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.

How to Make Sure you Meet Your Goals Next Year

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With 2018 soon coming to a close, it’s time to look back and reflect on what you’ve accomplished over the year.  Planned on saving some extra cash over the year and found yourself falling a little short?  No worries!  Planned on hitting straight A’s in all of your classes and didn’t quite make it?  That’s a-okay.  Even if you haven’t accomplished everything that you wanted to over the past year, don’t worry.  You can always take them head-on next year!

If you’re rolling over some of your 2018 goals to 2019 and need some inspiration to get you going, we’re here for you.  Here’s how to make sure that you get on the right track straight off the bat to help you meet your goals for next year.

STEP #1 – IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS AND WRITE THEM DOWN

First up, obviously, is to figure out what your goals are and put them down on paper.  By writing them down, this will help you feel as if you are truly committing to accomplishing them over the next year.

Are there any that you missed hitting this year that you’re ready to take another shot at next year?  Add them to your list.  Anything that you want to get done this year that you weren’t quite sure on last year?  Throw it on the list!  No matter what your goals – personal growth, financial, school, etc. – you should definitely write them down to help give you that initial motivation to get and keep going.

STEP #2 – FIGURE OUT YOUR SUB-GOALS AND PLOT THEM OUT

Sometimes giving yourself a goal can be a bit scary and overwhelming, especially if it’s something that will take a lot of effort or time.  For example – if your goal is to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year, that seems like a lot right off the bat!

The trick is to break down your big goals into smaller, more achievable goals that you can take on over the year rather than trying to do it all at once.  Rather than saying you’re going to lose 50 pounds, break it down to months and then weeks.  Suddenly, your goal will seem much more achievable!

Trying to hit straight A’s next semester?  Sit down and look at your current study habits and grades and identify how much extra time and effort that you’ll need to put in to get you there.  Break it out by tasks that you’ll need to accomplish on a weekly basis and give yourself check-in dates to make sure that you’re still on the right track each week.  By breaking it down into smaller achievable goals, you’ll keep yourself motivated throughout the year and will be less likely to fall off the bandwagon if something comes up that puts you behind.

STEP #3 – GET A FRIEND IN ON IT

Do you have trouble self-motivating or find yourself not following through on personal goals because you have no accountability?  Let’s add that back into the equation.  Get one of your friends in on your goal as an accountability buddy to help keep you on track and headed in the right direction.  Better yet – you can be their accountability buddy, too, if they need a little extra help on their goals!

By bringing someone else into the picture, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable to your goals.  Additionally, having a support system to help you when you’re feeling lazy or slipping off-track can help you stay on schedule and keep you motivated, even when you feel totally lost.

Presents Aren’t Always the Best Gifts!

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With the holidays now in full swing and Christmas quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what to gift your friends and family. But as a broke college student on a budget, figuring out what you can actually afford to give can quickly become stressful and overwhelming.

If you’re on a limited budget but still want to get in the giving spirit of the season, never fear. You can always gift experiences and spend time with your friends and family rather than giving them a physical present! Here are a few invaluable ways to gift yourself to others this season.

GIFT IDEA #1 – BAKE SOMETHING DELICIOUS WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Food is always an affordable and easy present to give, and you can totally get your friends involved in the process! Invite your friends over to your dorm’s kitchen one night before the holiday break, throw on a cheesy Christmas movie or some tunes, and get down to baking your favorite seasonal treats.

If your friends are on as much of a budget as you are, this is an easy way to have everyone “gift” each other without the worry about running out of money. Ask your friends to bring something to contribute or bake, and you’re totally set for a holiday get-together!

GIFT IDEA #2 – HEAD OUT FOR SOME CHRISTMAS CAROLING

It may seem a little cliché, but this is totally a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit with your friends and/or family. It’s a silly way to get out and get into the spirit of the season in a totally low-pressure environment! Trust us – you won’t be the worst singer there.

If you’re feeling a little nervous about hitting the streets to carol on your own, look around on your town forums or city website ahead of time to see if there are any nights that are already set up for locals to go caroling as a group. You may end up making some new friends on the way!

GIFT IDEA #3 – GO ON A CHRISTMAS LIGHT TOUR

You don’t need a professional guide to go out and check out all the amazing lights set up around your town! Whether there’s a neighborhood nearby that’s known for their crazy setups or your simply cruising around looking, this is a great way to spend some time with friends and family for the holiday season.

Organize the night ahead of time and get some snacks and hot drinks ready for the ride. Gather your friends and family together, set up your caravan of cars, and hit the road for a free light show!

GIFT IDEA #4 – VOLUNTEER AT A LOCAL SHELTER

Whether you’re interested in helping the homeless or are totally on board for assisting some cute little animals for the holidays, getting together with friends and family to volunteer at a local shelter is a fun and rewarding way to get into the spirit of the season and really give back to others and your community.

If you’re not sure where to go or what to do, look around online and try getting in touch with a few local shelters. They may have some upcoming holiday events that they could use some help with or have suggestions for donations that you can provide in lieu of volunteering your time.

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!

Winter Themed Desserts to Make in Your Dorm Room

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Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up in your comfy dorm room getting cozy with some delicious sweets. From chocolate and berries to whipped cream and powdered sugar, there are plenty of winter desserts to indulge in. But the best part is that most of these don’t require an oven and are so easy that you could make it in your dorm room! Here are our top picks for winter-themed desserts.


Cookie-in-a-Mug

Party for one? No problem. You can make a delicious single cookie that goes great with a scoop of ice cream or a cup of hot chocolate. You’ll love it because you only need a mug and a microwave to make it happen.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1½ tbsp. sugar
    • ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp. flour
  • Directions:
    • Spray mug with cooking spray.
    • Melt butter in mug for 30 seconds to soften
    • Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Microwave for intervals of about 20 seconds until cookie has risen and is done.
    • Top with sprinkles, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, etc.

No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

A favorite from childhood, no-bake cookies are perfect for those who are die-hard chocolate fans. These cookies give you a burst of energy and make a good breakfast treat. This recipe makes a dozen.

  • Ingredients:
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1½ tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
    • 2 tbsp. milk
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • ¼ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
    • 1 cup quick oats
  • Directions:
    • In a larger-sized microwave bowl, add sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter. Microwave for about one minute or until bubbling. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
    • Stir in the rest of the ingredients one at a time.
    • Drop spoonfuls on a plate and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Best served cold.

Puppy Chow

Another childhood favorite, puppy chow is a favorite guilty pleasure. It’s such a mess to clean up, but it’s worth it for its chocolate-peanut butter goodness. Your friends will want a bag each.

  • Ingredients:
    • 3 cups rice squares cereal
    • 3 tbsp. peanut butter
    • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Directions:
    • In a microwave-friendly bowl, melt chocolate at intervals of ten seconds (stirring each time you take out).
    • Add peanut butter and microwave for two-30 second intervals, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Add cereal and mix. Pour into a plastic bag and then add powdered sugar. Shake bag until evenly distributed.

Banana Pudding Jar

We always found banana pudding to be uber sophisticated, especially when done up all fancy in a tall, glass dish. But did you know you could make expensive-tasting banana pudding in a jar with only a few ingredients and a mason jar (or regular bowl)? Seriously!

  • Ingredients:
    • Vanilla wafer cookies
    • 1-2 bananas, sliced
    • 1 packet of banana or vanilla pudding, prepared (or use 2-3 cups of premade banana pudding)
  • Directions:
    • Line bottom of your bowl or jar with vanilla wafer cookies as a base.
    • Make another layer of bananas
    • Add prepared pudding on top and alternate with layers of sliced bananas and cookies until at the top.

Berry Good Fruit Parfait

Berries are all we want come wintertime. Thank goodness there are plenty of berry-themed recipes for us to enjoy. This recipe uses pre-made cake (think leftovers) and blends our favorite fruit and loads of whipped cream.

  • Ingredients:
    • Pre-made cake (including cheesecake) in small chunks
    • Variety of berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
    • Whipped cream
  • Directions:
    • Add a layer of cake chunks to bottom of jar or bowl.
    • Add a second layer of fruit and then top with whipped cream. Repeat until full.

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!

Best Places to Relax on Campus (That aren’t your Dorm Room)

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Living life on campus can totally get stressful really quickly.  Between class, dealing with the roommate, and trying to manage a social life, you can get worn down and stressed out pretty quickly.  And if you can’t manage to get your dorm room to yourself often enough, this can increase tenfold.

Finding the right places to kick back on campus without worrying about everything weighing you down can really help keep your stress level in check.  Whether you’re kicking back on a lazy Saturday or looking for something to do to relax between classes on a Monday afternoon, you need to find the right location to really get the most out of it.

Here are our favorite places to hit up (that aren’t your dorm room) when you finally decide to take some time to relax.

#1 – THE LOUNGE

If you’re living on-campus in a dorm, chances are that there is a lounge somewhere in the building for students to use.  This is typically a pretty under-used location, even with the number of people living in the building, and you can easily sneak in and kick back without being interrupted.

#2 – THE LIBRARY

Not just a place to go to study or read, the library is definitely one of the best places on campus to relax.  It’ll be nice and quiet most of the time and is probably packed full of comfortable chairs and couches that you can kick back on.  There’ll definitely be Wi-Fi available, so you can totally catch up on your favorite shows or listen to some tunes while you relax (as long as you have headphones – duh).

#3 – THE QUAD

Perfect for the more outdoorsy types among us, the quad is one of the best places to get some sun and chill in the great outdoors.  If you’re on a campus where it’s still warm enough to hang outside that actually has a quad area that you can use, you can totally take a blanket to sit on and just hang out and enjoy yourself.

#4 – THE GYM

When you really need a kick to help you relax, try hitting up the gym on-campus (if you have one).  This is the perfect way to blow off some steam and get a little bit of physical activity in, too.  If you’re a little self-conscious about going alone or prefer to have a group with you, invite some friends to play basketball or run some laps with you.

#5 – THE ART BUILDING

If your college doesn’t have one of these bad boys on campus, you can totally ignore this option.  For those of you with an art building at your school, chances are that there are some art classes open that you can join that are free to students.  Ask around to find out what you can get yourself involved in for an easy and active way to help you relax and take your mind off of everything else.

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.