Four Steps to Detach from Social Media

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How many hours do you spend on social media each day? Is it one hour, or even more? Sites like Facebook and Instagram suck us in until the point we think they are essential to living. Truth is, when we become addicted, our social media time actually does more harm than good. If you’re ready to beat the odds and find life outside your Tumblr page, here’s how you can begin detaching from social media.

 

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Step 1: Make it Harder to Access

Your phone and computer are the biggest reasons why you are addicted. But as a college student, it’s not like you can cut tech out of your life completely. However, limiting your access to social media may work.

 

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Start by deleting your social media apps from your phone. Next, take your bookmarks off your computer. Finally, set up blockers on your computer that limit your access. For example, use a distraction-free program that makes you complete a task before you can get on your social media accounts.

Step 2: Announce it Publically

No one likes a flashy goodbye, but you can still use social media to be accountable for yourself. If you make your goals public, you are more likely to want to live up to your word. For example, post a status such as, “Giving up social media for the next two days. If you see me on here, ask me why!”

 

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For sites like Instagram or Pinterest, post pictures that let people how long you’re going to be gone. We’ve provided a graphic you can use to let your social circles know about your social vacation. Either way, stick to your word! To get you started, the post above works best for Facebook, but you can post this to your Twitter as a “pinned tweet” or for your social media profile pictures across any channels you use.

Step 3: Find a New Routine

So much of us is tied to the time and reason for using social media. For example, you probably wake up and go straight for your Facebook messages or send out a Tweet about a party you’re at. It’s become a routine for you to be online at these certain points of your day.

 

In order to be successful at detaching, you need to break out of your schedule. Start your day with your phone far from you (or the apps on a child lockdown). Get a new morning tradition that you enjoy, such as reading a chapter of a book or heading to the gym. If you go on social media when you’re bored, start carrying around a book that you can read instead, or reach out and make a call to your parents. Making your time productive reduces your need to mindlessly scroll through your timeline.

 

Step 4: Cut it Out of Social Situations

Do you have your Facebook page open when you’re out to eat with friends? Are you constantly taking selfies while at a party or even on vacation? It’s time to put the phone down, take a look around, and find reasons to enjoy life without social media.

 

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One of the best things you can do is to ask your friends to go along with your plans. Have a phone-free dinner where the first person to check their phone pays the bill. Or, you can use your Spring Break as a way to completely turn off broadcasting your life for the week. They’ll love reconnecting with you as much as you’ll love reconnecting with your offline life.  

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8 Ways to Stay Motivated During a Difficult Course

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We all go through it at one point: taking on a class that’s far over our heads. We take these “reach classes” thinking we’ll be able to push through, or because it is a requirement for our major. Half way through the semester, though, and we’re slowly falling behind. Luckily, there are ways you can turbocharge your motivation to push through a difficult course. Here are eight ideas to help you make it happen.

 

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  1. Make a rewards system

Getting bogged down with a boring but challenging class can take a lot out of you. Instead of just plowing through, make milestone dates with goals. If you meet a goal (such as getting above an 80% on a midterm), reward yourself with something non-class related – a trip to the movies or a day at the beach.

  1. Tackle it with friends

There is nothing more motivating than working with friends. Creating a study groups help you break down difficult classes while also giving you a social outlet. Also, if you’re competitive, having friends around may push you to do more or go further than you would by yourself.

 

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  1. Share it

If your school does not have an academic code regarding grade privacy, feel free to shout it out. By announcing that you intend to get an A in a difficult course and then posting updates, you’ll not only have a place to brag, but you’ll also have a space that makes you accountable for your actions.

  1. Write it out

Sometimes, it is easy to get overwhelmed when we are faced with a lot of challenges at once. Instead of getting lost in the weeds, break out a planner or calendar and write out when everything is due, when classes meet, and when you will need to ramp up the studying. You might find it isn’t that challenging after all.

  1. Look at the bigger picture

Sometimes, the best motivation is being honest with ourselves. No one wants to repeat a course (though it does happen), so make sure you know what you need to do to avoid having to do so. Approaching your studies from a big picture perspective can help you find the little things you can do to better your grades. If GPA is your game, do the calculations so you can see what a low grade in the course will do to your 4.0.

  1. Set attainable goals

We all want to get a 100% all the time, but in college, that simply isn’t realistic. Instead, set an attainable goal that matches where you are now. If you are struggling with the material and receive scores in the 60-70% range, set your sights on getting an 80% next week. Build up from there, slowly but surely, and you’ll feel even better about your progress.

 

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  1. Create a fun study environment

Boring libraries suck your energy faster than you can imagine. If you’re not feeling inspired, take your study time somewhere else. You can create a great space in your dorm room using comfortable seating and a quiet area under a bunked bed or in a makeshift study fort. Also, be aware of study spaces you’re walking past every day, because you may find your new favorite place to find your zen…and better grades!

  1. Go in prepared

If you’re an office supply nerd, a new set of color coded folders may do the trick to boost your motivation. Round up a friend and head to the store to stock up on supplies that are colorful, organized, and unique for the class. ‘

If you want to stay motivated to do your best during this (or any) semester, it’s important to be prepared, and stay prepared. Following these steps may not necessarily guarantee you a 4.0,but they do guarantee headaches for the weeks, months, and classes ahead!

 

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Ways to Revamp Your AM Routine

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Being a morning person is hard as it is, especially when you’re in college. Getting up at 8 AM for class or the gym in enough time to beat the rush can have you feeling more than a little worn out. If you’re feeling this almost every day, it’s time to revamp your AM routine. These simple and quick tips can have you waking up like a new person, even if it’s just for a morning history class.

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  1. Lay It Out the Night Before

What we do before bed can be just as powerful as what we do out of it. Practice simplifying your morning routine by pre-selecting your outfit, accessories, and makeup. Lay out what you will need to start the day, including your bookbag, keys, and shoes. It will make your morning less frantic and give you time to be productive.

  1. Bribe Yourself

In the beginning, it’s all about the rewards. If it takes promising yourself a fresh bagel or a cup of coffee from your favorite cafe to get up, so be it. Just don’t bribe yourself with more sleep. That’s one circle you won’t get out of.

 

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  1. Ban the Phone

For many of us, the first thing we do when we get out of bed is to check our phone for emails, texts, and updates. But doing so can cause stress (such as from a fight with a friend or a request from a professor for a redo paper). Set your phone on emergency or sleep mode from the time you go to sleep and until you walk out the door and then pack it in your purse or bookbag. Less temptation and less stress.

  1. Stretch and Move

A few stretches of the arms and legs before getting out of bed can get the blood flowing. And there are many reasons why fitness lovers prefer to get in their miles and lifts before the sun comes out — it wakes the body up fully and improves concentration throughout the day. Add a bit of fitness to your routine and you’ll be feeling more present and fit.

 

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  1. Eat Fresh and Warm

The most important meal of the day shouldn’t be from a box or canister. Instead, go for a meal that is fresh, warm, and nutritious. Think oatmeal with fruit, egg white omelet packed with veggies, or even vegan muffins with added protein.

  1. Develop a Mantra

If you wake up dreading your day, a mantra can help you respark the inspiration. Start by searching for a phrase or saying that is meaningful to you. It could be as simple as “I am beautiful” or “I can do anything I put my mind to.” Then, repeat it for a set amount as you look into a mirror. It may be awkward at first, but it can be empowering when done with the rest of your routine.

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Hey genius…read the next step!

 

  1. Jot It Down

Before you head out the door, take out your planner or calendar and write down today’s goals and to-do lists. Making one in the morning will help you feel more centered and focused. This is especially important during finals week or when you have big projects due.

  1. Read It All

Few minutes to spare? Spend it expanding your mind. Read a few news stories, check in on the weather, or finish a chapter of your new book. Reading in the morning can help warm-up your mind and help you feel connected to the world even though you may be stuck in class all day.

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3 Books to Cozy up with During the Winter Chill

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We talk about beach reads and break books. But what books can you turn to when the weather is gross and unpleasant? Winter is the perfect time to grab a book from the bookstore or library and curl up next to a fireplace with a mug of something warm. With characters that make us feel loved or known and stories that make us think, these three fiction books are our all-time favorite snowed-in choices.

 

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  1. Me Before You — Jojo Moyes

Lou is an average girl living with her parents and sister and supporting them with a pretty menial job in a cafe. Then, she loses her job and is forced to turn to an unemployment office for helping finding a new one — working for a young, attractive quadriplegic named Will. What happens next isn’t an average girl-meets-boy romance. Instead, it’s a bigger look at what life is and how we all have our time to live it.

 

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Be warned that this tear-jerker will have you sobbing for days after finishing, and you may even find yourself questioning your views on life and death. Luckily, you can keep Lou’s story going long after the final word. There are two newer sequels to the story, and a movie is coming out in late 2016.

  1. Fangirl — Rainbow Rowell

We all know the feeling of being obsessed with a favorite band or celebrity. For Cath and her sister Wren, that celebrity just happens to be her favorite book series. Think Harry Potter-level obsessions complete with fan fiction. However, Cath is upset when her sister Wren not only stops loving her favorite books but also refuses to be her roommate at college, forcing her to go it her own and find life outside of just being a fangirl.

 

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This read is a perfect choice for college freshmen or those who just need a little pick-me-up to get through a blah winter season on campus. Complete with nasty roommates, a bit of romance, and a professor who thinks he knows it all, you’ll be cheering for Cath to keep a bit of her quirky self while seeing your own college journey unfold.

  1. The Discovery of Heaven — Harry Mulisch

If you’re looking for epic books, a book that will take several readings to understand the true meaning, this one may be your perfect winter read. Based in Europe after World War II, the first half of the book focuses on the meeting of two radical friends, Max and Onno. Their love of the same girl eventually leads to the birth of one extraordinary son and a quest to discover the unknown.

 

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The story spans generations upon generations and travels to post-war Europe and Cuba — perfect for travelers and history buffs. For those who love philosophical or theology based books, this one may hit all the right notes when it discusses religion, ideology, and the unknowns of the universe. It’s a well-loved book in the Netherlands. In fact, in, 2007 Dutch readers ranked it as the best Dutch book ever written. While we only have the translation to read the story itself is well worth the investment.

 

Tips on Setting Realistic Goals in Your Post-Grad Life

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You did it! You graduated from college! It’s a big accomplishment worth celebrating, but what happens next? Without school and grades to worry about, what kind of dreams can you chase now that you’re in the ‘real world?’ Setting realistic goals in your post-graduation life can be challenging, especially if you don’t know just where to begin. These six steps can help you unlock your full potential.

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3 Valentine’s Day Celebrations That Have Nothing to Do With Being In a Relationship!

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With the sappiest, chocolatiest, pinkest, most flower-filled day of the year behind us, we seem to still find ourselves in the wake of Valentine’s Day. Campus events popped up all around. Social media feeds flooded with boyfriend appreciation posts, because what better excuse is there than the one and only V Day to post that cute photo of you and your boo? But, perhaps more than anything else, Valentine’s Day is the time when you find out which of your friends are are just looking to have fun with a good theme, and which ones might be truly cynical.

Even before I was in a relationship, I  appreciated Valentine’s Day. I mean come on… just wear some pink, buy some chocolate, and take the opportunity to see the new Nicholas Sparks movie without being judged – it’s Valentine’s Day! If you can’t get in the spirit, then maybe V Day just isn’t your thing!

That being said, there are so many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that have nothing to do with whether or not you have a significant other to spend it with! Whether you’re flying solo or in a relationship come next year’s big day, these Valentine’s Day festivities are sure to make it fun for everyone!

1.) Make fun food plans!

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Whether you’re finally getting dinner at that one spot you’ve been dying to try, going out for cupcakes, or maybe staying in and making a fun dish at home, Valentine’s Day is the excuse to indulge, whomever you’re with!! (And be sure to get out for all those chocolate sales in the following days!)

2.) Get into the theme!

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Whether you’re dressing in pinks and reds, decorating your dorm, or grabbing one of those cute heart-shaped doughnuts at Dunkins, it’s always fun to get into a good theme. And of all the themes, the one with all the pretty colors and hearts is a pretty good one to get into!

3.) Share the love!

Remember the simple days when everyone in your third grade class got a Valentine? Bring it back! Let everyone you care about know that they’re appreciated.

Have fun and enjoy the day!! <3

 

 

The Top 4 Post-Grad Myths to Avoid

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Some things are just too good to believe. Others are too exaggerated to be trusted. So how do you deal when a well-meaning loved one tries to give you advice or pressure you a certain way because of “something they heard?” Debunking these top 4 post-grad myths can help you decipher what to believe and what to ignore.

 

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The Perks of Being Single on Campus On Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is almost here. For many, that means buying a new dress, making reservations at a fancy restaurant, or planning heart themed decorations. But what happens when you’re a single college gal or guy on Valentine’s Day? The answer is: FUN! Valentine’s Day isn’t just for those with a romantic partner to share it with. In fact, you can take back this holiday for your own regardless of your relationship status. Here’s just 10 of the perks of being single on campus on Valentine’s Day.

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  1. Save Money

$100 for dinner? $20 for chocolate? $40 for a stuffed bear that will end up under a bed or stuffed in a closet? No way! Your best option as a single on Valentine’s Day is to save your cash for much more affordable (and tasty) takeout and dessert.

 

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  1. Treat Yo Self

Valentine’s Day can start a totally new tradition: a treat yo’ self tradition! Spend the day focusing on yourself rather than someone else. Take yourself out to a favorite action movie you’ve been dying to see or buy yourself a new outfit just because you can. No guilt on treat yo’ self days!

  1. Meet Someone New

If you’re looking, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get set up. Many college campuses host singles events where you can meet your match. If not, ask your friends if they know of someone willing to go on a post-Valentine’s Day date. With love on their mind, they may know just the right person for you.

  1. No Expectations

While it may seem like a dream day, there’s a good chance that your roommate or BFF will return from their Valentine’s Day with a complaint that he didn’t do this or she didn’t do that. It’s because couples notoriously go over the top for the holiday leading to high expectations and broken hearts. You, however, get to avoid this awkward mess!

 

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  1. More Chocolate For You

Our favorite part of Valentine’s Day is, hands down, the treats! If you know a friend who loves to bake, ask them to save you a cupcake. Or, head to your cafeteria where they may be doing a themed dinner based around your favorite sweet treats.

  1. Practice Self-Love

Valentine’s Day is not just for celebrating a boyfriend or girlfriend, but also for loving yourself. As a single, write yourself a love letter outlining all your best qualities. Make a dream board that highlights how far you’ve come and where you’re going. At the end of the night, you’ll find yourself even more in love with you.

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  1. After Valentine’s Day Sale

Yes, we already talked about chocolate and treats, but it’s worth mentioning twice. Here’s a hint: while the rest of the world is sleeping in post-Valentine’s Day, head out on the 15th to your favorite candy store and stock up on candy hearts and chocolate boxes. They usually go on clearance post holiday!

  1. No One to Impress

Shaving legs, putting on makeup, getting dressed in a suit? Yuck! With no one to impress on Valentine’s Day, declare it a comfy clothing only day and rock the PJ pants and pull-over sweatshirts. Your couple friends will certainly be jealous of your relaxing, easy-going Valentine’s Day plans.

 

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Valentines Day Recipes

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Whether you love Valentines Day or absolutely hate it, you can’t deny that February 14 is (literally) right around the corner.  Even if you aren’t a big romantic, there’s one thing to love about the holiday:  the food.  This holiday is one that really promotes eating, so what better time is there to try your hand at a few recipes?  These treats are fit to satisfy any sweet tooth, Valentines Day lover or not.

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1. Homemade Marshmallows

Rich and creamy homemade marshmallows shaped like hearts for Valentine's Day!:

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What’s better than a nice store-bought bag of marshmallows?  A batch of gooey, melt-in-your-mouth homemade marshmallows. Sure, buying a bag of your favorite puffy treat is quick  The best part:  no oven required.

2. Strawberry Milkshake Cookies

Strawberry Milkshake Cookies - Perfect for Valentine's Day!

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If your sweet tooth is five times larger than normal, these are the cookies for you.  They are super sweet, and true to their name. Trust me when I say they’re reminiscent of a strawberry milkshake – you’ll fall for ’em.

3. Red Velvet Cake Balls

Quick and Easy Valentines Day Red Velvet Truffles- Makes the perfect dessert for two!:

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If any dessert completely symbolizes Valentines Day, it’s chocolate.  Mix it together with another decadent favorite, red velvet cake, and you’ve got a delicious treat.

What are you eating for Valentines Day?

Help! I have Senioritis: 4 Ways to Get Your Semester Back

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It’s your last year as a “student”, and your last semester stuck in classes. It’s time to celebrate! A new adventure lies ahead, and you are probably more than ready to get it started. There’s a name for being so focused on what comes next that you lose sight of what is going on during your last year of college: Senioritis. Symptoms include losing interest in clubs or activities, failing to do homework, or dreading day-to-day tasks. Luckily, there are cures for senioritis to get yourself back on track and focused for your last few months of school.

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  1. Branch Out Just Because

You’ve been a student for 12 or more years now. Think of all the textbooks you have been forced to read, or the papers you’ve turned in. That’s a lot of forced learning, and it’s no wonder you’re eager to get everything done and over with. You can get yourself back to loving learning by letting yourself learn on your own.

 

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Take a class in something totally unrelated to your major or join a club that teaches you a new skill you’d never pick up on your own. When you remember why you love learning new things, you are more likely to focus back on the things you have to complete to graduate. In addition, you’ll also feel more self-satisfaction and confidence in your abilities.

  1. Make a Bucket List

A bucket list is usually reserved for things to do or accomplish before dying, but you can make a senior bucket list as well. This special list is designed around things you could only do as a student or with your friends in this time or space.

Some ideas may include going swimming in the famous water fountains or seeing a play at the school’s theater. It might even include writing a letter of thanks to your favorite teacher or professor or sitting in on one of their old classes. When you make this list, you’ll remember what it is you love about your school or your student status, and this can help you come back to the present instead of being a senior waiting to graduate.

  1. Research the Consequences

Then, there is the dark side. Senioritis can have disastrous consequences if you go too far. For one, if you are a senior in high school, failing to maintain your GPA in your last semester could mean forfeiting a much-needed scholarship or even losing your place at a dream school! College seniors may have to explain a loss of GPA to a future employer or even take an extra semester to make up for a failed class.

 

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Not taking your last year seriously can affect so much of your life if you are not careful. So stay sharp, stay focused, and enjoy the good times as they happen. Your big day to celebrate is only months away!

  1. Plan the Rest of Your Time

Having senioritis isn’t all bad. For one, it lets you recognize that time is short and that a countdown is beginning. However, as you know, there is still stuff left to be done before you can get that diploma. Instead of trying to keep it all straight, turn to your favorite planner or calendar to keep it all on track.

 

Write down due dates of your term paper or milestones of a group project. Be sure to include special events you’re looking forward to as well, such as an award ceremony or a pre-graduation party. Having everything planned out in advance may help you see the times when it is okay to slack off a bit or when you need to work harder than ever to get it all done.

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