Dealing with Specialty Diets and Food Allergies in College

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When it comes to campus life and trying to balance classes, homework, and an attempt at a social life, what you can eat is often the last thing on your mind.  But if you’re someone who suffers from food allergies or is on a restricted diet, figuring out what you can eat and actually getting your hands on it should totally take priority.  After all, how can you manage everything else if you’re starving or in serious stomach pain?

What if you are trying out the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle? How about a gluten intolerance? Cafeterias aren’t known for being the most friendly to restrictive diets, although they are getting better.

Without further ado, here are our top three tips for dealing with specialty diets and diet restrictions on campus.

TIP #1 – DO YOUR RESEARCH

Step number one is definitely to break out your laptop and do some research on restaurants, cafes, and shops around your campus.  Even your school cafeteria may have some info or reviews online!  There are plenty of specialty websites out there that you can hit up for info depending on your diet or your dietary restrictions. 

If you can’t find any information online, you can always hit up the restaurant itself and ask for clarification on what you can eat.  Knowing where and what you can eat ahead of time will help you feel comfortable and confident when you head out, freeing up your mind to worry about other things instead (like that paper due tomorrow morning you haven’t started yet).

TIP #2 – ASK AROUND

If you can’t find the info you need browsing online, you can totally ask around to figure it out.  Ask your classmates, roommates, professors, anyone.  Someone you know may have the insight that you need to figure out where and what you can eat on campus.

Another great resource would definitely be the staff of your on-campus eateries.  If you’re not sure what you can have, ask to speak to the manager or one of the chefs to get their insight and opinions.  They will be able to provide you with an honest answer on what you can eat and may be able to even incorporate some of your food suggestions into the menu, too! 

TIP #3 – HIT UP THE GROCERY STORE

As always, one of the easiest ways to make sure that what you’re eating fits with your specialty diet or restrictions it to just make it yourself.  If you’re living in an apartment on campus with a kitchen or have access to one, whipping something up for yourself to eat that you know is within your restrictions is totally the safest thing to do.

If you don’t have access to a kitchen or really have the time to cook for yourself, pick up some healthy snacks to stash in your room and bags for when you’re in desperate need of a pick-me-up.  That way, you have something you can eat if you need to in a pinch, like an unexpected late night study session or night out on campus.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Remember, if you have dietary restrictions you can still totally eat on campus.  Just make sure to do your research, ask around if you need help, and hit up the grocery store if you need to for snacks and other goodies.  All of this can absolutely help you feel more comfortable and less stressed on campus!

I Hate My Roommate!

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Roommate playing video games

Maybe you were expecting it, or maybe not. The roommate seemed like such a nice person on move-in day…! They say you never truly know someone until you live with them. There is no harsher reality then moving into your freshman dorm with a complete stranger. You can hit the lottery and find your best friend, or it can seem like a living hell.

Schools use a very flawed system  to make the best matches possible. Information provided on student housing questionnaires just scratches the surface of what it will really be like living with someone. But inevitably — rules will be broken, limits stretched and established habits discarded. Some personalities just don’t click even when everything looks good on paper.

It’s a life lesson.

An annoying roommate can be the first time that young adults have to deal with conflicts that cannot be immediately changed. In the past, if conflict arose, our room at home may have been a safe space where you could get away from everyone for a while. However, with a troublesome roommate this is no longer the case where the small dorm rooms provide little privacy and personal space.

Here are our top 5 roommate conflict tips:

  1. Remember this is a time of transition and adjustment for both of you. Things may work themselves out, if you give it the chance to do so.
  2. Examine your own expectations. Focus on the positive aspects of the situation. This isn’t forever — next year you’ll have more choice and control about where you live and who you live with.
  3. If an issue comes up with your roommate, try to open up a dialogue that can lead to resolution. You may both need to budge a bit. Compromise is a great skill to learn.
  4. Establish clear boundaries in terms of your space and your stuff. It’s a good rule not to share clothing and expensive items.
  5. Get to know your RA (Resident Advisor). They are there to help mediate conflicts and keep the residence hall running smoothly and it will be easier for your RA to support you if you have a friendly relationship.

Ongoing interpersonal conflict in what’s supposed to be a “safe space” can wreak havoc on your academic and personal life. If your roommate situation becomes hostile or causes emotional or physical problems, it may be time to request a new roommate or explore the possibility of a single room.

The good news about roommates

Even with bumps along the way, most roommate relationships are successful or at least tolerable. Stress and drama will be minimized if both parties are willing to communicate and respect one another. The hated roomie may become a dear, lifelong friend after both have grown up a bit during the challenging early months of college.

Freshman Year is a Time to Reinvent Yourself

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College Freshman

Freshman year of college is like being given a blank slate or a free pass. No one knows who you are or about how you embarrassed yourself that one time in second grade. You’re given a second chance, of sorts, to be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Sound great? It is! Here’s how you can reinvent yourself during your freshman year of college.

Start Journaling or Visioning

Part of being confident is having a sense of self. That’s not easy to restart once you’re eighteen or older. But one way you can prepare is by journaling or visioning who your perfect person is. Maybe she’s smart and sweet, or perhaps he’s funny and outgoing. Whatever it is, start jotting it down.

Not a writer? No problem. Vision boards are the perfect way to see it all on paper without having to put it into words. Grab some magazines or a printer and cut out words, phrases, quotes, images, graphics, etc. that inspire you or remind you of where you want to be. Lay it out in a way that resembles a roadmap for your next year.

Stay Realistic

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be your new self. You’ll fall back into bad habits, especially if it’s a trait that’s been ingrained in your mind. Very few people decide to be athletic and then go running every morning. You’re not a light switch.

Instead, make incremental changes. And then, reward yourself for when you do well. For example, if you’re trying to be more personable or social, treat yourself to something nice when you make an effort to meet new people or go to an event. Those little rewards pay off.

Change the Outside With the Inside

No, we’re not talking about your looks. We’re talking about the clothes you wear, the look of your bedroom, or the way you rock your makeup. All these little outward things do have an effect on the inside.

When you wear a pair of killer heels, how do you feel? What about when you stay at a luxury hotel room? In both cases, your inside probably feels similar to a rock star. That’s because the setting matters. Surround yourself with things that make you feel like a new person, and you’ll become that new self.

Embrace Your Best Self

Reinventing your total self is probably not going to happen. And plus, you don’t want to lose what truly makes you happy. So decide what you can and can’t get rid of. Instead, find a way to work it into your new personality.

You love playing video games but want to make friends outside that space? Great! Don’t throw out your system yet. Use that love of video games to start a club or make events for other gamers. Teach your new roommates how to play or volunteer with kids and teens.

Remain Positive

We have already mentioned that it takes time to create a new persona. The wait can be the hardest part of your transformation. But, no matter what, you need to keep a positive, forward-thinking attitude.

It won’t be easy, and your change may not be as simple as you think, but if you remain in the right headspace, you can reinvent yourself in time for your freshman year.

How to Stay in Touch with College Friends Over the Summer

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college friends hanging out over the summer

Whether you’re going into your first summer break as a college student or are in graduate school, leaving behind the relationships, you spent all year making can be dramatic. But there are ways to take the sting out of the separation. Here’s how you can stay in touch and maintain your college friendships even with thousands of miles between you.

Get a Group Chat Going

If you haven’t already, you need to get your gang on the same page. Group chats through apps like GroupMe, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. are great ways to stay connected when apart — especially if your inner circle has more than a few people involved. Plus, it keeps everyone in the loop without any hurt feelings.

Don’t like the option of chatting? You could always start a private social media group, like one on Facebook. There, share your summer stories, arrange events, or seek out encouragement. The best part is that these groups can be private so what happens over the summer stays in your summer friendship group.

Do a Vacay Swap

Got the money and the time? Why not spend your summer vacation visiting the homes of your friends? This is a great move if your clique is scattered around the country or living their best life in some exotic place. Take out a map, plan a course, and hit the road. It might be the best vacation you ever take.

Send a Care Package

While we like to think of summer as total relaxation — we all know it’s often not. Summer can be stressful with getting back into the swing of things with parents or having to work full-time to afford rent. Your friend may even be stuck taking courses back at school while you’re back at home. If this is the case, be a good friend and send them a package that shows you care. Include items you love, like your favorite drink or a handmade card, and throw in a note on how awesome they are.

Share a Little Love from Home

Speaking of care packages… don’t forget to throw in some mementos from your summer. You can bond without him or her there by your side when you ship them that awesome candy from the sweet shop by your home or that hat from the baseball game you went to. It’s almost like having them with you, and, if anything, it tells your friend that you’re thinking of them even when you’re hours away.

Keep Your Routines

We know we’re going to miss our TV show marathons or our Netflix nights in. But being apart doesn’t mean we have to give all that up! With Skype, we can keep these routines all summer long. Pick a date that works for your friend(s) and share the TV. Press play at the same time and prepare to enjoy a night together.

If your routine is working out with your buddies, stay accountable by using fitness apps to track your habits. You can compete on who runs the longest or who racks up the most miles on the elliptical.

Get Pumped for the Fall Countdown

Of course, the best way to bond with your college friends is to gear up for the school year. If you’re roomies, start planning your next bedrooms by coordinating decor. If you’re in the same academic programs, work on making your fall schedule lineup so you’ll have plenty of time to hang.  And don’t forget to countdown! It’s only a few more months until you’ll be together again.

Moving Out or Living at Home After Graduation

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Happiness on the day of graduation

Don’t freak out, but graduation is only a month away for most of us. There’s so much to think about from making sure we’re still on track academically to starting to send out our first real resumes. But where we need to put our focus is on one major decision: where we’re going to live post graduation. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of moving out or moving home, as well as key points you should consider so that you can make your choice without all the drama or stress.

Moving Home: Cons

Not many of us are excited to go home after graduating college. For most, it feels like a downgrade, and for others, there are worries about losing independence or dealing with nosy or demanding parents. Moving home may also limit your career choices if you’re going to a small town or where your new job isn’t realistic.

Moving Home: Pros

Moving home has its upsides, especially when it comes to finances. Student loans can hit hard, and having a year or two to have little (or no) living expenses can mean making a significant dent in your debts. Living at home also gives you time to rethink your next moves. This is especially beneficial for those who may need to go back to school for their next degree before starting work.

Lounging on the living room couch

How to Make Moving Home Work

The biggest concern is your new parent-landlords, and that means communication is key. Before agreeing to move back, make sure you understand what they expect from you regarding rent, bills, groceries, rules, etc. Rules, especially, are important to go through in case there are some ultimatums you can’t get behind. Guests and curfews, for example, can be a sore spot. But if you talk your concerns through and maybe even get the deal in writing before moving back to your old bedroom, living at home could work for you.

Moving Out: Cons

Moving out is the ultimate dream, but that dream can come with a cost. For those living on their own for the first time, be sure you understand that rent isn’t the only thing you’re going to pay each month. There’s utilities, insurance, parking, and home expenses. Even monthly toilet paper can add up over time, and be responsible for chores like lawn care or shovel your driveway can be a major burden when you’re balancing a new job and social life.

First apartment home with decorations

Moving Out: Pros

Moving out on your own means freedom. Your space signals that you’re a full-fledged adult ready to make your moves. You’ll get to dictate your space and your rules for maybe the first time. But what makes moving out ideal for college students is that it opens up a ton of doors regarding location. When you’re free to choose where you want to live, you can explore and grow in new towns or cities.

How to Make It Work

The first thing you need to do is sit down and make a budget. Ask for your parents’ help in estimating expenses in your ideal location and then see if it will work with your projected starting salary. If your pay won’t cover it all or if it’s tight when you add in any estimated student loan payments, you may be able to make still it happen if you sacrifice on space (such as downgrading to a studio or living outside a city) or taking on a paying roommate. With a little careful creativity and frugality, moving out on your post-graduation can be a possibility.

April Fools Jokes to Play on Your Friends

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Clown preparing for a performance

Hey pranksters — the best day of the year is here! April Fools is the celebration of all things pranks and jokes, and we can’t be more pumped for it. This year, we’re going all out by targeting our friends and roommates. Here’s our list of the best jokes for college students. Have fun watching their faces…

The Sweet Switcheroo

This year, April Fools timed up with Easter giving you plenty of opportunities for some great mischief. “Gift” your friends chocolate eggs with grapes inside instead. Fill Oreo cookies with mayo instead of frosting. Frost a balloon and have your friend “cut into it.”

The Beauty Blunder

Like the Switcheroo, there’s a lot of pranks out there about soap and shampoo. Our favorite is painting a bar of soap with clear nail polish and listen as your frustrated friend can’t lather up. But outside of shower items, you can add flour to a hairdryer or offer to share a new facemask you swear by that’s really kid’s slime.

The Fake Out

What’s every college student’s worst nightmare? A failed paper. Set up an email account with an address similar to a professor’s. Send a stern email to your friend about how disappointed you are and how they need to redo the paper all over again. Send back the assignment with a big note that says, “APRIL FOOLS.”

The Fake Out 2

What’s the next best fake? A good parking ticket. Every driver dreads getting hit with a huge fine for something silly like “parking like a jerk” or “parking on the seventh Tuesday of the 13th month.” Do a google search for fake tickets to print out and enjoy as they rant and rave about unfair parking rules!

The Traps

College students are excellent at trapping their roommates and friends inside their dorm. I’ve seen students saran wrap doorways for unexpecting friends running late for a study group. There’s also the popular post-it everywhere method. But our hands-down favorite is placing cups full of small amounts of water all over the floor from their bed to the doorway. It’s worth it to see them try to get out without spilling.

The Freeze (Or Jell-O) Out

It’s relatively easy to inconvenience someone! We love freezing their keys in a bowl of water or wrapping their school supplies in saran wrap and then placing in Jell-O mix. Leave your roommate with a dull knife or a chisel. You don’t want to be too mean…

 The Scare Prank

Sometimes the best pranks are the ones that get your heart racing. There are few easy ones you can do that won’t induce heart attacks but will get a scream out of your unsuspecting friend. Try tapping a celebrity’s scary face to their ceiling when they wake up or to their window when they pull up their blind. Add a fog horn to their chair. Tape balloons to the side of the door where the hinges are. And if you really want to get them good, send them a bill for their student loans!

That’s a list of some of our favorite April Fools jokes. Let us know your favorites and if you were successful!

Planning for The Fall Semester – How to Set Yourself Up for Success

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College Campus on a Sunny Fall Day

You probably think we’re crazy for thinking of the Fall semester this early in the year but being prepared for the next term is never a bad thing. In fact, we think getting yourself set up now is the best way to success. Want to know how we’re getting it done? Here are our top 7 to-do items for planning for the fall semester.

See an Advisor Before Registering

The biggest mistake most college students make is not checking in with an advisor before selecting courses. Why is this so costly? Well, your advisor is the one who can make sure you’re on track to graduate, review your course history, and advise you on which classes meet your goals. Without them, you could make some costly and timely mistakes that will derail your Fall semester.

Register On Schedule

In college, you won’t be reminded to do something a hundred times. It’s up to you stay on schedule and remember important deadlines. The one you def don’t want to forget is when registration is open to you. For larger schools, missing your priority registration period could mean losing out on a seat in a class. For smaller schools, you might get bumped into an undesirable course or with a professor you dislike.

Check Out the Syllabus

Many universities now post their classes syllabi online for prospective students and those looking to register. Having a syllabus in hand can help you better anticipate what’s in store. For example, if a class you want to enroll in has a massive group project due at the end of the term, you may not want to sign up for a club that is going to require a lot of commitment.

College Textbooks

Buy the Books in Advance

Buying early saves you cash on textbooks, especially when you purchase in the late spring or early summer. But you’ll also get to read through the material at your own pace, and that can help you process the information better than late night cram sessions the day before class.

Test Try the Course

If you’re terrified of your Calc class or aren’t sure if you’ll dig Art History, why not try it out now? Colleges often have free access to online courses through services like Udemy or Coursera. With no commitment necessary, you can sign in to browse the modules or watch a lecture. You’ll feel more confident in the courses you’re signing up for, and you may just get ahead on the learning objectives.

Review Your Mistakes

Every school year requires a day of reflection where you think back on everything that went right and went wrong. Make a column for each and jot down everything you can imagine. Grab your grades and review. Do you see patterns? Were you stressed out in the winter near the holidays? Did you skip a ton of classes after your breakup? By laying it out there, you can pinpoint where your strengths and weaknesses are and then improve on it next Fall.

Organized School Supplies

Get Organized Early

When we’re school shopping, we often forget the little (but super important) details like extra flash cards or post-it notes. Make a pretend shopping list now of the things you use the most. Then, start stockpiling. You can get great deals on 2018-2019 planners, for example. And school supplies are always cheapest the further out from the Fall you buy them!

With plenty of time left to get organized, review over your mistakes, and preview your courses, you can guarantee a win come your Fall semester!

How To Stay On Track With Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Journal writing can help you achieve your goals

We’re now about three weeks into the new year. Hard to believe right? It feels like yesterday since we made our New Year’s resolutions. And while we’ve struggled here and there, we’ve managed to keep up with our goals. Want to know how? Here are our top seven tips on how to keep and conquer a New Year’s resolution!

      1) Revisit Frequently

Yeah, it’s great you want to lose weight or be better with money, but how are you working towards it today? We’ve found that by making check-in points weekly and monthly, we’ve been able to stay on track and make small progress towards the big goal. This also helps break down the process so you’ve always got a map of where you need to go.

      2) Write It Down

Vision boards are kind of our thing. We need to visualize what we want in order to make it happen. We’re also big believers in writing it down everywhere. Put your goal in your planner, on your phone, hanging above your bed, on your whiteboard, etc. If you see that spot, write your resolution there.

      3) Make a Friend

Never underestimate the power of an accountability partner. They’re the ones that make us take a second look at that donut or get up at 6 AM for a morning jog around campus. Knowing that they’re in it with us makes us feel like there’s someone looking out for our goals.

Celebrating your successes is key to fulfillment

      4) Celebrate Along the Way

It could be that you got a C- on that challenging exam or that you called your mom for the third week in a row. Whatever your milestones are, make sure you are celebrating it. However, avoid celebrating with something you’re avoiding. For example, if your resolution is to spend less money, don’t celebrate a spend-free weekend with a trip to the mall. That only derails the process.

      5) Cut Out Temptations and Negativity

Some resolutions are easier than others, and that’s probably because you’re not tempted to cheat or you don’t have detractors telling you that you can’t. If this is your life and your goals, feel free to kick the negatives to the curve. Cut up your credit cards, clear your calendar, avoid that friend that’s always a downer, or avoid walking past the smoker’s area on your way to class.

      6) Understand Your Triggers

If your goal is to stop doing something, then it’s powerful to know why you even started. Try journaling your feelings around your habits. Do you shop because you’re bored? Do you emotionally eat? Do you avoid calling your BFF when you’re stressed? Knowing what triggers you can keep you from falling backward.

     7) Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Resolutions aren’t supposed to be a life or death situation — so don’t freak if you miss a day or cheat here and there. Remember that your negative habit most likely didn’t begin overnight, and it won’t fix itself overnight either. Progress, the real and lasting kind, takes time and sometimes getting through setbacks to prove that you can do it.

New Year’s resolutions are more than small changes for the present. They are about establishing new habits and changing your lifestyle that can benefit you positively for years to come. Think of it as a journey. Follow some of our favorite tips for keeping us on track and let us know your favorites!

Winter Themed Desserts to Make in Your Dorm Room

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Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up in your comfy dorm room getting cozy with some delicious sweets. From chocolate and berries to whipped cream and powdered sugar, there are plenty of winter desserts to indulge in. But the best part is that most of these don’t require an oven and are so easy that you could make it in your dorm room! Here are our top picks for winter-themed desserts.

Cookie-in-a-Mug

Party for one? No problem. You can make a delicious single cookie that goes great with a scoop of ice cream or a cop of hot chocolate. You’ll love it because you only need a mug and a microwave to make it happen.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1½ tbsp. sugar
    • ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp. flour
  • Directions:
    • Spray mug with cooking spray.
    • Melt butter in mug for 30 seconds to soften
    • Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Microwave for intervals of about 20 seconds until cookie has risen and is done.
    • Top with sprinkles, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, etc.

Chocolate chip cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

A favorite from childhood, no-bake cookies are perfect for those who are die-hard chocolate fans. These cookies give you a burst of energy and make a good breakfast treat. This recipe makes a dozen.

  • Ingredients:
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1½ tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
    • 2 tbsp. milk
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • ¼ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
    • 1 cup quick oats
  • Directions:
    • In a larger-sized microwave bowl, add sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter. Microwave for about one minute or until bubbling. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
    • Stir in the rest of the ingredients one at a time.
    • Drop spoonfuls on a plate and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Best served cold.

Puppy Chow

Another childhood favorite, puppy chow is a favorite guilty pleasure. It’s such a mess to clean up, but it’s worth it for its chocolate-peanut butter goodness. Your friends will want a bag each.

  • Ingredients:
    • 3 cups rice squares cereal
    • 3 tbsp. peanut butter
    • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Directions:
    • In a microwave-friendly bowl, melt chocolate at intervals of ten seconds (stirring each time you take out).
    • Add peanut butter and microwave for two-30 second intervals, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Add cereal and mix. Pour into a plastic bag and then add powdered sugar. Shake bag until evenly distributed.

Banana Pudding Jar

We always found banana pudding to be uber-sophisticated, especially when done up all fancy in a tall, glass dish. But did you know you could make expensive-tasting banana pudding in a jar with only a few ingredients and a mason jar (or regular bowl)? Seriously!

  • Ingredients:
    • Vanilla wafer cookies
    • 1-2 bananas, sliced
    • 1 packet of banana or vanilla pudding, prepared (or use 2-3 cups of pre-made banana pudding)
  • Directions:
    • Line bottom of your bowl or jar with vanilla wafer cookies as a base.
    • Make another layer of bananas
    • Add prepared pudding on top and alternate with layers of sliced bananas and cookies until at the top.

fruit parfait dessert

Berry Good Fruit Parfait

Berries are all we want come wintertime. Thank goodness there are plenty of berry-themed recipes for us to enjoy. This recipe uses pre-made cake (think leftovers) and blends our favorite fruit and loads of whipped cream.

  • Ingredients:
    • Pre-made cake (including cheesecake) in small chunks
    • Variety of berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
    • Whipped cream
  • Directions:
    • Add a layer of cake chunks to bottom of jar or bowl.
    • Add a second layer of fruit and then top with whipped cream. Repeat until full.

These are just a few of our favorite desserts to make when we are stuck inside on a cold winter day. Make one of these (or all, we won’t tell!), binge your favorite Netflix series and let us know which one was your favorite!

Preparing for The Spring Semester

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University during the spring semester

We hate to do this, but we need to talk about how the spring semester is only a week or two away. Ugh. Reality bites, but it’s time to face it. We want this semester to be the best one yet, and that means being as prepared as we can be. Here’s the checklist we’ve made to ensure we’re going to rock our spring classes.

Grab Extra Supplies

We’ve got leftover pens and notebooks, but that’s not enough. We need to pick up the little things like notecards and highlighters so we’re not surprised when we run out mid-semester. No last minute runs to the office supplies store means less pressure and more time at peak studying mode.

Bookstore

Rent Your Books In Advance

We’re all about a good bargain, especially when it comes to expensive textbooks. That’s why it is critical that you reserve your textbooks way in advance from third-party sites like Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. Even your bookstore may run out of rentals if you wait until the last minute to get it done.

Change Out the Wardrobe

Clothes are just as important as supplies or books, but we continuously forget this step! Winter break is the time to replace your fall flannel and summer shorts with snow boots and thick cardigans. Come spring break, change it out again for your warm weather clothing. It will save you space and laundry back at your residence hall.

Review the Last Semester

Your grades for the fall semester should be in by now which means it’s time for a reckoning. Where did you struggle? Where weren’t you challenged? It’s time to do a realistic and honest intervention for yourself, especially if your grades weren’t pristine.

Tranquility of yoga alone on the mountains

Cut Out What Doesn’t Bring You Joy

We’re all about making this year the year of minimalism. That means taking the things that didn’t make us happy, smarter, or more productive last semester and cutting them out. It’s tough to say goodbye to a favorite club or activity, but if it’s not getting us to where we need to be, there’s no reason not to say goodbye before the spring semester begins.

Set SMART Goals

Was #4 too real for you? Then you probably need to rethink your semester goals. If you want to be more successful, try setting SMART Goals. SMART stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.” Every goal should be within your reach, as specific as possible, able to be reviewed at a particular time. For example, set a SMART Goal of getting a B in Chemistry 101 by midterms.

Read Through Your New Syllabi

Our biggest pet peeve is when a professor assigns a homework assignment while we’re still on break! But it happens, so we need to be prepared by making sure we’re not behind on the first day. Take ten minutes out of your days off to read through the syllabus, add due dates of papers and projects to your planner, and note any major exams that you’ll need to put some time aside for.

These are just a few of the things that we thought of that can help you get the spring semester off to a great start. Let us know if you have any other tips that you personally find helpful during those first few weeks!