The Pros and Cons of Taking Online Classes

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THE PROS AND CONS OF TAKING ONLINE CLASSES

 

So, you’re thinking of enrolling in an online class and not sure if you should pull the trigger?  While online courses are a great way to catch up on your workload or get ahead for graduation, there are plenty of pros and cons that you should consider before you decide to take the plunge and enroll in one.  Remember, when in doubt, you can always reach out to your guidance counselor to help you figure out what to do.  They are a fantastic resource and will be able to talk you through it!

 

Without further ado, here are our top pros and cons for taking online classes next semester.

 

PRO #1 – THEY ARE SUPER EASY TO ATTEND

Because these classes are online, you don’t need to stress over actually getting to class.  Instead of planning ahead to make sure that you get to campus with enough time to find a parking spot and secure a seat in the lecture hall, you can simply open up your laptop and join in from the comfort of your own home!

 

CON #1 – THEY ARE SUPER EASY TO ATTEND

On the flip side, the fact that online classes are so easy to attend can be detrimental, too.  Many times students drop off in their attendance rate of online classes, since there is little or no accountability in terms of participation and actual attendance.  Because students tend to work at their own pace in online classes, they can fall behind, thinking that they’ll have plenty of time to catch up later.

 

PRO #2 – YOU ARE ABLE TO LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE

Many online classes involve an aspect of being “self-taught” – in other words, you can work at your own pace to teach yourself the material with what resources the professor is offering your class.  Whether it’s watching instructional videos, participating in an online discussion forum, or working on class projects, you can easily work at your own pace and focus on what you need to in order to best learn the material and work to get ahead.

 

CON #2 – YOU HAVE TO LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE

And again – this pro can absolutely be a con.  Rather than being upheld to a strict standard in order to pass the class, such as in an in-person lecture or lab, online courses allow for you to work at your own pace to learn the material.  As soon as you begin to fall behind or don’t understand something, you run the risk of digging yourself a hole that you can’t get out of before the end of the semester.  If you tend to put off work or have difficulties motivating yourself to learn on your own, this could be a trap that you will fall into with online classes.

 

PRO #3 – OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPLORATION

Last on our list of pros definitely involves the opportunity to explore other avenues.  If you’re feeling stuck in your major or minor and are interested in expanding your horizons and learning about something new that you may be very interested in, online classes are a great way to do so.  Majoring in Accounting but really drawn to Astronomy?  Enroll in an online class and see if that’s something that you would be interested in pursuing.  Thinking about switching your major from Law to Psychology?  Test out an online class before you take the plunge.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

All in all, online classes are a great way to help you get ahead on your coursework and supplement what you are already learning.  However, they do have some cons that need to be considered before you take the plunge and enroll in a class.  Always consider what your goals are before making your decision, and reach out to your guidance counselor if you need some good advise before you do.

Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

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Now that the holidays are officially here, it’s time to indulge in some spirited treats!  If you’re as much of a fan of holiday cookies as we are, you’ll definitely want to keep reading.  Here are our five favorite holiday cookie recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth and get you into the spirit of the season!

COOKIE #1 – THE CHOCOLATE CHIP

The classic and one of our all-time favorites, we will always reach for chocolate chip cookies to get us into the spirit of the season.  Here’s what you need to get your hands on these delicious little morsels:

  • Ungreased cookie sheet pan
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. hot water
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Now that you have all the ingredients, here’s what you do to get these cookies ready to eat:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to batter with salt
  6. Stir in flour and chocolate chips
  7. Drop by large spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet pan
  8. Bake for 10 minutes

COOKIE #2 – THE SPRITZ COOKIE

If you’re looking for a cookie that you can decorate and really bring on the holiday spirit, Spritz cookies are it.  Here’s what you need to make these classic and totally delicious cookies:

  • Ungreased cookie sheet pan
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp. almond or vanilla extract
  • Food coloring

Now that you’ve rounded everything up, here’s how to bake these babies:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until smooth
  3. Mix in flour, salt, egg, almond extract, and food coloring
  4. Bake 4 – 8 minutes

COOKIE #3 – THE PECAN CRESCENT COOKIE

One of our favorite flavors of the season, pecans make for gosh darn delicious cookies.  Get in on this flavor by making delicious Pecan Crescent cookies – here’s the ingredient breakdown:

  • Ungreased cookie sheet pan
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Now that you’re ready to go, here’s how to bake these cookies to perfection:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth
  3. Gradually add flour
  4. Add pecans
  5. Shape rounded spoonfuls of dough into 2 ½ inch logs and then shape into crescents
  6. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet pan
  7. Bake 20 – 22 minutes and let cool for 2-3 minutes
  8. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before service

COOKIE #4 – THE SNOWBALL COOKIE

Next up on our list of sugary delights is a holiday favorite – the snowball cookie.  These circular little balls of deliciousness are perfect for grabbing at a party or indulging any time during the holidays.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ungreased cookie sheet pan
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • Powdered sugar

Now that you have your supplies, here’s how to put these cookies together:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Mix butter and sugar until smooth
  3. Add vanilla and mix well
  4. Add flour and pecans gradually until smooth
  5. Shape into 1-inch balls and place 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet pan
  6. Bake 16 – 18 minutes
  7. Cool 5 minutes
  8. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool

COOKIE #5 – THE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COOKIE

Last but not least on our list is one of our favorites – the chocolate peppermint cookie.  This treat combines two of our favorite seasonal treats – chocolate and peppermint!  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cookie sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 16 oz. broken or chopped white chocolate
  • ¼ cup crushed peppermint bits

Now that you’ve rounded everything up and are ready to go, here’s how to bake these delicious little numbers:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl for 20 seconds
  • Mix butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth
  • Mix in eggs one at a time
  • Add vanilla extract and peppermint extract
  • Slowly add flour mixture, mixing well
  • Scoop out dough into rounded spoonfuls and shape into balls
  • Space cookies on sheets 2-inches apart
  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Melt white chocolate in microwave or on stove
  • Once cookies are cool, dip half into melted white chocolate and roll in crushed peppermint

Chill for 10 minutes to set chocolate.

These are just a few of our favorite cookies. Do you have a favorite that wasn’t listed? Let us know which ones you plan to bake over the holidays!

The Best Sandwiches to Sneak into Class

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Photo of Person Holding Burger

Between running from class to class and those super early 8ams, making sure that you get the food you need to keep going can be a pretty tough battle.  One of the easiest ways to make sure that you’re well-fed and totally with it from class to class is by planning meals ahead and making sure that you have food on hand to keep you going.

And the best way to do it?  Sandwiches!  These holy grails of the food world are the perfect way to get the nutrition you need in a quick and easy way.  And you can totally sneak them into class, too!

Here are our top four favorite sandwiches to sneak into class to keep you going day in and day out.

Wheat Bread Sandwich

CLASSIC #1 – THE TURKEY AND CHEDDAR SANDWICH

Probably the easiest sandwich to sneak into class without being caught, the turkey and cheddar is pretty much foolproof.  This sandwich has a minimal smell and can easily be chopped into bite-size pieces that you can sneak while still paying attention in your lecture.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2-5 pieces of sliced turkey
  • 1-2 slices of cheese
  • Lettuce or tomato
  • Your favorite mayo or salad dressing
  • Your favorite bread

Build this baby up however you’d like and be sure to cut it into a few pieces for an easier time wolfing it down in class.

CLASSIC #2 – THE HAM AND SWISS SANDWICH

Much like the turkey and cheddar, this sandwich is super easy to make and is practically scent-free, making it one of our top choices to sneak into class.  Here’s what you’ll need to get your hands on this delicious classic sandwich:

  • 2-5 pieces of sliced ham
  • 1-2 slices of Swiss cheese
  • Lettuce or tomato
  • Your favorite mayo or salad dressing
  • Your favorite bread

Like we said before, be sure to cut up the sandwich into bite size pieces to help make scarfing it down easier and less conspicuous in class.

CLASSIC #3 – THE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a stove or microwave in your dorm, whipping up a quick grilled cheese sandwich is a super delicious way to keep you up on your feet.  Here’s what you’ll need to get this sandwich prepped for your class:

  • Your favorite sliced cheese
  • Butter to taste
  • Your favorite bread

All you need to do is toast your bread, add some butter, throw on the cheese, and pop it on the stove or in the microwave for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

CLASSIC #4 – THE PB&J

Last, but certainly not least, you can’t mention sandwiches without PB&J. The staple of simple sandwiches, and just down right delicious, you can’t go wrong.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Peanut Butter (Creamy or Crunchy)
  • Jelly (Smucker’s gets our nod of approval)
  • Two slices of your favorite bread

All you need to do is smear it across your favorite bread (We prefer a 2 to 1 peanut butter to jelly ratio), wrap it up, and you’re ready to head to class.

The Best Snow Day Activities On Campus

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Bridge Near Light Post With Snow and Building at Distance

Now that winter is in full swing and the weather has finally taken a turn for the better (or the worse), one of our favorite wintertime events is quickly coming up – a SNOW DAY!  This nostalgic event brings back memories of kicking back at home when school was cancelled, catching your favorite cartoons or heading outside to get wild playing in the snow with friends.

At college, snow days are a pretty rare occurrence, unless you’re attending a larger school or a member of a commuter campus.  If you’re lucky enough to have your classes cancelled due to snow and want to make the most of your day, here are our top four favorite activities to get involved with around campus.

Man Holding Snowball

ACTIVITY #1 – SNOW ANGELS AND SNOWBALL FIGHTS GALORE

Let’s take it back to our childhood snow days, when all we needed was the great outdoors and our best friends to have a crazy good time all day long.  Just getting bundled up in your coziest waterproof clothing and running around outside is one of the most fun (and free!) ways to have a good time.

Everyone will be in the same happy spirits, so don’t be afraid to drop down and make a snow angel or two!   You can even get into the spirit of things by building a snowman and decking them out in school-spirited scarves or hats for the perfect snow day Instagram post.  If you’ve got a group going and the snow is still soft and pliable (NOT rock-hard or frozen), set up a snowball fight somewhere on campus.  The more the merrier!

2 Girl's Playing on Snow

ACTIVITY #2 – HIT UP SOME SLOPES

You’re never too old for sledding! Whether you’re close to a lodge area or simply hitting up a nice hill on campus, finding the perfect place to hit up some slopes is one of the most thrilling things you can do on a snow day.

Don’t have a sled or skis?  If you’re heading to a lodge, you can easily rent them for yourself for pretty cheap.  On the flip side, if you’re staying on campus, ask around your dorm and friend circle – someone will definitely have a sled or tube that you can borrow for those sweet on-campus hills!

ACTIVITY #3 – KEEP IT COZY AT A LOCAL CAFÉ

If you’re not really the great outdoors type and looking for something a little more on the cozier side, look up local cafes online that you and your friends could spend some time at either on campus or in the area nearby.  Local coffee shops, diners, or restaurants in the area are the perfect place to get warm, sip on some piping hot drinks, and chat the day or night away.

Smoke over White Mug

ACTIVITY #4 – BRAVE THE GREAT INDOORS

Really not feeling the outdoors or the weather too much to really enjoy?  Keep it cozy by staying in your dorm.  You can easily organize an indoors event with your roommates and friends, such as setting up a movie marathon or baking in the student lounge.  If you don’t feel like cooking, order in some piping hot food and kick back so you can really enjoy your time off.

How to Have a Friendsgiving on Campus

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So you’re stuck on campus for Thanksgiving?  Whether you have some work to catch up on or flying home just wasn’t in the budget this year, you don’t be so down in the dumps – you can still totally have a celebration of your own with friends!  Enter “Friendsgiving.”

This modern take on your classic Thanksgiving celebration brings together your friends on campus for a not-so-classic celebration of one of your favorite holidays.  But if you’ve never planned an event like this before, how do you get started?

Never fear –we’ve got you covered.  Here’s what you need to do to have the perfect Friendsgiving on campus this year.

STEP 1 – FIND YOUR FRIENDS

Of course, the first thing to do is actually figure out which (if any) of your friends are also staying on or around campus for Thanksgiving.  Do some asking around and see – you never know who you’ll find!  That guy you did a project with for Econ?  He might be down for a little on-campus festivities.  Your RA that you swore you’d never bother again after your first week shenanigans?  They might appreciate it, too.

You never know – you could totally find someone who would otherwise be celebrating Thanksgiving all by their lonesome without your invite!  Send out some texts, hit up IG, or simply walk around and ask people what they’re up to.  The more the merrier on Friendsgiving!

STEP 2  – NAIL DOWN YOUR LOCATION

Now that you have your guest list all ironed out, it’s time to figure out where you actually want to host this event.  If you’re lucky enough to be living in a house or apartment on-campus with a kitchen, you’re totally set.  On the other hand, if you’re shacked up in a dorm, you may need to do some digging to find a communal location to cook and eat.

Your RA would be a great source of information for this – they will be able to point you in the right direction of where you can cook on campus.  Don’t be afraid to ask – they may even offer to help!

STEP 3 – FINALIZE YOUR MENU

Figuring out what to serve on Friendsgiving can be one of the hardest parts.  Should you do a potluck?  Or would it be easier to cook everything yourself and ask your friends to chip in funds for food?

The answer is – it’s totally up to you!  Depending on your location, how much time you have to dedicate to cleaning and cooking, and how reliable your friends actually are, you can totally opt for either side of the coin.

Just be sure to get the menu finalized with your friends before the night of – it would be awful for someone to show up with allergies who can’t eat anything or for everyone to show up with only side dishes.

STEP 4 – ENJOY YOURSELF!

Don’t ever forget – Friendsgiving is all about celebrating.  Don’t get too caught up in the occasion and forget to have fun.  Enjoy the food, great conversations, and happy times with some of your closest (and not so close) friends as you celebrate the ability to come together this time of the year.

Thanksgiving Treats that You can Make at College

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Thanksgiving is almost here!  Time to get ready to stuff our faces full of anything and everything sweet, savory, and delicious.  But if you’re living on-campus and far away from home, the chances of getting your hands on something tasty before heading home for the holidays is often next to none.

But never fear – you can totally whip up some of your favorite Thanksgiving treats in the comfort of your own dorm room (without causing a fire in the process)!  Without further ado, here are our top four favorite treats to get you through the rest of November until Thanksgiving finally arrives.

(ALMOST) HOMEMADE CORNBREAD

Dreaming of the days when mom would serve deliciously hot cornbread with dinner?  Now you can snag it from your own microwave!  Here are the details on what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk

Now that you have everything (plus your microwave) ready to go, here’s how to cook it:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large microwave-safe container
  2. Heat in microwave on high until fully cooked – insert a toothpick in the middle to determine when it’s done (it will come out clean)

MELTY MASHED POTATOES

If you’re on a carb kick or just looking for some warm comfort food to help you get through your endless classes and the freezing days, look no further.  Here’s what you need for the ultimate mashed potatoes:

  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1-3 oz. milk
  • 2 oz. cheese

And now that you’ve gathered everything, here’s how you make it:

  1. Fully wash potato and remove eyes. Stab fork holes throughout.
  2. Microwave for 5-8 minutes or until soft.
  3. Remove potato and place on cutting board. Slice in half.
  4. Scoop out white of potato with a spoon and add to bowl.
  5. Add milk and cheese to bowl.
  6. Mash with fork until fully blended.
  7. Microwave as needed to melt the cheese.
  8. EAT IT ALL.

TASTY TURKEY CUTLETS

Dreaming of delicious turkey?  We totally get it.  Cook it for yourself in the comfort of your dorm room with these ingredients and steps:

  • 1 three-pound turkey cutlet (skinned)
  • Salt and pepper

That’s really all you need!  Now here’s what you do:

  1. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Place in microwave-safe bowl. Cover and place in fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Add 1 cup of water to bowl and re-cover.
  4. Microwave on high for five minutes.
  5. Microwave on 50% for five minutes.
  6. Flip over cutlet and microwave on 50% for another 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
  7. EAT UP.

PERFECT PUMPKIN PIE

Pumpkin pie in a dorm room – we must be crazy, right?  Nope – you can easily make this tasty treat for yourself in the comfort of your own room!   Here’s what you need:

  • 1 9-inch pie shell
  • 1 14-oz can of pumpkin pie filling
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Got it all?  Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Mix pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin spice, eggs, and heavy cream in a microwave-safe container.
  2. Heat in microwave for four minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour into piecrust.
  4. Microwave on medium for 14-20 minutes until set in center, rotating once during cooking.
  5. ENJOY!

Let us know your favorite quick Thanksgiving treats!

THE BEST COLLEGE ITEMS TO BUY ON BLACK FRIDAY

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Now that November is right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping.  And one of the best days to buy everything that you need?  Black Friday, of course.

If you’re considering braving the masses in-store or simply hitting up your favorite sites online, Black Friday is one of the best days to snag deals on your necessities (or non-necessities), including things that you totally need for college.

But what should you buy?  Here’s our breakdown of the top five best items to snag on sale on Black Friday to help you get through college.

STEAL #1 – A NEW OR USED LAPTOP

Obviously, this is first on our list.  If you’re looking to upgrade your old laptop or are on a budget and need a used one that will help you just get your work done, Black Friday is one of the perfect days to get exactly what you need.

Hit up big retailers like Target or Apple to get your hands on a brand new laptop fresh off the line.  If you are hunting for a more affordable option that is used but refurbished, Amazon and Best Buy would be great options, too.

STEAL #2 – DORM ROOM ELECTRONICS

Next up on our list is electronics for your dorm room.  Whether you’re looking to snag a TV or a sweet new gaming system, there will be plenty of deals on Black Friday that are perfect for you.

Additionally, you can totally snag great deals on DVDs, video games, and CDs on Black Friday to supplement the electronics that you may already have on hand.

STEAL #3 – A COZY WINTER JACKET

When living on the east coast, you can never really have too many cozy jackets to keep you warm as the temperatures drop.  Black Friday is a great day to snag what you need from your favorite retailers for a pretty hefty price drop, whether you’re looking for the perfect peacoat or something a little heavier to fight the chill.

STEAL #4 – SMALL APPLIANCES

If you’re in the market for a toaster or a coffeemaker for your dorm room, Black  Friday is the perfect day to get your hands on what you need.  Hit up big retailers like Amazon, Kohl’s, or Macy’s to get great deals on the little appliances that will help get you through the rest of your school year.

STEAL #5 – INTERVIEW ATTIRE

Say what?  That’s right – interview attire should definitely be on your list for Black Friday shopping.  If you’re graduating in the spring and are definitely heading straight into job hunting mode, take this time to grab some deals on high-end interview attire that you can store away until its needed.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember – always go into your Black Friday shopping with a budget.  If you can, map out what you want or need to get ahead of time before you head out into the masses or brave the endless online sales.  Use this time to snag everything that you need for college and more – you’ll thank us later!

Winter Hat and Scarf Combos for those Cold Days on Campus

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With winter now in full swing, it’s time to break out the cold weather gear to keep you warm as you trek across campus to class, the cafeteria, and wherever else you may be headed.  You have your jacket and boots ready to go, but have you planned out your cold-weather accessories?

Did you know that one of the quickest ways you lose heat when the temperatures drop is through your head?  The easiest ways to fight this is by keeping cozy with a hat and scarf on top of your usual gear.  Here are our favorite winter hats and scarves combos to keep you cozy all season long!

THE TRAPPER HAT AND CLASSIC SCARF

Ready for the ultimate winter hat and scarf combination?  Time to break out the classic trapper hat and woven scarf.  This timeless combo is the perfect way to keep toasty warm all season long, no matter how cold it gets outside.

The trapper hat typically covers the ears and wraps around the chin, keeping your entire head under wraps and super cozy.  Pairing this hat with a classic woven or knitted scarf is a great way to keep you warm without causing you to overheat as you hike around campus to class.

THE BEANIE AND INFINITY SCARF

More on the stylish side of things?  Try combining your classic ribbed beanie cap with an infinity scarf.  This is the perfect way to keep looking fashion-forward while still keeping it functional all winter long.

Because the beanie typically only goes to the ears, you’ll want a scarf that covers more of your neck and that can potentially be pulled up to help protect your face from the elements.  An infinity scarf is the perfect way to get that extra protection, as you can wrap it as many times as you need to keep cozy.

THE POM-POM BEANIE AND SHAWL SCARF

If the weather isn’t quite icy and you’re looking to keep warm but not totally overheat while walking around outside, pairing a pom-pom beanie and shawl scarf is the perfect way to go.

The pom-pom beanie is a great way to add a playful touch to your winter outfit without looking like you’re trying too hard.  By pairing it with a shawl scarf, you can customize how cozy your winter outfit truly is by wrapping it closer to the neck or letting it drape over your shoulders.

THE EARMUFFS AND WOOL SCARF

If hats really aren’t much of your thing or you don’t want to sacrifice a great hair day to keep warm, earmuffs are the next best things to keep you cozy.  By adding a classic wool scarf to your look, you’ll keep it timeless and super warm all season long.

Oftentimes, the first thing to get frigid when you hit the great outdoors during the winter is your ears.  Earmuffs fight the cold, keeping them covered and toasty warm as you prance about outside.  Keeping it classic with a wool scarf gives you the ability to customize how much warmth you get, by tightening or loosening it around the neck depending on your mood, sense of style, and the weather outside.

These are our favorite hat and scarf combos to get us through those bitter winter temperatures around campus. Tell us your favorites and how you stay warm in the winter!

Grocery Shopping Essentials for Dorm Rooms

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Dorm room pizza

If you’re living on campus and totally sick of the food in the cafeteria or can’t deal with the super limited options available, never fear.  You can easily hit up a grocery store to get the snacks, beverages, and anything else you need!  But finding food that is affordable on a college budget and will last the whole semester can be a challenge if you don’t know what to look for.  And if you’re new to the grocery scene, finding what you need can be a little overwhelming amongst the mountains of food.

Don’t you worry at all – we’ve gathered the five most affordable and delicious foods you can easily snag at your local grocery store.  Without further ado, here is our list of must-have food items for your college dorm.

INSTANT OATMEAL

Super cheap and easy to make, instant oatmeal is the broke college student’s best friend.  You can easily buy a tub of plain oatmeal and your favorite toppings to mix in for less than $5 total, and it will last you for plenty of breakfasts.  And the best part?  This bad boy has a super long shelf life so you can stock up when your parents in town to have enough to last all semester long.

MAC-AND-CHEESE

Super delicious and super cheap, mac-and-cheese is a definite must-have in your arsenal.  Not only is mac-and-cheese super filling and affordable (under $5 a box), but also it makes for the perfect late night snack or hangover food, too.  Stock up on a mega-sized box from your local big-box store and you’ll have the perfect anytime food ready to go.

RAMEN NOODLES

The holy grail of college life, Ramen Noodles are probably the cheapest and most delicious food you can have in your arsenal.  All you need to do is add a little water and nuke it in the microwave and you have a hot and tasty meal (almost) instantly.  A super-sized pack of ramen sells for less than $0.50 each at your local grocery or big box store, making it super affordable, too.

INSTANT RICE

Another must-have for college life is definitely the oversized $5 box of instant rice.  Another product that just needs a little bit of water and a microwave, you can totally cook up a bowl of steaming hot rice in minutes.  Throw a little of your favorite hot sauce in it, mix in some salt, or add ramen noodles (if you really want to get crazy).  Any way you eat it, instant rice is going to taste great.

PROTEIN BARS

An essential for any college student on the go, protein bars are a quick way to get a satisfying snack or mini-meal if you’re running late to class or are in the middle of a four-hour lab.  You can easily buy them in bulk for under $20 a box at a Costco or Sam’s Club and keep them stashed in your dorm for whenever you need them.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember, you don’t have to settle.  When it comes to campus food, you can totally skip the trial and error of the cafeteria by hitting up your local grocery store.  Keep to budget-conscious foods like mac-and-cheese, ramen, and protein bars to keep yourself fed and in the green. Trust us – your stomach and your bank account will thank you.

How to Keep Your Room Summer-Y All Year Round

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As the summer comes to a close and the cooler fall and winter months slowly creeping come in, it can be hard to hang onto those happy carefree summertime feelings. As the days get darker and colder, so can your spirits.

And, what’s the easiest way to keep yourself feeling bright and active as these hazy days drag on and on, you ask? By keeping your room the same way, of course. Here a few of our favorite ways to keep your room looking and feeling totally summer-y all year round.

TIP #1 – Lighting is Your New BFF

What’s the quickest way to make your room feel like you’re living the good summer life? Up your interior lighting game. Adding more or warmer lighting to your room can really open it up and give it that authentic summertime feel.

Rather than using that (horrible) overhead fluorescent lighting that your dorm more than likely has, look for a floor lamp or even a desk lamp that you can add to your room to warm it up a bit. After all, the brighter your room, the more inviting and open it seems.

TIP #2 – Go for the Brights

One of the quickest ways to add a little summer back to your room is by throwing in some bright, summery colors. Think about it – if your room is all hospital white and navy, you’re not going to be feeling too bright or happy. By dropping a few bright hints here and there, you can totally take your room (and style) up a notch.

Try adding in some vibrant blues, yellows, or oranges in various places and go from there. Little touches, such as a turquoise throw pillow or an electric blue desk lap, can really bring a little summery oomph back to your room. Just avoid overdoing it with the colors or you may start to feel a bit overwhelmed.

TIP #3 – Keep it Scent-Sual

Still not feeling the summertime vibes? Try adding some tasty summery smells to your room! Something as simple as a reed diffuser or a scented air spray in one of your favorite citrusy or tropical scents can really add some vibrancy back to your digs.

TIP #4 – Add a Little Pattern Play

If colors and lighting aren’t doing it for you, you can always add some cool summery patterns to your room to bring that carefree feeling back. Something as simple as adding a poster to your wall with a bold wave pattern or a playful black and white print on your bedding can really add some visual texture and vibe with the whole summertime feeling you’re working to create.

TIP #5 – Throw on Some Tunes

If you really want to liven up the mood, add in some music while you’re chilling in your room. Simply throwing on what you’d typically listen to in the summer can bring back those lifted feelings and have you kicking back. Just be sure to clear it with your roommate first – not everyone may be a fan of your – ahem – unique music tastes.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
Remember, when you’re starting to feel the blues from the darker days and cooler temperatures, you can always turn your room into a summertime oasis. You can totally capture the carefree feelings of the summer all year long with the right lighting, bold colors and patterns, tropical scents, and the right tunes.