Summer Adventures: Time With Yourself

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Summer Alone Time

After two semesters of freedom at college, coming home for summer break can be a sudden adjustment to make. So when you’re not busy dividing your time between work, family and friends, it’s important to take some time for yourself! For us rising seniors, it’s uncertain how many summers we have left in our hometowns. And while it’s just as important to be making some final stomping-ground-memories with family and friends, I also like to make sure I’m connecting personally to the places and experiences that make my hometown home.

So now you’re probably wondering, how can you make time for yourself this summer vacation?

1.) Treat yourself to a solo shopping spree.

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Winter’s over, spring is on its way out, and now it’s time to revamp your summer wardrobe. On my wishlist for the summer? A cute, bright tee shirt dress that I could dress up or down.

On a solo shopping spree, you don’t carry the burden of working around another person’s schedule, preferences and shopping-pace. You can take your time flipping through the racks, or make it a quick in-and-out stop for that one thing you were looking for.

2.) Explore on your break.

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I’m fortunate enough to work in the heart of the always hopping downtown area of my hometown. If anything says summer to me, it’s being around the water. Whether that means going to the beach, exploring the gorgeous, mile-long jetty in my boyfriend’s coastal Maine hometown, or walking along the waterfront of downtown Newburyport, there’s nothing better than summer spent by the water.

On my break at work, I sometimes enjoy a solo walk through town in the sun. Whether I’m grabbing a bench outside to eat lunch, walking down the street for a coffee, or exploring aimlessly down the Newburyport waterfront, I love being able to get outside in the middle of the workday.

3.) Make a homemade, healthy treat.

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You’ve just spent two semesters with dining hall food, late night splurges, and especially caloric dinners out. Now that you have the resources, it’s time to treat yourself to something that’s good for you!

I recently made this delicious (and picture perfect!) smoothie bowl with some frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, strawberries, and a little milk. I added as little liquid as possible for that thick, creamy, smoothie bowl texture, blended until smooth, poured into a bowl and topped with fresh bananas and strawberries. Yum!

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer vacations and prioritizing your time to make it a summer to remember!

 

Summer Suggestions: Shows We’re Tuning Into

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summer tv shows

After a long spring semester, it’s time to play catch-up… on our favorite television shows that is!

With summer TV just about to air and programs like Netflix and Hulu replaying everything we missed in the fall, winter, and spring, we’ve got our popcorn ready and our watch-list full. Need some suggestions? Here’s the top 9 summer television shows we’re binging on.

1. Game of Thrones, HBO

Oh, Game of Thrones. We love you for several reasons. One, you always keep us guessing (even if we have read the books). And two, you make bloody violence and war-time drama actually enjoyable. Fans of this show have been tuning in for four seasons now, but it’s not too late to catch up to the current season as long as you’ve got an HBO subscription.

2. The Mindy Project, Hulu

Mindy Kaling is infectious, bubbly, naive, and brilliant all in one show. The Mindy Project is the perfect indulgence if you love shows that empower ladies while also just being hilarious. You’ll dig her getting into all kinds of professional and dating problems as she tries to come to terms with adulthood.

3. Orange is the New Black, Netflix

If marathoning through shows is your thing, OitNB is the perfect show for you. Set in a women’s prison, you follow Piper and a host of diverse prisoners as they try to just survive. The last three seasons have been almost perfect mixes of comedy and drama while also being socially insightful. And if you loved them, you won’t be able to wait for season 4, which airs in June!

4. Battlebots, ABC

Okay, Battlebots certainly isn’t GOT or OitNB in terms of quality stories or incredible acting. But there’s something about robots destroying robots and nerds going head to head with impressive engineering that hooks you. Wind down, decompress, and cheer for your underdog robot.

5. Outlander, Starz

We’re all for period pieces, especially if there’s a whole bunch of romance thrown into the mix. And that’s why we can’t help but love Outlander. Based on series of books by the same name, you’ll get a great dose of attractive Scottish accents (and actors) along with enthralling drama to keep you interested.

6. The Bachelorette, ABC

Let’s add this one (and all other forms of Bachelor spinoffs) to our guilty pleasure list. This reality show has been on forever, so you most likely already know the jist of one bachelorette being seduced by several extremely handsome and worthy suitors. We’d give our rose to this show any day for just being fun.

7. Pretty Little Liars, Freeform

Quick! It’s time to play catch up before Pretty Little Liars comes back for its 7th season. Part mystery mixed with comedy (and a ton of fashion), these girls make murder look amazingly fun, especially when there are so many twists to keep you coming back for more.

8. Hell on Wheels, AMC

When you’d rather spend your summer on something a little bit more intelligent, skip the reality shows or teen murder dramas and go straight to AMC. Hell on Wheels is a railroad western drama that focuses on a former soldier’s revenge. It’s now in its 5th season so there’s lots to watch for as the show picks up steam.

9. America’s Got Talent, NBC

We cannot forget about our favorite talent show. America’s Got Talent takes the best, the boldest, and often the weirdest Americans and puts them on stage to be judged. There’s so many star-making and awe-inspiring moments that you’ll probably spend all summer watching clips of this show on social media anyways!

8 Habits for a Healthy Summer

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During your summer break, you’re probably thinking of hitting the beach, attending festivals, eating junk food, and relaxing. But while you might have staved off the “freshman 15,” the summer is no time to develop bad practices. Instead, keep your mind and body relaxed during the summer with these eight healthy summer habits.

1.   Wear Moisturizing Sunscreen

Who doesn’t dream of coming back to school from break bronzed and beautiful? But while the healthy glow of sunshine can make you look and feel great, there is always the possibility of having too much of a good thing: sun can lead to painful burns and dry skin. Avoid this unsightly, painful hassle by wearing sunscreen with moisturizer whenever you’ll be in direct sunlight for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

2.   Stay Hydrated

High temperatures bring out the playful side in everyone. While you’re having fun, don’t forget that your body needs to replenish its liquids—particularly when it’s hot out. Bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go to keep your water levels high. When working out, be sure to take in 8 ounces per every 20 minutes of physical activity.

3.   Socialize!

For many students, returning home for the summer can be a difficult adjustment, particularly for those coming from far away. Avoid the shock of reentry by getting together with local friends, family, and peers for a meal, a movie, or a summer BBQ. If you don’t have a social group in your area, check out online sites like Meetup.com, to link up with groups in your interests and lifestyle.

4.   Take a Walk

When the temperatures really soar, you might be tempted to coop yourself up in your house or go for a drive. Instead, get active: go for a walk! Walking can be very beneficial to your mental health, and you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel afterwards. Just remember to bring a water bottle with you if you’re going during the hotter parts of the day. Use your phone or a sports watch to ensure you get in at least 5,000 steps per day.

5.   Eat Seasonal Produce

While the big-box supermarket allows you to purchase nearly any food you might want at any given time, in-season foods almost always taste better and fresher—and make you, in turn, feel better. Warm-weather staples like watermelons, peaches, eggplants, and tomatoes can turn your summertime recipes from blah to brilliant. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to head to the farmer’s market!

6.   Work Out in the Morning

The summer months are great for working out outdoors, but once the sun fully rises, it can become a sweaty, sweltering mess. To avoid the heat, consider getting up early to go running outside before (or during) sunrise. Not only will you beat the warmer temperatures; you’ll also feel accomplished before your day even starts!

7.   Sleep In

While morning workouts are indeed productive, there’s one thing you probably didn’t get to do at all during the school year: sleep as long as you want to. Without having to get up for 8am classes, study groups, or that prized spot at the library, you have the opportunity to get yourself a full night’s rest—and then some.

8.   Say Yes!

You’ve got all kinds of time on your hands now. What are you going to do with it? Instead of looking for excuses not to do things, take the opportunity to just do them. Saying “yes” to some of the crazier things you’ve always wanted to do is what summers out of college are all about.

Your summer is full of possibilities. That’s why it’s important to make healthy decisions, both physical and mental. By indulging yourself a little while also maintaining some smart eating and exercise habits, you can return to school in the fall relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the new year.

How do you plan to make your summer happy and healthy? Let us know!

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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!

Making Your Summer Job Work For You

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summer job picWhat happens when you can’t afford to take that unpaid internship and your summer job seems like the most random, thankless set of tasks you’ve ever done? Make your summer job work for you!

Once you figure out the qualities employers are looking for, you can discover how your summer job may actually be building you into a perfectly marketable employee! There is value beyond the skimpy paycheck. Communicate this to potential employers and you’ll elevate yourself out of that summer job and into that paid internship or position!

The first thing to do is get an idea of what employers are really looking for. The more specific to your ideal position you can get with employer desires, the better. There are a few ways you can do this.

  • Do some online research     linkedin     poynter     glassdoor    higheredjobs
  • Talk to upperclassmen/grads who work or intern
  • Speak with professionals in your field and your college administration about who they hire. Taking the time to ask shows great initiative and they will REMEMBER you.

Check out “The Top Ten Things Employers Look for in New College Graduates” on the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Website. A great list. (What they don’t include is that you probably need to know somebody too. Connections never hurt, and that’s why you shouldn’t be shy about reaching out early on to those in your field!)

Alas, you sigh and say, “How am I supposed to gain experience when I don’t have the valuable work experience they want? I work at a dairy farm but I want to be a [something other than a dairy farmer] !” Once you’re familiar with what employers want, the next piece is to realize  the value in your current experience. Employers don’t have time to look for it, you have to show them.

Regardless of the job, when discussing your work experience with a potential employer you have to show you had goals, took initiative to learn and grow and can now transfer your Top Ten Traits to their goals.

interview

“Mr. Interviewer, I flipped burgers.”- Not impressed.   

“Mr. Interviewer, I exceeded my company quota of 800 burgers in a day and then took initiative to add to our blog in my free time.”  -Now you have the attention. And if Mr. Interviewer remembers you from last year when you asked him what employers look for? –He becomes Mr. Employer.

Here are some peers and professionals in the higher education field (big cheeses!) who’ve shared their WORST summer jobs. Believe it or not, some of these big cheeses were putting cheese on burgers when they were in your shoes too. And you know what? They learned. Find the value in your summer job.

Noah Fox, Director of Housing Operations: Tiffin University

“I would have to say one of the worst summer jobs I ever had was working on a duck farm (hatchery). As you can imagine, the work was very dirty. Cleaning out duck barns full of duck droppings was probably the worst part of the job.” “What did you learn?”

  • Learned value of hard work
  • Practiced effective time management
  • Built commonalities and fostered lasting professional relationships.

“These lessons I learned have helped me tremendously throughout my time in the workforce.”

Ty Krueger, SWACURH Regional NRHH Advisor

“I worked in the records/registrar’s office one summer and spent the entire summer taping documents to sheets of paper to be scanned.” “What did you learn?”

“The tape and paper has to be flat so it doesn’t jam the printer, hah!” “But seriously…”

“Even the most menial of tasks have a purpose and in the long run, helping someone is a valuable reward.”

Bill Pickett, Senior Director of Student Involvement: University of Nebraska, Omaha

“I worked at McDonald’s. I smelled like fries and nuggets every day. I opened for breakfast and then lunch, 5am-2pm in the summer! McInsane! I will tell you, I learned a lot.“What did you learn?”

  • I enhanced my ability to work with a team
  • Applied creative problem solving to meet company goals
  • Learned to work effectively under pressure
  • Honed customer service techniques and developed relationships with customers

“It was honestly like a housing job… you learn a variety of things that will help in any field from jobs you may not expect to learn from.”

There is a reason they call jobs “opportunities”. Any job, regardless of how many feathers, droppings, tape, or burgers are involved, is an opportunity to learn and grow. Take your Top Ten Traits with you to your next interview. When an interviewer sees the value in you, you will earn that paid internship or job and you’ll be prepared. By this time, you’re no stranger to hard work!

Share YOUR worst summer job and what you learned in the comment field below.

 

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

The Right Kind of Blue – Turquoise!

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Spring is here and it’s just a matter of time before your summer vacation or trip to the shore! There is nothing quite like the color of the ocean seen offshore of a tropical destination, so why not bring it home with you? A combination of blue and just a small amount of yellow, turquoise has the cool & calming qualities of blue along with the uplifting energy of yellow. Whether it’s on your nails, keychain or residence hall… adding a touch of turquoise will bring summer that much sooner!

Is your favorite color turquoise? Here are some fun facts: Those who enjoy sporting the color are known to be friendly, compassionate, and easy to communicate with. You are self-sufficient, have a good self-esteem and have a strong power of perception when it comes to weighing pros and cons.

Variations of the color turquoise include aqua, mint, aquamarine, and teal; all of which can be found at OCM.com, with just a taste here!

Alarm Clocks in Turquoise

Bai Design – Cubist Retro Modern Wall Clock  |  ILUV Blue Dual Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker for IPOD   |  Bai Design – Pick-Me-Up Alarm Clock 

Bedding in Turquoise

Maison Leaves College Classic Extra-Long Comforter  |  Aqua College Classic Extra-Long 3-Piece Sheet Set 

Room & Décor in Turquoise

Gem Pillow in Turquoise  |  Yogi Cube Turquoise  |  Tablo Turquoise  |  Yogi Support Turquoise  |  Shagalicious Back Rest and Study Pillow in Aqua  |  Aqua Geo 5 x 7 Area Rug  |  Expressive Storage Laundry Bag  |  Rain Medium Bath Caddy in Turquoise

TURQUOISE-OCM-Product-Wall

Wall Canvases in Turquoise

Blue Pier Easy Hang Wall Canvas |  Definition of Dance Easy Hang Wall Canvas  |  Cupcakes Easy Hang Wall Canvas 

Art in Turquoise

Almond Blosson (Lamina Framed Poster)  |  Ke$ha Graphic Music Poster Print  |  John Lennon (People for Peace) Music Poster Print  |  The Big Bang Theory – Soft Kitty TV Poster  |  Paris Romance (Couple Kissing, Eiffel Tower) Art Poster Print  |  Wave Rider (Lamina Framed Poster)

City Prints in Turquoise, As Shown

University of North Carolina Wilmington Map Art  |  The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina Map Art 

 

Summer Before College Series 2: Starting College Shopping-The Preliminary List

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Good morning!

The next topic in my “Summer Before College Series” is what to put on your preliminary college shopping list. The preliminary list is primarily for students to slowly ease into the college shopping process. Based on my personal experience, it is easier to separate your shopping list into tiny categories, starting with this preliminary list. This list should be based on necessities, things that every student in every dorm needs. Once you get the details about your room and/or roommate, you can start to tackle the other sub-lists.

I have chosen a popular preliminary list comprised of three necessities that every college student needs, no matter their room/roommate situation:

  1. Shower Caddy-Believe it or not, this was my very first college purchase. Everyone needs a shower caddy, no matter if you will use a communal or a private bathroom. These caddies are a great way to keep all of your bathroom necessities together.
  2. Bedding-Bedding is another major necessity in a dorm room. It is a fantastic way to show off your personality. You can make it as bright and colorful or as plain and simple as you want it to be. Some of you may think that it will be hard to pick out exactly what you want with so many options. My advice? The typical bed size in college dorms is Twin XL, so just start with the bedding that fits this size point and then go from there. Many stores sell great college-sized bedding packs that usually consist of everything necessary to make a bed. BED BATH & BEYOND, Ross, Target, and our very own OCM, just to name a few! After looking at all of your options, just pick the one that sticks out to you the most.
  3. School Supplies-Basic school supplies are a big item on a preliminary shopping list. Believe me, you will need tons of pens and number two pencils for all of the exams and notes you will take. For this first trip, you will also be safe in buying scissors, tape, a stapler, and paper clips, all used to keep your projects and belongings together and organized. Highlighters are another major necessity, used to highlight any important information in your notes or textbooks. The final supply that you can add to your preliminary list would be a three-hole-punch. You will use these a lot more often than you think! Notice that I did not put any sort of notebook or binder on the list of supplies. I would advise you not to buy these items until you go to your first day of each class. After getting a taste of the class, you will be better able to determine which note taking style you will use. If the professor talks fast, you may want to take notes on your laptop and then print them out to put in a binder or folder. In comparison, if your professor speaks slowly or states that he/she will put notes of some form on the board, then you may want to take notes by hand in a notebook. As you can see, note taking really depends on the professor and you will not really know which type you will use until you get to that first day of class.

Now that you know three essential items for college, you can build your preliminary list and get some college shopping jitters out of the way!

Introduction: Summer Before College Series

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Hello again!

This late spring/summer I will be conducting a “Summer Before College” series in which I will discuss the ins and outs of, exactly as it sounds, the summer before students go off to college for the first time! I will discuss topics such as graduation, planning out dorm room essentials, organizing college necessities, making the most of summertime, and saying goodbye to family and friends. My goal is to prepare families and their first-time students for college by giving them ideas for a fun, unforgettable, and successful summer.

If for any reason I do not cover a topic that you would like to hear more about, please let me know in the comments section or on our various forms of social media! Again, my goal is to help you to have the best summer before college, so your input is important!

Keep studying and don’t forget that summer is only a few weeks away!

Five Things To Do When You Get Back Home

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Ahh – the semester has finally come to an end. No more Ramen Noodle recipes or finals to study for. You now have direct access to a fully functional washer and dryer, and- home cooked meals.

Upon moving out of your dorm room and back in with mom and dad for the summer, your mind may be swarming with all of the things you want/need to do over the summer. With all of this new found freedom, where do you start? Here’s a few pointers to get the ball rolling.

1) Do your laundry – I don’t care what you say – there ARE clothes you brought home from college that smell like a 2 week old gym sock. Even if you think they’re “not that dirty” wash your favorite jeans anyways. You don’t want to take the musky smell of your college dorm back into your house. It will sit and give your room a funky odor, as well. Try to wash all of your clothes as soon as you get home so that you don’t leave a pile of dirty mess around your room. Also, washing your clothes right away will give you more of a selection to wear when you go out with your friends you haven’t seen in a long time.

2) Spend time with your parents and family – You may be so excited to run off right away and go see your friends from home, but first try to spend some quality time with dear old mom and dad. They’ve missed you like you wouldn’t believe and most likely want to spend time catching up and hanging out. Go to dinner, watch a movie, cook with your mom and spend time with dad. You’ll really value the time you spend with them because once you go back to school you’ll have to wait for breaks and visits. Also take this time off to go visit family; aunts, cousins, sisters, nephews, etc. You’ll feel so refreshed and happy after seeing everyone you love!

3) Sleep –I hardly need to recommend this one, but it’s a must. You may have gotten used to those hectic schedules at school; 3 hours of sleep, power naps, long nights of studying, etc but those schedules aren’t healthy for your body. You’ve worked hard all semester long to get good grades. Now, it’s time for sleep. Take a few nights of staying home and catching up reading or just resting. Your body will love the rejuvenation and you’ll feel energized and rested.

4) Get a job – Depending on your financial situation or what you’d prefer to do, getting a job or volunteering somewhere could be a great and productive way to spend your summer. Not only will it keep you up and out of the house, but it will give you something to feel good about. Of course, the extra income from a job wouldn’t hurt, either! This way you can have a little extra spending cash without having to ask your parents to fund your upcoming mall or movie trip. Plus, getting a job or volunteering at an organization will look great on your resume!

5) Refresh and restock – Being away at college all semester long means there’s things that have been lost, ripped, stolen, stained, and etc. Take advantage of being at home to save up and stock up on the things you need the most. Need more sweatshirts at school to fight that dorm room draft? Ripped your favorite pair of go-to jeans? Need a new haircut or set of school supplies? Now is the time to organize what you need and get them prepared for when you head back to school. While you’re doing this, make sure you go through all of your belongings at home to filter out anything you don’t wear or use anymore. These can be donated to people who would really enjoy them, while opening up some fresh closet space for you. If you sell your things at a yard sale, you could even make a little profit!

All of these tips – in addition to keeping a clean room and obeying mom and dad’s curfew to avoid trouble, are a great place to start once you move back home. Keeping a productive list of tasks and ideas will keep you out of that ‘home-from-school’ lull and will keep you energized and focused. What other tips do you have? We’d love to hear them!