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.

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!

How to Begin the Job Hunt if You Are Graduating

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Students throwing caps in the air at graduation

With only one semester left, college seniors, it’s time to start thinking of the big question, “What comes next?” For the majority of us graduating, that means starting our first real job hunt. Whether you’re a total newbie with no experience or you’re looking to transition to a six-figure career, here’s what you need to do when you’re searching for the perfect post-graduation position.

Consult Your Career Services Office

Most colleges have some career services offerings out there, and you may be surprised at what they can offer you! To start with, they can help you narrow down your job search and find the niche you’re made to be in. Then, they can help tailor your applications so that you stand out. And when you’re given a position, they’ll be there to do mock practices or offer feedback. And, believe it or not, a great career office will even help you negotiate your first salary!

a monthly planner

Set Up a Calendar

Another fun fact about the career services office is that they often hold events just for upperclassman on the job hunt. It may span from low-key, one-on-one meetings with hiring managers to large-scale job fairs that attract hundreds of businesses. If your college doesn’t offer these, check your community or look at professional trade organizations for similar events.

Update and Edit Your Materials

Your resume is the most important weapon in your job application arsenal. It should be continuously updated and crafted to meet your industry’s standards. You’ll also want to do make sure your reference list is current and that everyone you may use is aware your name is going out there. Finally, practice writing out a cover letter that is both interesting and easy to tailor to the job you’re applying for. When you’re done with the first draft, edit and edit again until it’s perfect.

a professional business card

Stock Up on Thank You Notes and Business Cards

It’s the little things that matter when you are putting yourself out there. While email thank you notes are sufficient, you may also want to bring out an old-school technique of a handwritten card sent to your interviewer. Business cards have the same effect, especially if you’ve got them ready to go at a networking event. The bonus is that both thank you and business cards are cheap, easy to make, and always handy — even after you’ve landed your big break.

Tailor Your Interview Suit

The perfect look is essential. That means everything you wear to your interview needs to be made for you. This is the one area where we don’t recommend skimping on price. Grab the best looking suit in neutral colors and have it professionally tailored so that it fits your body like it was made for you. Add shined shoes, toned down makeup, and thoughtful accessories, and you’ve got a complete look that’s ready to wow your interviewers.

Your final semester is an important one. It’s time to reflect and to look ahead. When you’re ready to rock your job search, getting your affairs in order is a must. From creating an eye-catching resume to settling on your professional look, you can get ahead by starting now.

The Best Places on Campus to Study for Finals

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Notecards being prepared for finals week

Ugh. We can’t believe we are saying this, but the countdown to finals is ON. Overwhelmed? So are we. That’s why we are hunkering down and studying early this year. To make sure we’re prepared, we’ve selected the best places on campus to study for finals. Use this as your guide to finding the ultimate productivity place when finishing your paper or cramming for your exams.

The Sweet Spot at the Library

The trick to finding the best place at the library is knowing what to look for. The first is noise. Stay away from computer labs, classrooms, or group rooms. You’ll never get anything done there and will probably be forced to listen to someone else’s music.

The second thing you should look for is lighting. You’ll want to find a spot that isn’t directly under an industrial type light. Instead, go to the windows where there is plenty of sunshine. Natural light helps keep your energy up. You’ll also want to avoid drafty places or spots by vents where the temperatures can fluctuate and make you uncomfortable. And if you’re allergic to dust, avoid the seats in the stacks.

Empty Classrooms or Offices

First and foremost, check your campus rules on this one. You could be putting yourself at risk if your school doesn’t have an open doors policy. But if they’re cool with you utilizing an unlocked classroom or student office space, it could be your next hidden study hangout.

You’ll want one that is off the beaten path, and you will want to go alone on this one just in case something goes down (like someone breaks some technology on accident). If you can, studying in your actual classroom may help you beat test anxiety!

Classroom reserved during finals week for studying

Coffee Shops and Cafes

Everyone goes to Starbucks, but you can get the same kind of ambiance if you try your student-run coffee shop instead. The drinks are cheaper, and it’s more convenient to your dorm and it makes a great place for group reviews.

If you want a more low-key session, go a few hours before close or right when they open (usually around 5:00 AM). You’ll avoid morning and afternoon rushes and will most likely be able to snag the one table with the power bank.

Reserve-a-Room

Some campuses have rooms students or student groups can rent. It’s the perfect solution if you need a ton of space for all of your notes or room to finish a poster project. And you’ll guarantee yourself uninterrupted quiet time for the duration of your stay.

Some rooms you can rent include dorm room offices or group meeting rooms, spaces at your student union, or performing art practice rooms. You may need an advisor or professor to help you reserve, but it shouldn’t cost you anything to do.

The Gym

A little unconventional, but student-athletes will tell you that sometimes the best way to study is to move around while you do it. And there are some studies out there that show that adding movements to memorization can help you better internalize facts and concepts.

Bring your textbook on the elliptical or treadmill. Download a podcast reviewing the subject area so you can spin and learn. Lift weights to an audio version of your chapters. When finished, you’ll feel great and will be ready to take on whatever finals has to bring!

Let us know your favorite place to study for finals on campus! We hope these tips help you ace those upcoming finals!

Parents Corner- How Often You Should Check-In

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College Student stressed over textbook

Sending your child off to college can be an emotional time for everyone involved. As a parent, it can be especially hard to get into a routine of not having the student around. Setting boundaries and establishing rituals is important in maintaining healthy relationships with college-aged kids. Here’s how you can determine how often you should check in based on your student’s personality or situation.

The Homesickness Factor

One of the most normal phases of freshman year is going through some periods of homesickness. Even the toughest, adventurous, or independent students may go through this when first moving into dorms. Being in a stressful environment or having a lack of familial support only exaggerates it.

If your child is showing signs of homesickness, it may be tempting to increase your contact or encourage them to come home. However, it can harm the student if you tell them that you miss them, increase your phone calls, or pressure them to visit in order to feel better. Instead, ease back, encourage them to get out, and praise them when they find something new to love about living on their own. Set up weekly calls instead of nightly, and help them book one trip home soon so they have something to look forward to.

The Close-to-Homebody

When we think of living on campus, we think of living more than a few hours away from home. Today, however, many students choose to live in dorms not far from where they grew up which can make it hard to determine how often parents should initiate calls or visits.

For homebodies who frequently visit, making calls short and to-the-point will help establish boundaries. You want the student to be independent (and do their own laundry), so over communicating can make them feel like they’ve never left. And it can encourage them to treat dorm life like they are commuting instead of living on their own.

The Long-Distance Students

One of the trickier parent-student situations is when a child decides to live on campus hours away from parents. In this case, it can be terrifying to ease back and let a student be on their own without checking in often.

In this case, it’s important to be honest and have a conversation early on what your student wants and what you expect in terms of them reaching out to you. Depending on your situation (such as if you’re paying their tuition or not), you may be able to call the shots. But as parents of adults, it’s important to remember that your student may not be on board with daily phone calls and video chats. Instead, ask them what they feel is appropriate and find common ground. Same goes for visits.

The Solo Student 

A student who goes dark can be scary for parents. When you don’t know what they are doing or how they are feeling, it can be difficult to adjust to the new norm. But in many cases, a student wanting space is demonstrating to themselves and you that they are setting boundaries.

Using the same advice for long distance students, open the conversation. Ask them how much is too much when it comes to calls or texts. Ask if they prefer one way of getting a hold of them over the other. Suggest a code word for emergencies or a set day to have a check-in chat. They’ll love that you are respecting their wishes and you’ll feel better having a set routine to follow.

Fall Drinks you can Make in your Dorm Room

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Foggy autumn morning

Fall is for warm flannel blankets, fashionable checkerboard patterns, snuggling up by a cozy fire, and enjoying a frothy, spiced drink. If you’re not careful, you can end up spending a fortune at the grocery store or coffee shop on artisan or specialty drinks. Instead, craft your own fall drinks by trying one of these three amazing fall drink recipes — which you can easily make in your own dorm room!

apple hanging next to cider jar

Homemade Apple Cider

You don’t need an apple press or a ton of time to make apple cider. Really, all you need to do is have access to a large pot and a stove to make this recipe happen. Experiment with different varieties of apples and a number of spices until you find the recipe that works for you. We guarantee it’s much better than store-bought versions!

 Ingredients:

  • 10-12 apples, sliced or in large chunks
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. allspice
  • ½ cup sugar

 Directions:

  • Pour apples into a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water
  • Add the cinnamon, allspice, and sugar until mixed completely
  • Bring to a boil and keep it there for an hour
  • Cover the pot and let simmer for two hours
  • Strain the apple cider until all of the chunks are out and stir to ensure it’s mixed properly. Serve warm or cool.

Pumpkin Spice Latte in glass

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte

At $4 a cup, we’ll pass on Starbucks! This homemade version is easy and fast, and you can serve it up at a party or tailgate! The only equipment you’ll need is a coffee maker, a blender (or hand mixer), and a microwave. It’s so simple and delicious, and this recipe makes 3 mugs so you can share with your roomies!

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6-8 oz. coffee
  • Whipped cream (as desired)

 Directions:

  • Warm milk in microwave at ten-second intervals until warm
  • Place warmed milk, sugar, pumpkin spice, and vanilla in a blender and blend, or hand mix until mixture is foamy
  • Divide milk mixture among 3 cups
  • Add coffee and stir gently for a few seconds
  • Add whip cream and any extra pumpkin spice as garnish

Tailgating punch with fall inspired flavors

Tailgaters Punch

When you need a tasty, crowd-pleasing drink fast, you could stick with one of those pre-prepared sugar-laden fruit punch drinks, or even DIY the typically bland, overdone homemade kind. But none of those really says fall — definitely not like this seasonal version. Warm and full of apple and honey, it’s just what you need for cooler mornings and afternoons without missing out on that more festive feel. Plus, it pairs perfectly with tailgating foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups hot black tea
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 4 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 3 cups orange juice, pulp-free
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  • Blend and stir all ingredients in large pot
  • Bring mixture to boil
  • Lower temperature and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours
  • Remove cinnamon sticks and serve warm or cold

These three recipes will help you sip on fall flavors all season long, without breaking your budget. Let us know which ones you make and what your favorite turns out to be!

Managing Finances in College (Plus, Win $1000!)

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Money. There’s a good chance that, if you’re in college, you don’t have much of it, and you probably don’t have much experience managing what you do have. Whatever your financial situation, college is the perfect time to learn the basics of budgeting, saving, and investing for your future. Here are some steps you absolutely must take to manage your finances. Read on, and learn how you could win $1,000 through OCM’s Room Goals contest!

 

Keep School Costs Down

Did you know that the average student graduates with over $37,000 worth of student loan debt? That’s a year’s worth of salary for entry-level workers. Incredibly, it can take ten, twenty, or even thirty years to pay it all back — especially if you’ve got high interest rates.

Though your debt could end up being much less — or much more — there’s one step you should consider taking now: Pay something towards your loans every month! It could be a few bucks a month or a couple hundred when you get it.

Though it may seem like a waste of money to start paying before you actually receive your first bill, it’s actually a very smart idea. By starting your payback now, you can significantly lessen what you owe by paying down the principal before it starts accruing interest. A payment of just $5 per month can mean way more now than it will once you start getting regular bills.

 

Apply for Scholarships

Believe it or not, scholarships aren’t just for incoming freshmen. In fact, far from being the time to coast, now is when you should be ramping up your scholarship search! Apply everywhere and anywhere. Look in your community’s newspaper, on bulletin boards on campus, and on scholarship search sites. Plan on applying to at least ten scholarships a week, if not more.

 

The trick is to apply for scholarships that may be overlooked — ones that are $250-1500 range. While that may not seem like a lot when you have an insane tuition bill, several $1,000 scholarships can add up quickly!

One scholarship you simply can’t forget to apply for is OCM’s Room Goals scholarship. All you need to do to apply is submit a photo of your awesome dorm room and some info to be considered. It’s that easy — no tedious essay necessary!

 

Learn to Budget

Budgeting doesn’t have to be hard or complex. With little bills and income, we promise you that budgeting in college will only take about an hour each month to do. All you’ll need are your pay stubs, your monthly bills (like car insurance and phone), and a calculator.

First, write down how much you typically make in a given month. If you don’t have a regular income, or if you get tips that can vary from day to day, take an average or your best guess. Then, write out and total up your bills due. Next to each bill, write a due date, and then put that due date in your calendar so you don’t forget. Now, subtract your bills from your income and that is what is leftover for things like groceries, eating out, school supplies, and fun. Make categories that reflect your life and money goals and give each dime a place to go.

 

Open the Right Financial Accounts

You should have two bank accounts: checking and savings. These should be at banks that are close to campus and have online access. You should also have a debit card for at least your checking account.

If possible, set up your bills to auto-draft the amount from your checking account to your savings account each month. There are also apps like Qapital and Digit that will do it for you if you have a tough time pulling the trigger. Learning to save money while you’re in college will help you build a foundational good money habit.

 

Understand Financial Basics

Before pulling the trigger on anything financial, it’s a good idea to make sure you fully understand the terminology, methods, and costs. Grab a book from the library, take a financial literacy class, or read some blogs by other millennial money experts. The more you learn, the more confident you’ll be managing your finances.

 

#DormGoals – OCM’s Dorm Decorating Contest 2016

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OCM dorm room contest

We’re excited to announce the launch our Dorm Goals challenge! After spending the summer shopping for your dorm decor, conquering a hectic move-in day, and getting into the swing of the semester, you are probably well on your way to settling into your new dorm. You likely put a lot of thought into how you wanted to decorate it — whether it’s shabby-chic, preppy, or has a beachy, west coast vibe. The sheer fact that you’re reading our blog shows that you find dorm style important! So now that you’ve achieved the dorm vibe you were going for, you deserve to show it off.

That’s why we set up our Dorm Goals 2016 Challenge. Post your stylish dorm room photo to social media, use #dormgoals and tag @OCMdotCOM, and fill out our form to submit your entry — it’s as simple as that.  Not only do you get to show off your interior design skills, but you have the chance to win some awesome prizes.

The Details

It’s simple to enter! First, fill out the form to let us know a little more about you. Then post your dorm room photo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget to tag @OCMdotCOM and use the #dormgoals hashtag. The contest will officially close on Friday, November 11, 2016.

At that point, we’ll share all of the photos entered in an album on the OCM Facebook Page. Users will have one week to ‘like’ their favorite dorm pic. The dorm photo with the most likes wins, and we’ll make the announcement on Friday, November 18, 2016!

What’s in it for me, you ask? One Grand Prize Winner will be awarded a $500 Visa Giftcard to spend however they please! Two Runner Ups will each receive a $150 Giftcard to the OCM store. This means they’ll get to add any finishing touches to their dorm rooms. Plus, each runner up will receive a novelty care package from our OCM, filled with plenty of goodies.

Who Should Enter?

All ladies and gents that are currently enrolled in a university in the United States and living in student housing are welcome to enter. Also, note that all photos must be your own and reflect the room you currently live in — we want to see your dorm decor skills.

Tips for Transforming Your Space into a Winning Dorm Room

Are you still working on your dorm room style? Don’t worry, with these tips we’ll get your room in #dormgoals shape before the close of the contest.

Bedding

Sometimes, it’s hard to even know where to start with decorating when you have so many different items in such a small space. We believe that the focal point of most dorms is the bed, so we always recommend starting there. This is partly because it’s typically the largest thing in your dorm, and partly because it’s where you’ll spend so much time — from sleeping to studying and watching TV.

So if you chose the right bedding, everything else should fall into place. Whether you love ombre or if geometrics are more of your thing, the right bedding is so important to create the style and energy you’re looking for. However, if you’re stuck with the same bedding you used last year or decided to go the minimal route with neutrals, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up. Throw on a few colorful or textured throw pillows or blankets to take your bedding up a notch.

Finding Your Personal Aesthetic

Indie, boho, grunge, you name it. Your dorm room is a great way to express your personal style. However, sometimes that’s hard to identify. Maybe you have a lot of mismatched hand-me-downs or erred on the side of caution by buying all of your room supplies in the same neutral color. But neither of these situations are reasons not to own the dorm style you really want.

For any guys out there looking for a little guidance, check out our post on the 12 dorm essentials for guys. From basics like hampers to fun stuff like entertainment centers, there’s a lot to consider when putting together a cohesive, stylish dorm room that really is a reflection of your aesthetic. For the girls inspired by Mindy Kaling or wondering how to design a perfectly preppy dorm, we’ve also got you covered.

While we recommend using your bedding as a focal point, there’s one other way to really identify the style you want to go for. Look around your dorm and identify your favorite piece. Is it the acoustic guitar you were gifted at high school graduation? Or maybe it’s something as small as the stack of neon, fun-shaped post-it notes on your desk. If you use these items as your inspiration, you’ll know the direction you want to take your room — from indie to bright and loud.

Adding Simple Touches Can Make All The Difference

We know the struggle of the small dorm room, and sometimes it can feel very limiting when it comes to dorm decor. That’s why we love this small spaces video from Urban Outfitters. Dorm rooms are often so small that it’s almost a rite of passage to live in cramped quarters — but this video proves that if you go into it with a strategy, you can make even the smallest of spaces work!

Because you’re in cramped quarters, doesn’t mean that you can’t add simple decor touches. From lighting to wall art, you have tons of options to give your space that extra oomph it needs. We think lighting is great, because it can add intrigue and cancel out the often-dreary industrial lights most dorms have. Posters and other art are great touches because you can work with the vertical space in your room (i.e. your walls) to add flair. You can support artists by getting your art from Etsy, or DIY some vintage frames with a fresh, bright coat of spraypaint. At the end of the day, you’ll want to come home to a room that really meshes with you – so curate pieces thoughtfully and you’ll be sure to have a #dormgoals-worthy dorm in no time!

The Dorm Goals 2016 contest is now closed – thank you to everyone who entered! 

OCM Announces the Launch of a Brand New Fan Shop!

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Fan Shop OCM

We all deserve a little makeover once and awhile! While you might be going a darker hair shade to match the cooler weather, or considering your new fall layering options, OCM wanted to get in on a fresh look as well. That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of OCM’s new Fan Shop. “The OCM Fan Shop is stylin’ after its recent makeover!” Says OCM’s Third Party Relationship Manager, Cora Baker. “We gave it a whole new look with new photography and new navigation features to make a better shopping experience for you.  We’re also rolling out more new and exciting products every day.”

OCM_FanShop_Banner

OCM Launches Their New Fan Shop

Cora continued, “I spent this past weekend at my alma mater, Penn State.  As I walked around campus, I saw many college students displaying the Penn State logo in many different ways – their clothing, their backpacks, their rain ponchos, their purses.  Collegiate logo merchandise is as intertwined in campus life as care packages, dorm room furnishings and tech accessories.  As the premier provider of all things college, OCM is a natural to provide college students and their families with their logo merchandise.”

OCM’s Fan Shop is one-stop shopping for all your college logo gear. Whether it’s a logo sweater or a hat branded with your college’s mascot, we’ve got your all of school-spirit needs covered. So if you’ve got a big football game or pep rally coming up, the Fan Shop has what you need to represent your college.

OCM Fan Shop Apparel

New Merchandise for the New Season!

With the new Fan Shop comes a ton of new brands and merchandise you’ll be sure to love. Cora Baker and the entire OCM team are very pleased to have the following officially licensed partners on board:

  • Gear for Sports, offering Champion and Under Armour t-shirts and sweatshirts
  • Art.com and Northwest, offering a variety of throw blankets and other items for the dorm room and home
  • Vantage Apparel, offering polo shirts, pullovers and jackets
  • Victory Tailgate and Made Loyal, offering tailgate games, t-shirts and college wall art
  • Zephyr, offering all types of hats

These new items are not only a good excuse to dispose of your old, hand-me-down college gear. Since they’re fresh on the OCM Fan Shop – you’ll be a trendsetter by rocking one of these new items your friends will be sure to envy.

One step better, Cora explains, is free shipping: “Free shipping is offered on selected t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatshirt throws, and hat and t-shirt bundles!” So be sure to take advantage of free shipping when getting your tailgating apparel needs!

Cora’s new favorite items are the giant tumble towers, the ¼ zip performance pullovers and the college wall art. What will your new favorite Fan Shop item be!?

College Swag

When’s A Good Time for College Apparel and Items, You Ask?

There are ample opportunities to rock your college swag outside of the classroom or resident hall. Here are a few great events and occasions where stylish college gear is a must:

  • Sports games: This is a given! Show support for your school’s team at the next home or away game with a team hat. Want to be the hero of the tailgate? Bring a BBQ set or cornhole game, branded with your school’s logo, that everyone can enjoy.
  • On- and Off-Campus Events: Rock college gear on off-campus events to show unity and stand in solidarity with your school. It’s also a great way to network with others that go to your school, or are alumni. Wearing a T-shirt or sweatshirt with your school’s name could elicit a “Hey, I also went to XYZ school, what are you studying?” which could even lead to a “Actually, my company is looking for an intern in your field! Are you interested in applying?”
  • As Gifts: Your parents are probably supporting your college venture, and are proud of you. Gift them with some college apparel that they’ll be proud to wear.

 

You don’t want to wait till the morning of the pep rally or football game to find some school swag to wear. So head over to the OCM Fan Shop and check out all the new swag to show your school spirit.

 

Why You Should Write for a Blog in College

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Write for Blog in College

Do you have a lot on your mind but not enough ways to say it? Do you love talking to your friends about fashion, food, relationships, and more? Is the written word your best friend and your laptop always by your side? Then blogging may be for you! Starting your own blog or becoming a trendsetter blogger for sites like OCM is the perfect way to put your passion into words. We love blogging so much that we had to list out the top 7 reasons why you should write a blog today.

1.    You’ll Establish Yourself

Here’s a secret you may not have considered: having your own blog can actually land you a job. No, seriously! A blog about your future line of work that documents your classes, your readings, your observations can actually show how committed you are to your work. And, if you want to go into writing, having a blog can attract clients and publishers. Think of it as your very own e-portfolio!

2.    Blogging Makes You Smarter

Practice makes perfect, and that couldn’t be truer for the art of writing. Even if you struggle to get out a good sentence or have issues with grammar, just committing yourself to a paragraph or two a day in your blog can make you a better, more confident writer. And we all know that having writing skills is a must for college students.

3.    You Can Go Anon

Maybe you want to blog about something sensitive, say your relationships — have no fear! With a blog, you don’t have to put your name to it like you would a status update. Instead, write about what you love and care about without much fear of getting it traced back to you (as long as you blog safely and don’t give away too many personal details). 

4.    It Can Make You Some Money

Making money from blogging is a tough road and requires a lot of hard work. But there is money to be had for those willing to really grow their readership outside their friend circle and build relationships with businesses. Some clients even send you free items to review or will pay you to attend events!

5.    It’s a Free Way to Express Yourself

College students juggle a lot of hats and take on so much stress. With a blog of your own, you can get it out there and talk about what is really important to you. You can address the hard topics or keep it light and airy. Eventually, after writing for so long, you’ll develop a style and story that is all your own and true to yourself. 

6.    You Can Set the Trends

Pinterest-loving, DIY-happy, OOTD-wearing bloggers are always wanted, especially over at OCM. That’s why we’re excited to open up our awesome blogging program for new writers who want to be first and at the front of what is trending. Just imagine that your writing may be affecting what is on the runway next year!

7.    It Helps You Stay In Touch

Finally, don’t forget that a blog, unless private, is made for an audience. Those readers may be your friends from high school, your family curious about college life, or a cousin living on the other side of the world. Your writing reaches the people you love and gives them a glimpse into your thoughts and day-to-day better than an email or text here and there ever could! Blogging with those you love in mind makes the process so much more exciting and purposeful!

 

If you’re a college student, high school senior, or academic professional looking for a unique writing opportunity, you’ve come to the right place! At OCM, we’re always accepting applications from those interested in joining our team of Trendsetters.