Building Your Resume

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Resume under the magnifying glass

Maybe you’ve got big plans to do a summer internship, or perhaps you’re hoping to bring in a paycheck over the summer. Either way, you’re going to need a new resume. We’re here to help! Here’s how you can build your first resume from top to bottom!

Resumes 101

Before you get started, you should know that your resume should be a full page long. No big gaps. If you’ve got lots of relevant work experience, you may use a second full page, but never go over that page limit.

Your resume should also be basic. Think normal fonts and black. While it may be tempting to make it unique, most businesses now use a tool that scans your resume for your qualifications. Text boxes, images, graphs, etc. will make it impossible for your resume to be read by most programs.

Before you send it out, make an appointment with your college’s career or writing center for editing help.

The Intro

In your header, you’ll want your name in big, bold letters. Underneath, place your contact information. This is key to getting your name out there.

education is one of the most important parts of a resume

The Education

You’re in school, and you’ll want to show off those credentials. Always list your college, degree, dates of attendance, anticipated graduation date. You may also want to include any accomplishments, awards, professional organizations, leadership roles, etc. Use bullets to separate lines.

USA College                                                                                                           09/2014-05/2018

Anticipated Bachelors of Arts in Art History

  • Director of campus radio station
  • Member of Kappa Kappa

The Experience

If you’ve had or have a job, this should be easy. You’ll list out your 4 to 5 most recent jobs from most recent to oldest. It should also list the name of the job, the position title, the dates you worked, and experience.

When talking about your experience, you’ll want a list of action words in past tense to describe what you did. Be specific as possible, and use numbers when you can. Stick to 3-5 bullets per job.

123 Shop                                                                                                                 10/2015-present

Cashier and Showroom Attendant

  • Attended cash register at busy, upscale clothing store.
  • Organized and maintained shop’s racks and shelves and helped create seasonal front-of-store displays.
  • Trained in customer service protocols and appointed store closer and opener.

The Alternatives

If you have never had a real job, don’t fret! You can list experiences like internships, volunteering, campus leadership roles, and summer jobs (like babysitting or mowing grass). The trick is making it as relevant as possible. Pick experiences that make you sound like a leader or someone with a unique background. List it out just as you would a job.

graduation diploma and cords

The Extras

After your experience, you might also want to make a section for any awards, honors, volunteer roles, special training, or skills. This is a great time to look over the job posting and customize it to what they want. For example, if they want a bilingual speaker, use a “Skill” section to say that you speak Spanish fluently or that you volunteered to translate at your church.

The section is optional, but it makes a great filler if you need to get to the end of the page. It also shows off who you are, and what you can bring to the table.

Tips to Stay Healthy This Semester

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Getting back into the groove of school can be challenging after winter break. You just spent a few weeks kicking back, enjoying the holidays, hanging out with friends without a care in the world. You’ve conquered finals! Nothing to worry about until new classes start! You earned a bit of relaxation.

Except now that break is over, you’re back in the real world: back to hectic schedules, walking across campus, and constantly braving the cold. The average undergrad student spends about 3 hours getting ready and walking to and from class. There’s hardly any time to focus on school work, let alone think about staying healthy — and I’m not talking about hitting the rec center.

We all get sick this time of year, but there’s a reason that college campuses get hit particularly hard. Freshmen, in particular, are vulnerable. It wouldn’t have been that bad to get sick over break — but now, just when you’re starting to get back into the swing of things? A bad cold can make it difficult to study, and bad flu can set you back a few weeks. How can you stay healthy this semester?

What Everyone Knows But Doesn’t Do

Stop it before it even starts … Diseases spread more during winter months because everyone holes up indoors. That means that all those communal surfaces have more germs than you’d think. The average desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. In order to prevent getting sick, follow some common sense advice!

  • Wash your hands thoroughly, regularly. If you live somewhere with cold, dry air, make sure to moisturize afterward.
  • Carry hand sanitizer for sticky situations. Many schools will give small containers out for free, so be on the lookout at career fairs and the like!
  • Don’t share straws, silverware, or pencils that have clearly been chewed on.
  • Don’t touch your mouth or face after spending time in class, the library, or any high-traffic area.
  • Get a flu shot. Most colleges offer these for free! Since this year’s flu season is going to be particularly bad, make sure you get yours.

Yeah, you might know all this already. This is just a friendly reminder to actually follow the advice this year.

Advanced Advice

Alright, those are the basics, but what else can you do to prevent from getting sick? Well, there are a couple of habits that make college students particularly vulnerable.

Are you getting enough sleep? And, no, in class doesn’t count. You probably need around 8 hours a night. That might sound like a dream, but without proper sleep your immune system is vulnerable. If you just can’t make it to 8 hours during the night, though, don’t be ashamed to take a nap. Better you lose a few hours of studying than a few days of class.

Naps can also lower your stress level, which is hugely helpful towards maintaining a healthy immune system. Make sure you are taking time to relax. Too many college students are too busy multitasking and resume-building that they work themselves to bed.

Be aware of your surroundings. This is one of the hardest things to monitor but by far the most helpful. Many college dorms are cramped spaces filled with as many people as possible. This is the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to spread. If your roommate says they are not feeling well, stock up on antibacterial wipes and vitamin C!

Know When to Get Help

Too many college kids are so worried about saving money that they spread disease and get worse when they should’ve gone to the doctor. Your college probably has a clinic on campus, and they will work with you to cut down on the cost! There’s no reason you should continue to languish in misery when there are medications and treatments to help you get back on your feet.

If you’ve been sick for more than a couple days, consider that you might have something more serious. That sore throat might be strep — the differences between the flu and pneumonia aren’t as obvious as you’d think — and having a fever for multiple days is a definitely a cause for concern. If you’re worried that this could be something more, go to the doctor and encourage friends to do the same.

Staying healthy in college is more challenging than most people think. Between classes, work, and juggling a social life, you’re stressed enough as it is. This is just one more thing to think about. However, if you’re health lags behind, you can’t really juggle anything else. Staying in tip-top shape needs to be a priority this winter. So bundle up and use your head!

9 Activities for College Students Between Christmas and New Years

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Taking time to relax at home after finals week over Christmas break

Winter break is, by far, one of the best times of the year. Of course, we’re off school and finally relaxing after a stressful finals marathon. There’s also the holidays to celebrate with presents and treats to keep us occupied. However, in between Christmas and New Years is a blank space where nothing much happens. Instead of being bored, we’ve made a list of the top 9 things you can do between Christmas and New Years that will make the most of your winter break.

  1. Winter Wardrobe Updating

The best time to shop for deals on winter clothes? Right after Christmas! Everyone’s got great deals on dresses, pants, coats, hats, etc. And you’ll want a new outfit for your NYE party anyways! Go splurge a little and do some wardrobe remodeling.

      2. Get Yourself on Track

You could wait till the New Years to start a workout routine, but that’s kind of a waste. Instead, beat the crowds and get to the gym when it’s still quiet and deserted. Your body will thank you for the jumpstart.

Enjoying the winter wonderland over the holidays

     3. Pamper and Primp

To us, there’s nothing more relaxing than a fresh new manicure and an awesome haircut. Stand out of the crowd on NYE by gifting yourself a mini-makeover. Spa day required!

     4. Friendmas

There’s Friendsgiving and Galentine’s Day. Why not Friendmas? Get your hometown gang together and hold a white elephant party with gifts you’d rather not have gotten. It’s the perfect excuse to throw a little party.

     5. Prepare for the Inevitable

Spring semester is coming faster than you think. And before you know it, you’ll be on a flight or car ride back to campus. Don’t be left unprepared. Take a day and buy your books and supplies beforehand. Review over the syllabus of your new classes, and take care of any holds on your accounts. Most colleges are open for business.

     6. Volunteer Some Time

After the Christmas rush, many organizations have a dead spot of no volunteers between holidays. Pick up the slack and help others in need by taking a shift at your favorite charity. You can even visit Grandma’s senior home or spend time with some adorable, adoptable puppies.

Time around the fireplace can make for great family memories

     7. Make More Family Memories

While it might be a bit tempting to spend time out of the house, our time with our families is short and always dwindling. This week gives us precious time to spend just a few more hours with the ones who love us most. Do some baking with mom, go on a hike with dad, head over to the mall with younger siblings… it all matters.

     8. Catch Up on Oscar Contenders

Awards season is near! That means that movie theaters in your area are packed with blockbuster hits and indie award nominees. This is the perfect time to get to the theater to see each and every one of them! Make a day to marathon through your top picks, or just choose one or two at random if you’re looking to be surprised.

     9. Refresh and Renew

Pampering isn’t for everyone. Some of us would rather refresh our minds and bodies by connecting with nature, hitting a quiet art museum, or taking a yoga class. After the rush of the holidays, pick an activity that speaks to you, and enjoy the peace and quiet it gives you.

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!

Black Friday Deals for Students to Look Out For

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Shopping mall during a busy hour

Fall break is here, and we are thrilled for some rest, relaxation, turkey time, and shopping! Black Friday isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re personally stoked for scoring some major deals. With the holidays on our mind and a budget to keep, we’ve got our eye on eight specific items that are must-buys when you’re in college. Here’s our shopping list to help you get started.

  1. Blankets and Bedding

Snuggly and warm go on massive discounts come Black Friday sales. Score new fluffy pillows for under $10. Maximize your warmth with heated throws for pennies on what you’d normally spend. Freshen up your dorm look with inexpensive quilts and flannel sheets sets. When it’s on sale, you can give your room a makeover.

     2. Summer Clothing

It may not be advertised, but Black Friday is almost always the time when stores push all their unpurchased summer clothes to super clearance. Score on basics like t-shirts and tanks. Find a cute dress or two to add to your wardrobe. And don’t forget about replacing your shower flip flops!

Apple and Mac products on desk

     3. Laptops and Tablets

Here’s a pro tip: this is pretty much the only time you’ll get discounted Mac and Apple products, tech fans, but it won’t be much. Instead, consider standing in line for a very inexpensive, yet durable Chromebook or tablet as a stand-in. It’s perfect for college student needs, and you can often grab one for under $200!

     4. Entertainment Tech

When we think of Black Friday, we think of TVs. But a new flat screen isn’t the only thing we’re picking up this year. Headphones, especially big brand names, are always price cut. And don’t forget speakers, game consoles, and Blu Ray players.

     5. Fitness Gear and Clothes

Ahead of New Year’s resolutions, stores start to push activity and fitness items out the door come Thanksgiving. Popular items include activity watches, workout armbands for your phones, hand weights, yoga mats, and running shoes. At least you’ll work off your turkey calories.

     6. Movies and Games

We sometimes find Black Friday to be a crapshoot when it comes to smaller entertainment items, but not this year! So many stores are putting out deep discounts on movies and video games that we actually want to own. There’s even talk of Cyber Monday deals with downloadable movies from sites like Amazon!

French press and coffee mug

     7. Kitchen Appliances and Utensils

This is the time to replace your mom’s old coffee maker or that rice cooker that’s on its last limbs. With appliances going for as little as $10, you can buy a lower brand model and then replace each Black Friday for the same price or less as an expensive version.

     8. Jewelry and Accessories

Besides cheesy gold and silver mom-type jewelry, accessories don’t get enough hype this shopping season. But if you know where to look, you can find statement pieces that are totally your style. A great trick is to go to a clothing store you love and browse their selection. More than likely, they’ll put a sale ticket on small items like jewelry and you know the style will be close to what is already in your closet.

There you have it – our list of the top deals you should start scouting out for Black Friday! Let us know where you find the best deals and who you were able to cross off of your holiday shopping list!

What to Do If You Aren’t In Love With Your Major

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Stack of textbooks and apple

When you started freshman year, you were sure you wanted to study business. But now you’re in your program and you’re starting to feel restless. This path doesn’t seem right anymore, and your classes are either too challenging or too boring. Does this sound familiar? Realizing that you’re no longer in love with your choice of major can be shocking. But there are a lot of things you can do to help make up your mind on if you should switch or not. Here’s how to get started.

Give It Time

Stress gets the best of any of us. Coursework, activities, exams, family, friends — it can be a lot to deal with when you’re in college. And that feeling of dread or restlessness can be projected on other things in your life. In some cases, that may be your major.

If it’s been a tough semester or you’ve got a lot going on, you may not want to rush to make any changes to your major. Wait until your feelings pass, you take that exam, or you get that apology from your BFF. You may find that you feel more secure about your future when you have a clearer head.

Meet With Your Advisor

Discussing potentially switching majors with your friends or classmates is a start, but it shouldn’t be the only place you go. Your advisor is your best bet. He or she can discuss your academic performance, the requirements of your current program, and alternative majors you may have in mind. Really, they are a one-stop-shop for all things majors!

Be sure to schedule your academic advising appointment ahead of any registration period as their hours fill up quickly. And if you’re talking about a whole change, of course, you’ll want to have time to review the new major’s requirements and see how it fits in with your current schedule and if it will impact graduation time.

See Into the Future

If you’re more worried about your career prospects when you graduate, skip the advisor and talk to your university’s career center. They don’t only do resume reviews. They also provide counseling for those unsure of what their major can do for them. With loads of resources and research, they know what is out there in terms of job prospects.

They can also help you discover where your talents are and if you’re in the right fitting major for your interests. Ask for a career assessment or a personality exam like Meyers-Briggs. The professional staff can review your results and give you feedback on both your characteristics and what makes you tick.

Mix It Up

If you’re seriously considering changing majors, why not try your new choice out first? Next semester, enroll in one of the required courses to see how it feels. It might turn out that you have the same feelings as you do about your current major. On the other hand, it might be the breath of fresh air you need to feel better about your choices.

Another benefit of taking courses outside your current major is that you might find that you miss it. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and seeing your old major from a new angle may show you that the grass isn’t always greener. Falling out of love with your major can be tough, but by giving your decision time, help, and professional advice, you can make the decision that is right for your future.

Should You Pull All-Nighters to Study?

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Highlighting and studying for the next exam

If you’re the procrastinating type or prefer to study at the last second, all-nighters may be your thing. But studying at night has some major downfalls for even the most dedicated night owls. On the other hand, cramming it all in the morning-of can be just as ineffective. Here’s how you can determine if you should study at night or wait for the morning — and how to maximize your time.

When to Study Til Dawn

Studying in the evening isn’t for the fainthearted. It can be exhausting and leave you reeling when you wake up the next morning. However, if you’ve got the temperament and schedule for it, you might actually be able to pull it off.

The best night students are the ones who have already conditioned their body to push past midnight. You know you’re one if bedtime is nonexistent or you love doing last minute Sudoku puzzles on your phone while your roommate sleeps. If you’ve been consistently doing this, then you’ve probably already trained your body and your mind to process information at a higher level late at night.

However, before you pick the evening, you’ll need to look at the clock. Your body needs at least seven hours of productive sleep to retain memory and have decent recall speeds. Any less and you’ll be dragging your feet. So, in other words, pulling an all-nighter for an 8 AM exam is not going to work in your favor. A 3 PM quiz, on the other hand, may just work with that sporadic sleep schedule.

If you’re going to go until the early morning, be sure you do it right. Avoid studying in bed or on a comfy chair you could potentially fall asleep on. Take breaks to move around or find new areas to study at. Drink your coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda early in your study session. And try smell techniques like with smelling lavender-scented essential oils to keep your mind alert all night long.

Note cards are one of the best studying tools

When to Leave It Til Morning Of

The morning of a test is a pretty risky choice, but sometimes it just happens. Whether you crash trying to stay up all-night or you just prefer to go from sunrise till class starts, those essential, last-minute study sessions sneak up on you.

Champion morning-study students have a few things in common. For one, they are regimented and know how to manage their time. You may be this type of person if you’re up early for a morning walk at the same time every morning. Morning studiers are also more visual learners who can process information quickly with items like flashcards or sample exams.

When deciding between night and morning, again consider your schedule. Hopefully, you’re well-rested so excessive drowsiness isn’t an issue. That’s a big win for morning studying. If you can commit to getting to bed early the night before, the morning might be the best time to study. You’ll also want to have at least one solid hour before your test and some time for fueling with a healthy breakfast.

If you want to pick the morning, it’s more about how you cram than when. Visual aids like flashcards or even simple slide shows work best while you’re still waking up. Singing songs or making up anagrams also stick in your mind for last-minute crams. Finally, don’t forget to move frequently and to break up studying into 25-30 minute sessions with 5-10 minute breaks in between so you can reset your brain before you hit the exam. Ultimately, whether you study at night or during the day, you can ace that exam if you know how your body and mind best works.

How to Ensure that You Enjoy Thanksgiving Break

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Thanksgiving Table Spread

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited. A short break is all we need to recharge our batteries before our final exams and get some much-needed home cooking. But breaks can be stressful too. With only a limited time to share with family and friends, you might find yourself wishing you were back at school. These seven tips will help ensure that you enjoy your Thanksgiving break and make the most of your time off.

1.     Set Your Expectations

Before you get on the plane or head out for home, be sure your parents are clear on what they can expect from you. This is especially important if you’re a freshman coming home for the first time since moving into the residence halls. You’ll want to let them know in advance if you’ve made plans with your friends or if you plan on spending your time locked up at a library to finish a term paper. Open lines of communication will save you the anxiety of your parents not being on board with your break plans.

2.     Schedule In Time for Yourself

This one is important for everyone. Even if you’ve had a blow-off semester, make time for yourself. Splurge on a mani-pedi, catch up on your favorite TV shows or go see a movie (even if you do it alone). Without a roommate to bug you, classes to get you up in the morning, and clubs to fill up your schedule, you can easily recharge if you plan ahead.

3.     Avoid Toxic Relationships

It can be tempting to go back to the people you have established relationships with who drive you crazy. This may be an old friend from high school, an ex, or a family member. When possible, don’t let these people ruin your break by giving them your precious time. Limit or cut off all interactions. Eventually, they will understand or change their ways.

4.     Plan for Some Wednesday (and Friday) Fun

The night before Thanksgiving has become a bonafide holiday in itself. It’s a day to get together with your friends, unwind, and give thanks for non-blood relatives. And of course, there’s Black Friday which is sacred for shoppers. But here’s the thing — if you’re not into either type of get-togethers or activities, just say no. Remember that this is your break and you’re entitled to not participate.

Enjoying the comforts of home on break

5.     Enjoy the Luxuries of Home

If you don’t have the budget to pamper yourself on break, you can still get the same kind of feel right back at home. Take a long bath (and add bubbles). Sleep on a comfortable, full-size bed. Bake your favorite comfort food dessert. Watch the big game on a large screen TV. These little things go a long way of refreshing your mood.

6.     Pencil in School Time, If Needed

Yes, we’re talking breaks, but if you need study time, you best plan for study time. Thanksgiving break, in particular, moves fast, and before you know it, you’re back at school taking exams. In the midst of turkey, football games, and shopping, force yourself to buckle down and get your school work or studying done. Even 20-minute sessions can go a long way and won’t interfere if you plan it at the right time.

7.     Know Where Your Priorities Lie

Everyone experiences breaks a different way. Some love being active and busy. Others want to sit around with a book and a candle. Whatever your style is, make it a priority. Don’t listen to what anyone has to say on how you should best use your time. This break is your break, and you should be thankful for it.

Layering Basics as the Temperature Drops

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the jacket and scarf combo. A staple for colder months

The cold is finally here, and we’re pulling out all our winter gear and clothing. From stylish sweaters to chic blazers and coats, we’re ready to rock the fall and winter wardrobes. But a fall outfit can go cold fast if you don’t know how to rock the multiple garment look. That’s why we’ve created this list of layering basics so you can stay warm and stylish at the same time.

1.     Master the Double Roll Sleeves

Long sleeves that hang over your wrist are the worst. It makes you look sloppy and not put together. But this fashion faux pas is hard to prevent if you don’t have model-length arms. Instead of looking less than your best, learn how to do the double roll sleeves. Start by unbuttoning any buttons. Then, turn the cuff inside out and fold back once. Use the length of the cuff to determine how wide to make the second roll, which should be near your elbow.

2.     Keep Your Whites Crisp

One of our favorite classic looks is a white t-shirt under a pop of color sweater or a great flannel shirt. The only downside is that white doesn’t stay white for long. Even if you’re not using your t-shirt or tank to work out in, every day, wear and tear can make this look go from neat, to cheap in seconds. Be sure to do a quick bleach bath of your whites about once every other month or so. That, or buy cheap and resign yourself to buying replacements when necessary.

3.     Know Your Textures

The varying of textures is an important part of any stylish outfit. Pairing wool with wool or cotton with cotton isn’t very fashionable, and it can come across as boring or lazy. Try mixing a leather trench with a polyester tank, a fuzzy sweater with a silk blouse, or ripped jeans with a structured flannel and undershirt.

Cardigan, jeans, and boots. A cold weather staple

4.     Add Layers With Oversized Scarves

Scarves have been making a comeback for years now, but they can’t get any hotter this season! While thin or infinity scarves were a thing last fall, this year is all about long, thick, and tri-point style is what you need to be rocking. The best thing about larger scarves is that you can make an entire layer out of them! Add them to a simple long sleeve shirt or tuck them neatly under a casual coat for a daytime look everyone on campus will love.

5.     Avoid Baggy

Oversized is the look to have this year, but it can be tempting to do too much on a smaller frame. The only way to make loose work is to understand how to balance big and fitted. Go with a tunic style dress and add a structured cardigan with pleats or leather cuffs. If you’re wearing gaucho style pants, make sure your layers on top are more fitted to your body to balance the silhouette.

6.     Fit is Key

No matter what you’re wearing, you need to be sure it actually fits. We’ve already talked too big, but an even worse mistake is squeezing into a sweater or jacket that’s too small. Buttons should sit flat, zippers should make it to the top, and fabric shouldn’t pull around your waist or chest. Before you buy or pick out of your closet, do a “sit, stand, and move” test in front of your mirror to make sure everything looks just right on your body.

With these layering basics, you will be ready to tackle those cold mornings and late nights with exceptional style!

Read This if You’re Having a Hard Time Making Friends in College

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Group of girls walking together on an adventure

You’ve made it halfway through the semester, so it probably seems like friend groups have already been established. But if you’re not feeling the love, don’t worry! Making new friends in college can be tough — much harder than in elementary or even high school. It’s totally normal to feel left out or alone when you’re at a new school. If you’re having a hard time making friends in college, we’ve got advice for you to help you establish a new friend group and build some great relationships.

Open Your Doors

One of the coolest parts of college is that, at most schools, dorms encourage an ‘open doors’ atmosphere. In other words, leave your dorm room door open and decorate. Dress up your room, get a cool focal feature, do something neat and fun with your door… whatever you can think of to draw attention to your space. The more open you are, the more likely friends will come to you!

Two friends after their climb

Join the Club

If you don’t want to be isolated, get involved! Find a club that interests you and fits your schedule. Don’t see anything that’s at your level? Look into forming your own group! It could be tabletop gaming or a group to travel into the city and watch plays. Think of what you love and what you want your friends to want to love too and go from there.

If it’s too hard to form an official club, you can always use Facebook events. Advertise around campus and invite your fellow students to join your group. Once in, start some events and see what happens. Even if only one person comes, it’s a win!

Volunteer Your Friend Time

If you’ve got a big heart, you’ll probably want to hang with like, loving minds. Volunteering for causes you care about is a great way to get out there and introduce yourself to new people. From walking dogs at an animal shelter to packaging goods for the holidays, there are endless opportunities for college students to get together, do some good, and build friendships.

Bond Over Food

For introverts, this may be the hardest piece of advice, but sometimes making friends starts with you initiating it. But it doesn’t have to be the terrifying, “Hey! Let’s be friends!” convo. Instead, it could be a simple, “I’m hungry. Are you heading to the cafeteria? If so, can I tag along?” If you’ve got the cash, you can also ask to buy a person a coffee in exchange for help with a difficult class or to talk a professor that’s annoying you. Food is an instant bonder.

Team meeting for group project with coffee

Embrace Group Projects

Is there anything worse than group projects? Probably not. But instead of groaning and whining, look at group work as an opportunity to open yourself up to others. It starts with being a great partner by pulling your weight, making time for the assignment, and listening to other’s opinions. Afterwards, you can all go out and celebrate being done with shared assignments.

Be Yourself Every Day

When you’re not great at putting yourself out there, it can be tempting to want to change your look or personality. But that’s a mistake. Who you are inside is who you should be embracing. People who can’t see how wonderful and great you are are missing out — not you. Continue to be out there, open to new experiences, and positive and the right friends will find you.

College can also be a time to redefine yourself. If you’re nervous or scared in social situations, it is okay. Chances are that many of the people there are as well. Once you are able to do it the first time, it will feel amazing and you will want to continue putting yourself out there. Soon, you will be the talk of the dorm halls!