What to Wear on Your Graduation Day

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Congratulations, you’re graduating!  A graduation ceremony is one of the most special occasions in a person’s life, marking the start of a new chapter while celebrating the achievements that led to that point.  Not only will you be in front of hundreds of classmates, family, friends, and faculty, but you will be snapped in countless pictures that will be looked back on for years to come.  That being said, it is extremely important to look your best so that you make a good impression and don’t have any regrets in the future.  Check out some of our tips of what to wear on your graduation day below!

Dress

When looking for what to wear under your gown, remember that being conservative is key.  Your graduation is not the place for short dresses, plunging necklines, and stilettos, so try to save them for celebrations being held later in the night.  Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise being stylish and trendy.  Try to find a happy medium between the two and choose a sophisticated dress that exemplifies professionalism, while also expressing your individual personality and sense of style.  Also, since graduation ceremonies are typically held in the springtime, you should opt for a light, sleeveless dress.  Those graduation gowns can get pretty toasty, so being prepared with a lightweight garment underneath can help you keep your cool throughout the day.

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Shoes

Being comfortable on your graduation day is an absolute must; you will be spending most of it standing, walking, and posing.  The last thing you need is a pair of shoes that don’t fit properly or are too high.  While dressy sandals and ballet flats are a reliable option, why not turn it up a notch with a comfortable wedge.  Adding a little lift to your look with help dress up your graduation gown and give you better posture in pictures.  Your shoes are the only things not being covered up, so make them worth the attention!  If you are ever stumped on what shoe to wear, just remember to stick to the three C’s: classy, cute, and comfortable.

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Accessories

For ceremonies being held outdoors, you’re most essential accessory is a pair of sunglasses.  Choose a pair that is classic and simple, and don’t forget to take them off for pictures.  Considering you’ll be wearing a oversized robe for a majority of the day, you should dress it up with some statement jewelry.  Be sure to not go over board.  Stick to one bold piece—either a chunky necklace, embellished earrings, or a stack of bracelets—and keep the rest of your jewelry simple.  Try to refrain from wearing anything that jingles when you move, as you will most likely be doing a lot of waving, hugging, and shaking hands all day.

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Of course, no outfit is complete without a smile! All your hard work finally paid off and now it’s time to celebrate you and your peers accomplishments, enjoy this special occasion and proudly display your diploma!

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How to Get your Feet Ready for Summer

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Getting summer-ready requires quite a bit of preparation.  The checklist usually includes things like buying new bathing suits, booking vacation spots, organizing your closet and clothes, and upping hours spent in the gym.  With all these things to think about, it is easy to forget two very important factors: our feet!  And after being stuffed into boots all winter long, summer time means walking around the pool barefoot, flaunting our bare feet in sandals, and digging our toes in sand.   Check out some easy ways to get your feet summer ready below!

At Home Pedicure

While we all know how relaxing it is to have someone cater to you hand and foot, getting your nails done on a regular basis can certainly take a chunk out of your monthly budget.  Why not use the money you would have spent for a new pair of strappy sandals and give your self a fabulous at home pedicure?

The first step (after removing your nail polish) is to soak your feet in lukewarm water.  Feel free to add any salts, soaps, or essential oils to your water to help moisturize your skin.   After about 30 minutes in the water, take one foot out and rub your rough patches with a pumice stone or a foot file to smooth out callouses Next step is to start clipping your nails straight across.  Avoid cutting into the corners, since that is a surefire way to form an ingrown toenail.  Once they are all cute, take a file to each nail and smooth out the edges.  You should never cut your cuticles, since they help keep germs away from your skin.

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Polish

Now that your feet have received the full spa treatment, it is time to add a pop of color to those nails!   While the classic bright colors like red and pink are always lovely options, why not chose something a little more out of the box.  This year shades like coral, turquoise, and lavender are hugely popular for toenail colors, and look great either alone or paired with another color.  Don’t forget to apply a base coat to prevent yellowing and a top coat to help your paint job last longer

Get Some Sandals!

After being cooped up in thick socks and bulky shoes all winter, our feet are practically begging to be exposed.  The best way to flaunt those perfect pedicured feet is with a trendy sandal.  This summer the classic flip-flop will be getting a bit of a make over by adding a heal and embellishments on the thong.  The gladiator sandal will be making another comeback this year, this time with heavy buckles and a chunky heal.  Make sure you have at least one pair of nude or black dressy, open-toed wedges that go with just about any outfit and are perfect for a night out on the town.

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Since the countdown until summer has already began, make sure you think ahead and get your feet ready to be shown off.  Put your best foot forward this year and have the best summer ever!

 

Images: 1, 2, 3

Emerald to Kiwi: Trends are ‘Going Green’

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Green showcases yellow’s sunniness and thoughtfulness with blue’s cool mellowness to create green, the soothing color we associate with nature, vitality and friendliness. This hue has been receiving recognition in recent years with specific shades like emerald and mint being trumpeted as hottest trends. If worn properly, it can add a refreshing touch to your look; if you find the right shade, it can actually detract from your overall appearance. Keep reading for practical tips!

Find the right green for your skin

Because green has both warm and cool undertones, almost anyone can pull off a shade of green. The trick is to find the right tint specifically for you. While this may come down to trial and error, be aware that most people look better in tones that lean towards blue rather than yellow. The latter runs the risk of making the wearer come across as jaundice and is often associated with illness.

Use it to spice up your features

Green eye shadow will make brown irises pop and, when mixed with warm metallic, will bring out the flecks of gold in green eyes. While floral crowns or green hair pins will look lovely in blond and brunette tresses, redheads will dazzle when they contrast their warmly colored curls against emerald accents. Of course, green can add a fun dash of color to any outfit with a green nail art.

Have fun with accessories

 

greentrends3Whether it is with pumps, statement-making necklaces, purses or belts, green can be both elegant and playful. For a feminine daytime look, pair it with blues, lilacs and off-whites. For a sharp nighttime attire, contrast it with blacks, corals and plums. Softer versions can be stylishly featured alongside silver, while gold will add attractive warmth to deeply rich shades.

Go for the unexpected

You can absolutely wear a green shirt, but why not be attention-grabbing by featuring it in somewhat unique ways? A green blazer will add an uplifting touch to a professional look; green skirts paired with a naturally colored blouse is a lesser seen look; or couple it with a bold pattern like leopard or zebra.

Bring green from the closet to the dorm room

Shop the look: www.ocm.com

Shop the look: www.ocm.com

Green will look equally appealingly in your dorm room as it will on you. OCM has plenty of dorm bedding options that incorporate green detailing, as well as floor area rugs that offer variations in tints and interesting patterns. Because of its naturally pleasing, relaxing nature, you can use it in large quantities without overpowering the senses, and it will pacify your nerves before stressful happenings like tests, interviews or more.

Image Credit: Polyvore

Accessories Image: www.LadyofStyle.com

Collage: www.ocm.com

How to Decorate with Polka Dots- OCM Style!

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It all began when photographs of Miss America of 1926, Norma Smallwood, showed the beauty posing joyfully in a polka-dot swimsuit.  After that, Walt Disney introduced the stylish animated mouse, Minnie, dressed in a polka dot red dress with matching hair bow, designer Christian Dior created collections around the print, and singers like Frank Sinatra and Bryan Hyland released hit songs about women wearing polka dots.  In 1940, the Los Angelos Times stated, “You can sign your fashion life away on the polka-dotted line, and you’ll never regret it.”  Even then, the fashion world knew that this playful and feminine pattern would be a constant force in seasonal trends—and, boy, were they right!

Since its first arrival on the scene in the late 1920’s, polka dots have undergone some slight modernization, but its youthful, energetic legacy is still intact.  Today, polka dots can be seen on the runways of high fashion shows, printed on cellphone and laptop cases, and in room and home décor.  Of course, the latter being our favorite category, below are some ways in which you can use polka dots to decorate your room.

In the Bathroom

Mimicking the shape of bubbles, the bathroom is a great place to incorporate polka dots.  While some people might prefer using the pattern as an accent detail, we think there is no reason to skimp on dots when it comes to the bathroom.  Just make sure each item you choose has the same color scheme to avoid making the room like a clown’s changing room. Some of our favorite bath items include this polka dot shower curtain and bath rug (which goes perfect with this Chrome Doodle trash can).

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Bedding

Why not make your bed the focal point in the room by covering it in polka dots?  Gone are the days where a bed simply consisted of one sheet, one comforter, and a pillow.  Now, a bed cannot be complete without some embellished throw pillows and decorative blankets, like this Hello Kitty blanket.  One take we recommend is for your bedding pieces to have a color scheme where two colors alternate between dot color and background color.  For instance, your pillows could have a scheme of white dots against black background, while your sheets could consist of black dots against a white background, and so on.

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Decor

Polka dots are the perfect pattern to help turn mundane room accessories into stylish attention grabbers.  Here at OCM, we have tons of polka dotted accessories to help organize the clutter in your room, and look great doing it. One of our favorites are these black and blue polka dot hangers.   A must-have is our Dry Erase Dots Wall Decals—write upcoming assignments or your favorite quotes and plop on the walls around your room. Either way, they’re the perfect way to complete your polka dot decorated room

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Incorporating polka dots into your dorm room will create a playful, feminine, and stylish atmosphere.  Since there is no real rule-of-thumb when it comes to how much polka dots is too many polka dots, you can use your discretion.  If you decide you want your room in floor to ceiling dots, just make sure they are the same color scheme and patterns range from cluttered dots, to more spread out.  And of course, always have fun when choosing to decorate your room with polka dots, since that is what the print exudes!

 

Student Starter Pak Giveaway!

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As the winter air gets colder, the urge to cuddle in comfort increases. For college students living on campus, that means bulking up the blankets and creating a warmer space in their residence halls. There’s practically no better way to re-stock your warm blankets than for free, right? Well now you can.

Our blogger friends over at www.scatteredmusings.com have put together a wonderful giveaway for both parents AND students to enter! The prize? One of our student favorite and parent approved Student Starter Paks. Everyone is eligible to enter and win.  All you have to do is head to their blog here  and enter your information. This Pak features

  • 2 extra-long fitted sheets
  • 2 extra-long flat sheets
  • 2 standard pillow cases
  • 1 extra-fluffy pillow
  • 1 extra-long reversible comforter
  • 1 extra-long quilted mattress pad
  • 2 all-cotton bath towels
  • 2 matching cotton hand towels
  • 2 matching cotton wash cloths
  • 1 extra-long thermal cotton blanket
  • 1 bedside buddy

The contest is running for another FOUR days so there’s plenty of time to get those entries in! Good luck!

MyIUP: New Student Web Portal

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Starting this September, IUP will integrate a new web portal for students, faculty, and staff. MyIUP creates one place where students can find everything they need for school with one single log on. The goals of this new application are to encompass all information students need in one place and to foster more open communication between students, faculty, and organizations. With all of the benefits, it will surely be a great asset to the campus community. Here are some of the highlights that makes MyIUP a great source for students.

First, the log in is really easy. All you need is your 4 letter computing username (the same 4 letters as your email address) and your password. Now you don’t need to enter your banner id for URSA or log in multiple times to D2L, Moddle, or Imail. All of your information is captured from logging on to MyIUP and you just click the link to on the home page and the application will open ready for you to get working.

The portal also has links to many sections of the IUP website that are useful to students. With MyIUP, you no longer need to post on every class facebook page to find out where you can park for free on the weekends or the schedule for Zink pool. Everything is organized into categories and sub categories, and all you have to do is click the link and you are directed right to the page of the IUP website. MyIUP is more detailed than URSA, and finding information is a breeze. I was browsing around clicking on links and I finally found the map for student parking I was unable to find before.

One of my favorite features of MyIUP is the personalized announcements. When you log on, there is an announcement section of the homepage that gives personalized messages based on the user’s class year, major, minor, and organizations. I like the increased communication between academic departments and the students. Also included in the announcements are messages from The Beak, the student email newsletter.

Right now, MyIUP is up for testing, and will be integrated into student life in September. The portal makes finding information really easy, which is extremely useful with the busy life of a college student. Also the connections to social media help the university keep in touch with students in the 21st century. I am really excited to see the full effects of this new application when classes start again in the fall.

MyIUP

Have No Fear, Even if College is Here!

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With the end of the summer approaching rapidly, the nerves are probably starting to set in for rising college freshman. I’m sure there are thousands of questions going through your head. For instance, who am I going to sit with in history? Are my classes going to be too hard for me? How am I going to find my way around this campus? While I’m sure there are many more to go along with these, it’s probably best to stop worrying because you’re just making yourself more nervous. Here are a few ways to calm the nerves and stop worrying:

1. You’re not the only one– Every person there is in the same boat as you. Nobody knows who they’re going to sit with in class, if classes are going to be too hard, or where everything is on campus. But I promise you that you’ll figure it out. Everybody else did before you and will continue to do so. You’ll figure things out quickly and before you know it, you’ll be a pro at navigating and taking classes.

2. Orientation is very helpful– As boring as some of it may be, it is extremely helpful to get a lot of your questions answered. I know I had a week of orientation, where I got to meet my adviser, learn my way around the campus, find out more about classes, and meet new people. Looking back on it now, I realize that once that week was over, I pretty much had everything I was concerned about figured out in only that week span of time.

3. Thinking about it makes it worse– We all have the tendancy to get ideas into our heads and then worry about them until they blow up into these huge ordeals that never actually happen. Something as simple as what if I can’t find my English class can develop into “I’m never going to find my class so I’m going to fail it and then it’s going to kill my GPA and I’ll never get into medical school.” When in reality all you have to do is ask somebody where the building is and they’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction. The less you worry about leaving home, the better off you’ll be.

4. It’s just another change in your life– You’ve probably gone through a number of changes in your life already. You’ve made new friends, found your way around new schools, and took difficult courses. College is just the next step and it’s nothing you haven’t been through before. If you think about it this way, you’ll soon realize that even though it is a big step in your life, it isn’t necessarily as big of a change as you would think.

5. Be excited!– College isn’t meant to be this nerve-racking experience that you may be feeling right now. It really has been the greatest experience I’ve ever had and I went into it confused, nervous, and overwhelmed. The people that you will meet and the friends you make are what make the experience so amazing and if you focus on that, you really have nothing to be nervous about. Anytime I would talk to somebody about going to college, they would always tell me that it was the best time of their life. After going through a year of it, I can completely understand why they would say that.

Being nervous about leaving your home, family, and friends is a completely rational feeling to have right now. However, don’t let it control you. I promise you that after a couple of weeks of adjustment, you’ll realize how silly some of the things that went through your mind were. Just go in with a positive attitude and you too will have the greatest time of your life.

So You’re Not Going to Your Top Choice? Now What?

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Hearing back from colleges is obviously one of the most frustrating processes to go through, especially in the competitive world that we live in today. After nearly a year of tours, information sessions, applications, guidance counselor meetings, and standardized testing, you finally get a letter from your top pick that hopefully reads something like, “Congratulations! I’m pleased to offer you admission into the Class of 2017!” However, I’m sure many of you have found out by now that it doesn’t always go your way. So now you’re stuck going to your second, third, or even your last choice school and you might still be unhappy. But guess what? You don’t have to be.

So why listen to me? I’ve been through it. I got rejected from my top choice in the early decision round of applicants and I know how much it sucks. Getting your hopes up and then having them crushed hurts, but it’s up to you to not let it keep you down. Now that you’ve found out where you’re going, you have to make the best of it if you haven’t accepted that already. So how do you do it? Here are some ways:

  1. Stay positive-It’s cliche and you’ve probably heard it before, but your attitude does make all the difference. If you go into it negative, then you’re going to try and find everything wrong with the situation, when you could be making the best of it. If you’re acting miserable, people won’t be as likely to go out and befriend you.
  2. You’re not the only one– Just look at the numbers. Schools don’t have a 100% acceptance rate. With the large number of people applying to a select few schools, you are bound to meet others in the same boat as you. So many of my friends, from home and college, were rejected from their top choice schools. If everybody that was rejected went in with a pessimistic attitude, college would be absolutely terrible.
  3. Remember why you applied to this school in the first place– You obviously chose it for a reason. Maybe it had a strong program in your field. Maybe it was in the city that you always dreamed of living in. Maybe it had the school spirit your high school lacked. Whatever the reason is, you didn’t just pick this school out of a hat. If you stay focused on the reasons why you applied, it will make your experience better.
  4. Join Teams/Clubs/Organizations/Greek Life– The easiest way to enjoy your time at school is to make friends. What easier way to do that than by joining a group of people who have a common interest? The more friends you make, the better college will be. If you like a particular sport, try and join that team! Every college has different levels of ability, so don’t feel discouraged if you’re not the best at it. If you want to rush, don’t let anything hold you back. It’s a good way to meet people and create a bond with them.
  5. Accept it– It’s hard to do and it’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. You just need to move on. Forget about all other schools and stop comparing yourself to them. If you just be happy that you were accepted to this school and you try your hardest, it will all work out in the end.
  6. If it really doesn’t work, transferring is an option– As much as I hate saying this, you can leave if you really want to. I was so close to transferring after first semester because I really didn’t give the school a chance. I can’t advise it enough, but you really have to try everything and use this as a last resort. Only transfer after you really have done everything you can to try and enjoy the school because it’s a huge commitment and involves a lot of work.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the most of your college years. If you don’t like something, change it. Be aggressive and do what you enjoy because that is what will make you happy in the end. And always remember that if it does get bad, there is always a way out. Whatever you choose to do in the end, make sure it makes you happy.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dorm Room Shopping

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There are a lot things that future college students believe that they absolutely must have for their dorm room that, in reality, are unnecessary. I still remember my mom and I running through Bed, Bath, and Beyond desperately looking for items that sat in my room for 9 months. After a year under my belt, I am able to distinguish the items that I used frequently from the ones that I never touched.

Do Buy:

Clip-On Bedside Table-

Most beds in freshmen dorms are either lofted or bunked. A clip-on bedside table is easily attached and can hold things like an alarm clock, phone, water bottle, book, whatever you like right next to you at night. It makes your life easier by not having to climb down from your bed every time you need to grab something.

 

Colored Sheets-

While white sheets go with everything and are a very easy purchase, they also stain easily. I accidentally put my white sheets in the washer with my blue jeans and ended up with nicely tinted blue sheets the rest of the year. It is easier to buy blue, purple, or any colored sheets that will not turn a different color every time you wash them.

 

Small Vacuum-

I ended up using my small vacuum several times a week. People are always coming in and out of your room and dirt and crumbs are constantly on your floor. Having a small vacuum that you can store easily will help keep your room tidy without taking up too much space.

 

Lots of Picture Frames-

It will be nice to have lots of pictures of friends and family around your room to remind you that home is not as far as you think. They can also be a great conversation starter with your roommate!

 

Do Not Buy:

Drying Rack-

While this sounds like a good idea now, it will only take up lots of space and be a hassle to you and your roommate. Clothes that do not go in the dryer can be easily hung in various places around your room.

 

Sewing Kit-

Most eighteen year olds, including myself, do not know how to sew. If a situation arises where something needs to be sewed, it is very easy to run to a local store to buy a needle and thread. No need to buy an entire kit.

 

Candles-

Most of these are not allowed in dorm rooms anyway, but some students think that they will make the room homier. While they do bring a nice scent, they can be a hassle to you and your roommate because they can be messy and can easily be forgotten to blow out. If you’re looking for something to make your room smell nice, I would suggest an air freshener over candles.

 

Good Luck with dorm room shopping!

Easter On Campus

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Happy Late – Easter everyone!

Easter is that wonderful time of year when Peeps fill the shelves at Walmart and large amounts of eggs are dyed festive colors. However, for some of us, going home isn’t a feasible option. For example, at the University of Northern Colorado we have a large number of students from Hawaii, California and Texas. So, going home for one day during the weekend isn’t something these students are able to do.

However, there are some great ways to celebrate Easter while remaining on-campus. These are some great ideas for RAs or just a student looking to have a good weekend full of Easter festivities:

Host a floor egg-decorating contest. This is a great way for residents to bond with each other while celebrating Easter. The winners can win a giant chocolate bunny or even a basket of candy, depending on what the host/RA wants to do. You can also provide crayons and Easter coloring pages so residents can color if they’re not too confident in their egg-dying capabilities.

Have an Easter egg hunt on the floor or in the entire hall! Plastic Easter eggs are pretty inexpensive and there are always massive bags of candy that can be bought at most retail locations. Advertise on your floor or throughout your hall and have a massive Easter egg hunt! Residents can bring their own bags (unless baskets can be afforded) and they can see who can find the most eggs! Make sure to list how many eggs will be hidden, so you can make sure they have all been found at the end. Another way to carry out the hunt is to only allow people to grab a certain number of eggs, such as 5 or 10, so that everyone can walk away with a sizable amount of candy.

Have an Easter brunch. Our dining halls at UNC have brunch instead of breakfast and lunch on weekends. This is a great time to grab some friends or, if you’re an RA, your floor and take everyone to the dining hall to have a brunch with each other. This is a great chance to chat with friends and celebrate Easter.

If you like these, feel free to use them next year when Easter rolls around, or set up one tonight before it’s officially April 1st!