Tips to Relax During the Summer Break

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After months of finals, papers, meetings, and studying, summer is finally here! Your vacation should be spent rejuvenating both physically and mentally. Whether you are preparing for college or heading off to the “real world” in a few short months, these relaxation ideas will renew and revitalize you.

1.   Start a Meditation Practice

Need an instant pick-me-up? Meditation is your new best friend. The practice of training your mind to release stress or tension is not only healthy, but it will also set you up for success when you go back to the dorms this fall. A professionally led class can be a great way for beginners to understand how it works and to establish a practice, but if there are none available in your area, download a meditation podcast for a self-practice that’s accessible anytime, anywhere.

2.   Begin a Summer Bucket List Mission

If you’re the active type, write out your summer bucket wish list and get to it! It could include visiting museum you’ve been dying to go to or having a picnic with your friends. Big or small, include it all—you’ll be amazed at all that you can accomplish in three short months.

3.   Bring the Beach to Your Backyard

The beach is the ultimate destination for relaxation. But if you’re far from the coast or your budget doesn’t allow for a road trip to the ocean, bring the beach to your backyard! First, purchase an inexpensive lounge chair that is comfortable and portable (try to find one that could be reused in your dorm room as seating for maximum year round benefits). Next, pack a bag of beach necessities such as a good book, some sunscreen, and a fruity summer drink. Finally, take yourself to the nearest water feature. That may be next to your little brother’s kiddie pool or by a small lake or pond. Even if you cannot swim in it, just being by the water will revive your spirit.

4.   Take a Course for Fun

After 10 months of sitting in a desk year round, your mind is probably desperate for a break away from required coursework. However, just because you’re not forced to attend a class doesn’t mean you have to stop learning this summer. You can find great relaxation in enjoying a new subject that you have wanted to take. Many universities and community colleges use the summer to showcase “fun” or “fluff” classes like beginner guitar, level one languages, or film studies.

Bring along your friends to that art course, set up a regular beach day with your high school buddies, or meet up with your roommates to check off your summer wish list. Whatever you do to relax this summer, make it a vacation that will reconnect you with your goals and center your mind. With fall around the corner, it’s time to make the best of your time off. How do you plan to relax during the summer?

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Pros and Cons of Spending the Summer Abroad

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Finals are almost done, dorm rooms are almost packed, and everyone is talking about their summer plans. Fortunately, it is not too late to jump on a time-honored tradition among many college students: spending the summer abroad. With so many destinations and types of trips, students have nearly endless possibilities! But before you book your plane tickets, take into account these three pros and cons of spending the summer abroad.

3 Pros

1.   Make the Most out of Your Summer

For many, summer vacation is a perfect time to sit back, relax, and spend days outside of the stressful classroom. For others, this kind of vacation can be boring and repetitive. Electing to spend it overseas in a study abroad program is a much more appealing option for those with an adventurous side who want to make each moment of free time count. From backpacking through Europe, to volunteering in South America, or taking summer courses in Asia, there are plenty of options that can enhance a résumé and provide an exciting schedule for students.

2.   Vacation Cheaply

Studying abroad during the school year can have mixed impact on your wallet. Some programs cost the same as if you stayed on campus, while others with hidden fees and activity costs make you feel like you’re paying a second tuition. For increased savings, elect to stay in a hostel, use your student ID to get discounts on transportation and sightseeing, and visit countries with low costs of living. You’ll get the same experience as someone who does an educational experience during the school year at half the cost.

3.   Shorter Study Abroad Experience

While some students have passports that are filled to the brim with experiences, others may just be getting their airline wings for the first time. If you are concerned about being prone to homesickness, choosing to travel in the summer limits the time you are away from the ones you love.

3 Cons

1.   Miss out on Summer Opportunities

That internship is not going to be around if you decide to travel independently. The same goes with a temporary job or the summer course you have been dying to take. Make the right choice for where you are in your life. If you can afford to miss an academic or job experience, then do so.

2.   Overall Expense

While you can travel relatively cheaply, international travel will still cost you at least several grand depending on your destination. Saving up for airline tickets, hotel and hostel costs, food expenses, and general travel will also take you time—a luxury you may not have if you are saving your pennies to pay tuition. In addition, you will have to be sure to have extra money in your savings account for travel emergencies that are hard to predict.

3.   Less Adaptation Time

Summer travel overseas may remind you of vacationing with your parents when you were younger. There just isn’t enough time to see and do everything on your list! While students who study abroad during the school year have an adjustment period and the ability to travel leisurely, a summer provides you with only a handful of weeks to get the entire experience.

Making the decision to venture abroad is a huge one. It may change your life and open up new doors. But even with all the positives, there are the downsides, such as the expense and limited time table. Your decision to travel may not be an easy one to make, but it is worth the lifetime of memories once you have.

Did you study abroad during college? If so, was it during the summer or for a semester? What would you recommend for students looking to travel?

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Celebrate the Fourth of July with a DIY Barbeque

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Throw an All-American party that your family and friends are sure to remember! From decor to what to grill and don’t forget the sweets after dinner, there is an endless amount of creative choices and fun DIY projects that will make your get-together one for the record books. To start, let’s take a step away from the party and focus on the single most important decision you will make regarding the evening. What will you wear?!

You need something for the heat, something easy to grill in, and something patriotic. Why not try making an American flag tank top out of an old white t-shirt? Just tape over the part you want to keep white, and break out the spray paint. Style points if you put a bow on the back of the t-shirt after you tear it into a tank!

Great idea to make your own crafty shirt

Check out these impeccably painted nails! Use a toothpick in the white nail polish to draw stars, and you can have beautifully painted Fourth of July nails too.

Fourth of July nails

On to the real party details…Let’s talk decor. There are a million things that you can DIY from Pinterest, but how many are realistic for people who have other things to do with their day? I have found some easy DIY projects to get your space looking party-ready in one day! A burlap sign is easy to paint and hang on the deck, on the porch, or over the food inside. Streamers and lights hung out back create a warm and welcoming environment. Mason jars with tissue paper glued inside and a tea light candle are a great way to bring some more warm light to the party. Sparklers wrapped up with the silverware in a napkin ensure every guest has a sparkler for some of your own backyard fireworks! Stamp a strip of fabric or burlap with stars or fireworks to make an easy table runner for the buffet table or the dining table (or better yet, both!).

Fourth Decor

Ditch the basic, boring hamburgers and hotdogs, and make your food just as festive as you are. Make an American flag lasagna with olives and pepperoni for a dish to share with the whole gang. Paper baskets make for easy carrying when guests want to socialize while munching. A pan full of bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are a healthy way to celebrate the holiday! Add an cutout flag on a toothpick to a hotdog, hamburger, or even dessert to bring some creativity into your kitchen. Hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls on a skewer with a triangle of Colby cheese on top look like fireworks and are a great addition for the kiddies! Now my favorite part- dessert! Dip pretzel sticks into white icing or white chocolate and sprinkle with red and blue sprinkles for an on-the-go dessert. S’mores scream summer… and alliteration! This dessert will always  be fun at a cookout. Strawberries dipped in white chocolate and blue sprinkles are as patriotic as they are delicious. Enjoy your barbeque and fill your stomach with these awesome ideas!

Fourth Food

Have a wonderful Independence Day party with your new DIY crafts!

Seasonal Clothes

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March, 20 2014…First day of spring

It’s that time of year to pack away cold weather clothes for our warm weather ones. Summer is around the corner!

Over the past weekend I found myself in my son’s room going through his closet and dresser. It’s amazing the amount of clothes a one year old has let alone doesn’t fit into anymore. As I start going through his closet, I’m thinking about how big he’s getting and how I’m going to store all these clothes. Luckily for me I did some research.

 HGTV.com has a great article on storing your seasonal clothes. They talk about choosing the right hangers, storage bins, and things to avoid like cardboard that attracts insects. No thank you!

As an employee at On Campus Marketing, I know we sell lots of Storage Bins and Rhino Trunks. Both are perfect for storing clothes that one day can be worn again.

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Whether it’s your child’s closet or your own closet, these helpful tips will go a long way.  So it’s bye for now winter coat, hat and gloves; we’ll see you in 8 months!

Ethan-Winter

Summer Before College Series 3: Five Ways To Relax Yourself

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Hello all!

The summer before college should be a time of preparation, fun, and, especially, relaxation. It is important to take the time to relax and do your favorite activities over the summer because it may be the last time you can do these things for a while. The school year, although a great experience, can be stressful and chaotic. At some points it may even seem overwhelming. In preparation for this, you should do as many relaxing things during the summer as you can, that way you are rested and ready to take the school year on by storm!

Below are five things that I personally do to relax myself during the summer months!

  1. See a movie: Or better yet, see them all! Who doesn’t love the movie theater experience? Seeing a movie that you’re dying to see and eating tons of junk food is the definition of relaxation to most people! You will probably not have much time to go to the movies at school with your hectic schedule, so try to see as many as you can this summer!
  2. Read a book: If you enjoy reading a book, then read as many as you can over the summer! The only reading that you will probably do starting in August will be assigned readings in textbooks or academic journals. Read the books that you enjoy or have been dying to read. They will be a great way to not only rest and relax your brain, but also to keep it working so that it is ready for the year to come!
  3. Go for a hike: Even if you are not into physical exercise, hiking can be a great way to relax. Usually accompanied by beautiful scenery, hiking is a great way to relieve any stress you may be facing and to enjoy the beauty around you. I especially like to hike because I do not get to see the beauty of nature where I attend school in the busy city of Pittsburgh.
  4. Sleep in: Believe me; you will never appreciate the value of sleep unless you go to college. From early classes and late night study sessions, to early work hours and constant homework, you will restructure your entire sleep schedule. Say goodbye to the eight to ten hour sleep nights; they will most likely change. I would advise you to go to bed early and to sleep in every day that you can during your summer break. Additionally, there is no harm in taking mid-day, relaxing naps. Get ahead on your sleep while you can!
  5. Do the things that make YOU happy: Finally and most importantly, do the things that make you happy. Nothing is more fun or relaxing than the things that make you happy. Whether lounging by the pool or watching your favorite television show, do the things that comfort you. More often than not, you will not have time to do the things that you enjoy during the school year. You will have a pretty packed schedule, filled with plenty of studying. Anything that makes you happy will relax you and get you rested and ready for the school year!

So there it is; five ways to relax yourself over the summer. Remember that a lot of things change once you go to college, so take the opportunity to relax at home all summer long! If you stay relaxed, then you will be ready to conquer the hectic year that awaits you!

Have any other things you like to do to relax? We’d love to hear them! Comment or tweet them at us!