9 Ways to Spring Into Spring Fashion

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Now that the weather is warming up, the flowers are in bloom, and the sun is shining longer, it’s time to take a look at your wardrobe. For many of us, spring cleaning is the perfect time to get your style updated to the season by springing into brighter fashion trends. You’ve already hopped into our Easter style picks, and now you can check out our top spring looks and accessories you have to try for the rest of the season!

  1. ‘70s Prints

Summer and spring music fests like Coachella and Lollapalooza have given us tons of fashion inspiration, but none so much as bringing back the classic hippy look. However, for this spring, the trend has moved away from the 60’s and more towards the 1970s. Think shift dresses in brown, gold, and tans with loud patterns with tassels, beading, and flowing sleeves.

70s inspired flower print

Loud prints and good vibes – the 70’s are in again!

  1. Off the Shoulders

Another vintage throwback is the off the shoulder dress or top. We’re seeing them everywhere this year, but one look that catches our eye is the “cold shoulder.” A cold shoulder is a top or dress that has a cut out at the shoulder leaving a small strap and then a longer sleeve. It is the perfect transition from winter to spring to summer.

 

 

  1. Clean and Crisp

On the opposite end of the fashion spectrum is the white top look. This is a must-have if you plan on working an internship or going out for a new job. Pick a structured top with lines along the bust and shoulders. Pair it with a great dark washed denim or dress it up with skinny black trousers for a business casual look that goes from day to night.

 

  1. Ruffles and Pleats

Ruffles and pleats are the absolute rage. You’ll find them in knee-length (or longer) skirts, cotton blouses, and even in accessories like purses. Just don’t go overboard. To make a ruffle or pleat work for you, make sure the eye catches the pleat but doesn’t linger there.

  1. Wrapped Up

Ladies — get excited! Wrap dresses are back! These comfortable daytime and date time dresses are some of our favorites as they look great on just about any body shape and they can be dressed down with a cardigan or up with a pair of heels. Red wrap dresses with prints are in as well as large floral prints, so you can make a statement no matter what doorway you enter.

 

  1. Statement Ears

We’ve been neglecting our ears for far too long, but big and bold jewelry is here to stay this season. But, don’t just stick to hoops or studs. Get something that is oversized, in a funky shape, or that has a great pop of color. The bigger, the better (as long as they’re comfortable)!

 

  1. Sunny Season

Yellow isn’t just for your next Easter look, so keep these sunny shades in your wardrobe and pair them with earth tones or a monotone outfit for that perfect pop. In particular, we love the sunny look with gladiator sandals or boxy purses.

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  1. Laced-Up Foot Fashion

Speaking of gladiators, shoes with laces up the ankle are not just for outdoor concerts anymore. So many shoemakers have designed their Spring collection with laces whether they are styled more like a ballerina with delicate ties or structured in leather.

 

  1. Comfort Kicks

And don’t forget comfort when you’re shoe shopping! After Malia Obama stepped out in Cuba wearing white sneakers paired with a light floral dress, we’ve been longing for a pair of understated sneakers or low heels. Trade in your stiletto for a chunky wedge, or go vintage with a 1-1 ½ inch platform. With Spring in full bloom, your wardrobe should be all about how your style shakes off the winter!

 

The Importance of the Group Project

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 The Importance of

At some point, all college students face the dreaded group project. Those who enjoy working with friends or random classmates may be thrilled, but most of us find group projects frustrating. If you fall in the latter category, we’ve come up with some reasons why you should reconsider giving it your all for your next group project.

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New Fan Shop Arrivals for March Madness!

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 Did your bracket bust quickly, or are you one of the lucky few still feeling the March Madness? No matter if your team burnt out in the first round or are on their way to the Final Four, having the right school spirit is essential all year round. With OCM’s Fan Shop, you can find just what you need to show your school pride with style. Here are our favorite 7 picks just in time for the spring!

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Spring Quotes to Keep You Thinking Positive

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When the first signs of spring start appearing, we tend to forget about winter and look forward to dreams of warmth, sunshine, and relaxation.  After all, it’s hard to think about winter chills and dark nights when everything outside is in full bloom.  There are few things that capture the positive essence of springtime more than quotes;  take the time to read over a selection of some well-known quotes and sayings about the happiest season, and you’ll find yourself feeling happier in spite of everything.

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8 Easter Inspired Fashion Finds

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Easter is upon us, and one of our favorite parts of the holiday is seeing all of the fresh spring fashion finds. With bright, fun colors dominating and everyone wearing their Sunday best, there’s a lot of style inspiration to be found. We picked out our 8 favorite Easter-inspired fashion finds anyone can recreate!

 

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  1. Rose Quartz Dresses

After Pantone named it one of the colors of the year, everyone is dying to get their hand on rose quartz-shaded fashion. Its blush pink shade makes it perfect for a formal look, or ideal for fun in the spring sun. This muted pink can be reworn as a professional look when paired with a white, structured blazer or dressed down with a pair of nude flats or sandals as well.

  1. Pastel Gator Sandals

Gator-styled sandals are usually found in colors like natural or bronze, but this spring, everyone needs to get their hands on a pastel pair. In pink, yellow, or green, these sandals make quite a statement, especially when paired with capri skinnies or a knee-high A-line skirt.

  1. White Vintage Sunglasses

Vintage sunglasses have long since taken over the runway, but the colors have been pretty laid back or traditional. This spring, white is going to make a comeback in a huge way, especially in eyewear! It’s a pop that stands out on sunkissed skin while also looking rich and chic. Match it with a great pair of vibrant earrings, and you’ve got on-point accessories for the season.

 

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Channel a little bit of Audrey Hepburn with a wide-brimmed hat!

 

  1. Wide-Brimmed Structured Hats

Fascinators, panama, straw, cocktail… hats are not just for summer anymore. But the trick is to pick a hat that is more formal than it is beachwear. Go with a hat that is more structured (less floppy). Match it with your outfit (black on black or white on white) for an off-the-runway look that gives you the feeling of effortless glamor.

  1. Bunny Preppy

Easter is the time for the rabbit, and that means it’s time to spring for cute sweaters and tops with bunny details! This holiday is a great excuse for that oxford sweater with the bunny ears design or the cardigan with the bunny print. To keep it from being too outrageous or childish, keep the rest of your outfit low-key and understated. For example, wear that sweater with a pair of Keds and lighter makeup.

  1. Sunny Totes

Baskets are not exactly fashion-friendly, but adorable tote bags are! This spring, we are loving bright yellow and green leather tote purses. Designers like Kate Spade have already taken over this trend and have tons of great color-popping options in satchel and saddle bags. You’ll feel a bit brighter and lighter just carrying one around.

  1. Gold Accents

One of the cooler trends is gold and bronze in your Easter basket. Now, you can take it up a notch by taking the gold to your outfit. One of the best places to incorporate gold (outside jewelry) is in your footwear. Gold shoes are still one of the most popular trends, especially for more casual looks where it really stands out. Look for a pair of ballet flats or strappy heels for inspiration.

  1. Pleated Florals

Nothing says Easter dressing better than a great floral print dress for the ladies. It’s feminine, delicate, and perfect for celebrating the new season. When done in a slick pleated skirt or bodice, you can incorporate a style that has really made an impact in the fashion world. When going for your floral, go lighter shades and bigger blooms. Stay away from smaller patterns that looks more polka-dot than garden.

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6 Car Organization Tips for a Tidy Tailgate

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Here at OCM, we LOVE a good tailgate! It’s one of our favorite kinds of parties for quite a few reasons, but mostly because it’s so completely mobile. With only a car, a few supplies, and your imagination, your tailgate can go from just another parking lot get-together to an inspiring on-the-go pep rally for your friends and family. However, staying on top of the organization is easier said than done. If you want to make your party the best it can be while still keeping it neat and tidy, here are few must-know car organization tips for your tailgate.

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Plan Food First

Before you can pack your car, you have to make one important decision: what are you going to eat? A picnic lunch of deli sandwiches is going to have different requirements than hot dogs and hamburgers grilled fresh. And friends with food allergies are going to need their meals kept separate from the rest. Therefore, your best organization tip is to know what you’re going to be making well ahead of schedule so you can plan the rest.

Layer Up

When packing and organizing your car the day of, stop over at Goodwill or your grandmother’s house for some old blankets and towels. Food and drinks get messy, and the worst thing that can happen is going over a bump in the parking lot and splashing fruit punch all over your backseat. A couple of towels under your coolers and plates is an absolute must-have.

Box and Bag Reusable

Sure, plastic baggies are fine and good, but remember that those parking lot garbage cans fill up super quickly, and no one wants to litter. Instead, pack your food and supplies with the idea that you will need to bring everything back. Purchase some cheap, durable plastic containers that you can use later on. Pack like-items together, such as bread and buns or fruit and veggies. The only thing that will need to be packed separately is raw meat, which should remain in its packaging and kept on ice as long as possible.

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Cool It Smartly

Your cooler is a huge part of your tailgate car space, so you need to be sure it is packed properly. To do so, pack the coldest items first (such as your meats and drinks), then add a layer of ice on top. Next is your dips and salads. Add another layer of ice. Top off with fruits and veggies that can be out of the cold for longest.

Make a Tailgating Box

Like a first aid kit, a tailgating box is your best friend. It should keep your clean cooking/grilling supplies, sauces and spices, napkins and plasticware, and more together in one space. A great idea is to use an old tool box, a larger sized arts and crafts organizer, or a plastic storage tub with organizers inside.

Bring a Tub for Waste

If you plan on not using disposables, your dirty dishes and servingware is going to prove to be a problem. With a plastic storage tub, you can make an instant wash station right in the car. Using the water from your cooler, poor into the tub, add a bit of soap, and your dishes can be washed and dried before game time! It’s the perfect idea for those who need to have everything in its right place before the fun begins!

Tips for Getting Your First Dog in College

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People call dogs “man’s best friends” because of their loyal, kind, and giving nature. For college students, they can help us stay calm, focused, and bring a whole bunch of fun into our lives. Getting a dog while in college can be a challenge but well worth it when you think and plan ahead. In honor of National Puppy Day, here’s what you need to know about owning a dog in college.

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Canine Considerations

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth saying again: getting a dog is not a decision to be made lightly. Dogs are forever pets, not pets that you keep until you get tired of them. And with good love and care, some dogs can live upwards of 15 years or more. Now that’s a commitment!

Before you get a dog while in college, you have to think ahead to the future. If you plan on going into a career that demands a lot of you (such as med school or a high-pressure law firm), having an animal that needs lots of attention and exercise may not be for you right now. Living in a city where space is limited, especially dog-friendly space, can also be a challenge that could affect your decision.

You may also want to consider the sacrifices you might have to make, such as not staying overnight or needing to pay for someone to watch your dog if you go away on Spring Break. If you live near home (and your parents are all on board with your new pal), this may not be a huge deal.

Regardless of your situation, be sure to think your decision through. Once you’ve made up your mind, it’s time to find the perfect pup.

Cane Corso puppy

Finding Your Companion

Not every dog makes a good dog to have in college. Those cute, cuddly toy dogs can have a lot of health issues, while large dogs will, of course, need tons of exercise and outdoors time. When looking for the right breed for you, do your research. Find a dog that matches your personality, whether that be a couch potato, or the sporty and spunky type. In addition, be sure you check your apartment’s regulations on certain breeds to avoid any surprises.

With the logistics and your future considered, it’s time to find your newest friend. First and foremost, go rescued! Dogs in shelters or held through rescues are just as good as those you would purchase at a pet store or through a breeder. The only difference is they may need a second chance. In fact, the majority of dogs are not abandoned because they are “bad” but because their owners couldn’t care for them. Giving a dog a second chance at family and love can be one of the most rewarding things you can do.

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Living With Your Pup

You’ve found your forever dog, and you two couldn’t be happier! But don’t just settle in, there’s work to do. Just like you, your dog needs an education with proper and professional training. Even if you adopt an older dog, they will need to learn how to communicate with you so that problems don’t arise later on.

In addition to training, be sure you plan your dog’s schedule around your classes as best as possible. For example, if you know you have a ton of morning classes, start getting up at least an hour early to handle your dog’s needs. If you have night classes, consider paying a dog walker to make sure they get their last walk of the night when you’re too busy.

There will also inevitably be vet visits. You’ll need to read up on your pet’s specific health needs, along with vaccinations. Don’t delay these as many dogs come down with deadly illnesses such as heartworm because their owner forgot a treatment or thought it wasn’t important enough to get.

Just like you, your dog will need lots of love and care. But together, you both can get through your college years with a friendship that will last a lifetime!

 

Buying Your First Car in Your College Town

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Having a car in college makes the difference between freedom and feeling trapped in your own dorm. A car can give you opportunities to get a new job or take on an internship; it can mean visiting home more often or taking road trips with your friends. Before you set your sights on the road, you need the vehicle first. If you’re ready to drop some cash for a new car, here are some tips that can save you both time and money and help you find the ride of your dreams.

 

Tips for First Car Buy in College

 

  1. Think Logistics

First things first — can you have a car on campus? This seemingly simple question is one you might forget if you’re super-excited and focused on getting that car. If your campus has a ban on driving and/or parking, where will you stash your car? If you can’t come up with an answer, you may have to decide between living on campus and being a driver.

 

  1. Shiny and New Isn’t Always Best

It’s totally human nature to want the best and newest thing. However, when it comes to buying a car, the difference between used and new might not matter in terms of quality yet mean the world in price. Instead of going for new, consider buying a used, low-mileage car. Look on sites that allow you to see the vehicle history (including any accident reports) where you can better compare what used cars are out there. You may find that your dream car is in reach if you get it a few years older than a 2016-2017.

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New may be nice, but reliable is always in!

 

  1. Avoid Deals with Friends

Imagine this situation: you tell a friend you’re looking for a car, and she says, “I’m selling mine!” You might be tempted to jump right in and buy it from her. After all, you’ll be helping your friend, and you’ll get a car. But trust us: don’t do it. Even if she’s offering the best deal in the world, the car could end up breaking down as soon as you get behind the wheel. As a way to avoid friction in your friendship, make sure you buy your car from someone reputable, but removed from your circle of friends and family. Because car purchases are usually high-expense deals, buying a lemon of a car from a friend may mean having to fight them to get your money back or dealing with the legal side. It’s better to not risk it.

  1. Shop Safe

So friends are out, but what about Craigslist or other online sites where you can buy via the owner? Unless you’re a car nut with a ton of knowledge, you should avoid these traps. Unfortunately, con men make major cash by attempting to scam young people desperate for a car. You’re better off, believe it or not, shopping around for actual, certified dealers.

To get your best deal, shop online first and request quotes from their websites. Then, visit at least 2 dealerships before signing off. Sometimes the bargain you get online isn’t the best out there, so having comparables and knowing your bottom-line can help sweeten the deal with a reputable dealer.

 

Car alarm and a blue car

 

  1. Bring Along an Expert

If this is your first car, or you can’t tell the difference between an alternator and a spark plug, you may want to bring back up. It doesn’t have to be someone with extensive car experience, but someone can talk the lingo and actually “kick the tires” with authority can make a huge difference in spotting a lemon or getting swindled. Even with a new car, a person with an eye for vehicles can save you money by telling you the features you do and don’t need.

If any, this is the time to ask your friends and family for their knowledge of car experts. Whether it be your mother’s mechanic, your father’s close friend who’s into cars, or even your floor mate who loves to tinker with their set of wheels – don’t go it alone!

 

  1. Confidence Repels A Bad Deal

Finally, when shopping in your college town, the best thing you can bring with you is your confidence. If you look like someone who can be sold a bad car, they will sell it. Bring in paperwork online with exactly what you’re looking for and the price that you have been quoted. Ask to drive the car, and make sure you get the feel of it. Don’t let the seller push you to settle if you’re unsure or if you want to shop around some more. Remember that a car is an expensive and important purchase – not to mention, there’s only one driver’s seat.

Getting your first car while you’re experiencing the college life may seem like a lot – and it is – but it’s all well worth it. As one of your first big-ticket items, making sure you get the most for your money is important. Take these tips to heart when searching for that perfect set of wheels, and remember to buckle up!

 

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The Less-Obvious Benefits of Studying

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You know you have to study. If you want the good grades, you’ve got to put the time and effort in with each class. While you think cramming for that big exam is just enough, you’re also wondering, “Shouldn’t there be more benefits to pouring over my entire notebook?” Luckily, for high school and college students, here are a few great examples of some little-known perks of doing your best while in study mode.

 

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  1. Become a Better Friend

When you take notes, especially if you are taking them from a lecture or video, you are practicing what is called “active listening.” Passive listening happens when you are listening, but you are thinking of the next step (such as what to say next). Active listening is when your mind is totally focused on what the person is saying so that you comprehend it best.

For example, if your BFF is talking about an argument with her mom, put your good studying skills to work to pick up on subtleties in her speech pattern or her mentioning of smaller details. Your friend will love that you are tuned in to her, and you will love that your mind is focused.

 

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  1. Practice Goal Setting Techniques

The main goal when you study is to know the necessary amount of information and move on. But when you study, you are also practicing goal-setting techniques that can help you become a successful person down the line.

Start by making the goal (memorize x amount of pages), plan for the goal (spend 25 minutes a day reading through notes), and then work towards the goal (the actual studying). When you’re out of college, you can use that same careful and detailed method to find your first job, work towards a promotion, or even run a marathon!

  1. Exercise Your Brain for the Future

People say learning happens every day, and starting good studying habits helps you learn better and faster. When you’re in the job market, being able to pick up new skills and knowledge makes you more marketable, and you’ll be able to talk about almost anything while showing off what you’ve picked up while pulling those all-nighters..

Studying is exercise and fuel for your brain. It fires up your nerves and speeds up the signals. In addition, learning something new also increases myelin, a fatty brain substance that powers up brain function. See? You’ve learned something new today.

 

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  1. Learn to Problem Solve

Critical thinking is a buzzword you’ve picked up by now — and for good reason. Critical thinking helps you process issues as they come in a creative, stress-free way. It additionally helps you see the world outside of black and white. For example, an algebraic question may have more than one way to solve it — one way being faster and more efficient, the other being slower but more detailed.

But with studying, critical thinking isn’t quite so obvious. Memorizing material your teacher told you isn’t helping, right? Wrong! When you study, you are essentially asking yourself questions and giving yourself answers. You are looking critically at material that you may have covered months ago. And you’re adding to your bank of skills and information that you can use to apply to other problems down the road.

Studying may seem like a pain now, but hopefully these facts motivate you to want to study and get more from your classes than just that great grade.

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9 Supermarket Hacks for Frugal College Students

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Chances are you’re probably tired of your dining hall’s eats, and you’re ready for something new. Even though you’ve heard your parent’s pleas of “Shop, don’t spend” when it comes to food, navigating supermarket prices can still be a bit of a challenge. In order to watch your wallet and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, we’ve come up with some great frugal hacks to make sure your grocery list is worth every penny.

 

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  1. Share the Costs

One of the best grocery moves you can make as a college student is to not go it alone. Buying a few things a week can really add up. Plus, you may be left with a lot of food waste. Instead, ask your roommate to split the bill and share your food — or if you have a membership to a big-box supermarket, see if anyone would be willing to go halfsies on the buy-in cost.

 

  1. Compare Online Prices

Online delivery stores like Amazon Pantry and PeaPod often offer great deals on your favorite foods. All it takes is a bit of research. After a few local shops, start noting the price of your favorite item (such as $1 for yogurt). Then, pick a day to compare the same item online. You may be surprised to see which one is cheaper!

 

  1. Make a Meal Plan

One of the biggest mistakes grocery shoppers make is not having a plan. Even worse, hungry shopping can lead to lots of unhealthy impulse buys (like that candy bar at the checkout line). Come in with a list of everything you want to buy and stick to it as much as possible.

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Actually write something down…like your meals for the week!

 

  1. Compare Labels and Research Organics

Let’s say you’re looking to trim fat but the low-fat option is much more expensive. Is it worth paying the premium? No! Instead, look at the labels of the generic or non-low-fat options. Many brands label their items as low-fat, low-sugar, low-sodium, etc. when they actually didn’t change the recipe at all! The same idea goes for organics. Before you only buy something organic, research the product online to see if it really earns that label.

 

  1. Generic Hunt

You probably have a favorite cereal or chip brand. Who doesn’t? But did you know that the recipe is almost identical (if not exactly the same) in that store brand package? You’d be surprised to find out that generic brands usually taste similar to their big brand counterparts. Besides, who doesn’t love hi-lo shopping?

 

  1. Go Vegetarian or Vegan

Here’s the deal — meat and fish are expensive! And as a college student, you most likely won’t have the means to cook or properly store it. So skip it altogether. Instead, grocery shop around plant-based diets where you’ll spend more on produce than slabs of beef.

 

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  1. Sign Up for Coupons/Loyalty Clubs

Grocery stores LOVE when you sign up for their loyalty clubs, and they will reward you with coupons and exclusive deals. All you have to do is give your email, phone number, and address. Even if you won’t shop there frequently, it’s worth signing up for a few dollars off your bill.

 

  1. Stock Up Responsibly

If you’ve seen extreme couponing shows, you probably get that to make that work, you need to have a huge pantry or storehouse to keep everything. Not true! To save money this way, follow the rule of stocking up on most used products when it’s on sale. And then purchase an under the bed storage bin to keep your extras out of sight and mind.

 

  1. Know Your Supermarkets

Some supermarkets are just pricier than the next. Don’t be fooled by lighting, color, or decor. Shop around your college town till you find the most consistent low-priced supermarket. And avoid trendy where you’ll only pay for the better soundtrack. Once you find the perfect fit, use these tips to up your supermarket saving game and skip the dining hall line forever (until graduation).

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