a few that I find to be particularly significant:

  • CLEANING – Make a schedule AND keep on top of it. Choose a day of the week to wipe down the desks, take out the garbage, and get those dust bunnies out from under the bed (they aren’t as cute as they sound).
  • SHARING – Be sure to establish what’s on or off limits. If you’ve had issues sharing since Jimmy popped the eyeball out of your Furby in the 4th grade, be honest about it. But you also can’t expect to be able to borrow new roomie’s things as you please. A good, general rule of thumb here is to ask BEFORE borrowing. Sorry Suzy, you can wear my new Michael Kors leather jacket the day Ryan Gosling gets down on one knee and proposes to me (so, to be clear, we’re looking at an estimated 2-3 years here).
  • GUESTS – This is a BIG one! Set up the rules around friends hanging out during the week (compare your class/work schedules), as well as finding common ground on overnight guests. If you or your roommate has a significant other, this is particularly vital to discuss early on. Look at the situation carefully from both perspectives. It’s not uncommon or unreasonable to say couple sleepovers make you uncomfortable – just make sure you have an appropriate delivery. “IHATEYOURUGLYBOYFRIEND!” rarely ever works out nicely.
  • QUIET TIME – Go over your school and extracurricular schedules and come to an agreement about quiet time – this covers both studying and sleeping. There are few things more annoying than being woken up at 3am the morning of an exam by your roommate turning on the lights, slamming drawers, and mumbling about their missing mac and cheese. That being said, if you need to study for a rescheduled Saturday exam and your roommate has friends coming over, there’s always the library and student center if you need another quiet space to study. During finals week, re-visit the schedule and make changes as you both see fit. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s what works for you and your roomie.

2. MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER – Whether your new roommate is a friend, acquaintance, or stranger, it’s important to set time aside for just the two of you.

  • COMMON GROUND – Get to know each other. What do you have in common? Come up with something that you both enjoy doing. This could be anything from working out, to watching The Walking Dead, to making music together. If you literally HATE everything that Brian loves, go to the dining hall and have a meal together once or twice a week. Bonding with your roommate can do wonders for your relationship, and it gives you both an open forum to discuss any issues you’ve had that week, or the opportunity to ask if it’s okay that your brother comes to stay next Friday night.

3. BE RESPECTFUL – You’d be amazed how big of a difference the “little things” make. Always keep in mind how it would feel to be in your roommate’s shoes, or how you would like to be treated if the situation were reversed.

  • BE TIDY – Being clean and being tidy are vastly different. That being said – don’t be a slob! Keep your things on your side of the room/closet and put them away when you’re finished. This will not only keep your roomie happy, it will also keep you organized. No more meltdowns because you lost your lucky headband. No sir.
  • TAKE GOOD CARE OF HIS/HER POSSESSIONS – If you borrow something of your roommate’s (after you’ve asked permission, of course), treat it as your own and be sure to promptly return it. If it’s clothing, wash it. If it’s a book, put it on his/her desk. If it’s cookies, replace them. If it’s a tissue… they probably don’t want it back. But buy a new box if you finish them off.
  • KEEP PRIVATE MATTERS PRIVATE – Undoubtedly, you will learn more information about your roommate than you ever wished to know. It is imperative that you keep these things to yourself in order to keep a healthy relationship with said roomie. Whether the matter is embarrassing, upsetting, or downright disturbing, they clearly do not want the world to know. Not everything is for you to judge or understand. If it gets back to your roommate that you spread the word about their chronic feet-sweat, the rest of the year probably isn’t going to be pretty. Not to mention, all of your dirty laundry is just minutes away from blasting off into the Twittersphere.
  • COMMUNICATE & COMPROMISE – If there’s one thing you take from this post, have it be this: When you have an issue with your roommate, go straight to him/her. As a non-confrontational person, I understand not wanting to rock the boat – but at what expense? If you have a problem with something that your roommate is doing, simply, but nicely, ask them to stop. If the situation is more complex than that, give some options that require you to meet in the middle. If she can’t sleep without the TV on, but you can’t sleep with it on – you have a number of choices. You could try ear plugs and a sleep mask, she could try sleeping with her laptop and headphones, or you could both put together a calming music playlist to fall asleep to. Or maybe you could put on the Golf Channel and bore yourself into a coma. Who knows? The real lesson here: there’s always a good compromise.

Make the most of your college experience by keeping a strong roommate relationship. Use these rules for a guideline and find what works for you and your roomie!

How do you and you roommate get along? Anything to add to the list? Let us know! Find even MORE tips here.

Written by Guest Blogger, Sandy Gomez

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College Care Packages

Whether you’re already back on campus or getting ready to head to college for the first time, sending (and receiving) care packages to friends at other schools can be a fun way to keep in touch. Not sure where to start? Here are some great snack ideas that your friends will definitely appreciate:

  • Bottled water
  • Candy bars
  • Gum
  • Canned soups
  • Cereal and oatmeal
  • Granola bars
  • Chips
  • Brownie mix
  • Rice crispy treats
  • Homemade cookies
  • Ramen noodles
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels or party mix
  • Protein bars
  • Tea or lemonade mix

For Health and Hygiene care package ideas click here!

Please let us know your favorite items you always ask for in your care package!

Written by Guest Blogger, Myles Marcus

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