Glitter, owls, and more glitter (HOMW 2)

Hi, everyone!

As I mentioned last week, I am making time each week of this semester to reflect and share a moment that was a highlight of that week. In my previous blog post, I told you all about the great time I had at Crystal Ball on Saturday. That was definitely a highlight, but the highlight of my week actually happened prior to Saturday night…

HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK (HOMW) #2: GLITTER, OWLS, AND MORE GLITTER

I had an RA Event last Thursday in North Hall. For those of you who may not know, I am a Resident Assistant here at UC, and part of my job includes planning fun events for my residents. Sometimes they are educational events, like when we visited the Clinton Cider Mill and learned how apple cider is made. Other times, they are social events, like last Thursday, which was a make-your-own Valentines event.

This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It's named uc_firstyearvillage
This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It’s named uc_firstyearvillage

I have had many RA events before, but had never had one that included my love for crafting. However, I talked to some of my residents earlier in the semester and discovered that many of them also loved arts and crafts and liked the idea of having a time we could all decorate Valentines together. I immediately began planning the event and was extremely excited to pick up glitter, construction paper, the CUTEST owl stickers of all time, and all sorts of other art goodies for my residents to use. By Thursday night, many of the students who lived on my floor as well as other floors were looking forward to the event as much as me, and met me downstairs right at 8 pm when it began. The basement lounge was soon filled with students drawing, glueing, and glittering to their hearts’ content.

This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it's a tricky hazard of crafting!
This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it’s a tricky hazard of crafting!

Over thirty students attended my event. It was scheduled to only go until 9 pm, but we ended up crafting past 10:30 in the evening! I had a great time watching other students make beautiful cards for their friends and family, and of course I enjoyed making some Valentines myself! I was so happy that the students who attended had as much fun as I did crafting. One of my residents told me it was the best event she had been to yet this year!

Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted!
Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted, featuring the cutest owl sticker of all time.

Sometimes in the business of college life (especially during your first year, which is a huge transitional phase of your life), you can lose sight of special little traditions from your home life. I really missed making Valentines for my friends when I began college, so I was happy that my event allowed students an opportunity to be festive, creative, and do something that may have reminded them of old traditions in their lives.

Events like these remind me of how great it is to go to a school that has such a tight-knit student body. I love celebrating holidays in fun ways with my UC family. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Have a great week!

 

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12 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About College

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Most of our knowledge comes from experience. That’s why a lot us will look back on events in our lives and say things like, “If I only knew then what I know now.” We tend to think about things in retrospect – what we could have done better if we had known more at that present time. But of course, this never really does us any good because, try as we might, we can’t go back to those moments.

Now that I’m about to graduate this semester, I have been thinking of a lot of things that I wish I knew going into college, things I wish someone had told me. Although, even if someone had passed this knowledge my way then, would I have listened? Who knows? My hope is that, in sharing these tips with you, you’ll trust me and take it to heart so you can get the most out of your time and money.

  1. Take the classes that matter to you.
    I am going to be completely honest. Every semester, when it came time to build my schedule for the next semester, I focused only on a) what was required to graduate, b) what was most convenient time-wise, and c) what was easiest. This worked out to make my time here quite efficient, but all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I have taken all of the classes that I will take.
    I wonder if I missed things. I took a couple easy A courses, but did I take things that would be practical and applicable? Yes, but not as many as I could have. Do whatever you can to broaden your horizon now. Take communication, business and writing courses, no matter what your major is. These will help you so much. Then be sure to fit in things you find interesting.
  2. Class attendance is crucial, but your health is the most important thing.
    This past semester, I got hit with mono. It took me a week or two to get diagnosed, but I knew something was severely off. The type-A part of me was saying, “Go to class!” But my body was physically incapable of movement. I did the right thing and went to the doctor instead of class, then brought my professors a doctor’s note. When you have a serious illness like mono, you have to put your health first.
  3. The best way to do well in a group project is to take charge.
    We all know that, despite professors’ best effort, group work is never an equal division. And if you don’t get to pick who you’re working with, there’s no guarantee the people you work with have the same work ethic or concern for their grades as you do. Therefore, if you want to do well on a group project, the only way to do so is suck it up and take the reigns. You need to be in control, be responsible, and be aware of dates and requirements. As harsh a reality as it is, that’s just group work for you.
  4. Your professors want you to succeed.
    It feels like they’re out to get you when they hand you a research paper assignment, but I swear, they want to see you do well. They will do everything in their power to help you if you show you’re willing to work and to reach out to them.
  5. Make time to see your family.
    A lot of kids want to get away from their families when they go off to college. And even if that wasn’t the case for you (it wasn’t for me; I didn’t want to leave), it’s likely you’ll assume you have your entire life to visit your family, and you won’t make it a priority on breaks. The thing is, life is going to keep changing and more and more things will get in the way of spending time with them, whether it’s jobs or distance or whatever. Take the time while you have it and be with your family as much as you can.
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  6. Get at least one person’s phone number in every class you’re taking.
    This will come in handy on many levels. If you’re stuck in traffic and going to be late, you can text someone and ask them to let the professor know (make sure you pull over to do this though!). If you miss a class, you can reach out to them for notes. If you’re confused about something, you can ask them for clarification.
  7. Pens exist only to be sucked into a black hole when you’re not looking.
    Seriously, buy a million, because they’ll all be gone in a week, even if you don’t lend them to people.
  8. Learn to cook.
    This is for men and women. People like people with food. It will help you take care of yourself, make friends, get on professors’ good sides, and you’ll look smooth on dates.

    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.
    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.
  9. You really need to check your email.
    Ask any professor; students don’t check their emails. That’s because our generation is accustomed to texts, and email seems like a thing of the past. However, you have to remember that your professors still use email avidly. It never fails that the one day you don’t check your email is the one day you got a class cancellation notification, but missed it and drove to school for nothing. Plus, you need to look out for weather and campus safety updates. All kinds of important stuff goes to your UC email.
  10. Establish credibility with your professors.
    This is especially true for professors you know you’ll have again. Even if someone rubs you the wrong way, you want to be on their good side. Prove to be diligent, motivated, and responsible by consistently handing assignments in on time, showing up to all classes on time, and participating in class. Always hand in your best work and be friendly. That way, when an unfortunate circumstance does happen, your professor trusts you and is willing to work with you. For example, I got rear-ended on the way to a midterm a few semesters ago, and was consequently a few minutes late, but my professor knew what kind of student I was, and he understood.
  11. You are never “too busy,” so ditch that excuse.
    The saying is true: if you really care about something, you’ll find the time for it. When you tell someone you were “too busy,” you really just didn’t see the thing you didn’t do as priority. I don’t care how much crap you take on – I’m the queen of taking on too much – you will find a way to do what matters to you.
  12. It never hurts to ask.
    A lot of people refrain from asking for something they want/need if they’re sure the person will say “no.” I have always adopted the mantra that it doesn’t hurt to ask, and it’s almost always been helpful to me. When I’m feeling like things are going south in a class, I see if there’s anything a professor can do to help me, even if I think they’ll say “no.” Nine times out of ten, I get surprised. The same goes for anything. I’ve expressed to professors that the whole class could benefit from a couple days extra of studying and gotten tests moved back. This semester, an incredibly understanding professor was willing to work with my teaching schedule at the gym. People will surprise you, and if they say no, so what? You should ALWAYS ask.
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20 Things That Inevitably Happen When It’s Your Last Semester

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My big girl backpack.

Fingers crossed, I should be graduating in December. Am I excited? Yeah. Am I scared? Terrified. It’s taken 3 1/2 years, but I have realized several things this semester. In fact, I’d say this was the first semester I finally felt like I knew what I was doing. Now, why couldn’t that have happened sooner?

These are a few of the things I’ve noticed now that it is my last semester here.

  1. You’re outraged when you have to do a big project or paper because you’re just so over the whole thing.
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  2. No one, and I mean no one, can match your procrastination skills.
  3. You’ve started making sleep a priority again because you’re basically an old person now.
  4. Everyone on the planet wants to know what your post-graduation plans are.
  5. Seriously, that is the only thing anyone wants to talk to you about anymore. Um, hello, can we talk about something happier, like food?
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  6. You’ve realized your “I’m in college” excuse time frame is dwindling, and are therefore milking it for all it’s worth while you can.
  7. You’re trying not to countdown, but it’s impossible.
  8. You’ve mastered the art of doing as much as possible with as little effort as possible.
  9. You’ve convinced yourself there’s some way to avoid entering the real world. I can win the lottery in the next three months!
  10. People have decided it’s their business where you’ve applied to, how many jobs you’ve applied to, and how every bit of your job search is going.
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  11. You finally know your best, most efficient study methods.
  12. You don’t understand how you’re about to adopt an adult life when you still feel like a child.
  13. Your mind is so far ahead of you that you keep forgetting it’s only October, and you still have schoolwork to complete.
  14. You’ve become an expert schedule builder, learning to craft schedules according to your own preferences.
  15. Professors, co-workers, and loved ones make (mostly) empty threats about sabotaging your grades so you can’t graduate yet.
  16. You don’t remember how you were ever able to get up so early in high school. It’s 10 a.m. classes and later all the way.
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  17. If you stacked up all the revisions of your resume, you could build a skyscraper.
  18. You laugh at the juniors who are freaking out about their graduation, as if THEY have it bad.
  19. When you go to events that alumni attend, you can’t help but think how you’ll be one of them soon.
  20. You’re both ready and not ready at the same time.

Fellow seniors, what worldly knowledge have YOU garnered?

Note: all photos were taken & edited by me. The watermark “SCC 2014” refers to my personal food blog, The Smart Cookie Cook.

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Why College Students Should Forgo Tanning

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Photo from Gerlach of Pixabay

Look, kid, you’re young. Should you live to be the average age of a human being, you’ve still got several decades left in the skin you’re wearing. I don’t know many people who want their skin to resemble beef jerky when they’re older, and yet I know plenty of them who ask for that by lying in a tanning bed, AKA a human oven, on a regular basis.

If you step back and think about it, the intentional act of tanning (as in, not when you spend time outside and just happen to get some color as a result) is an incredibly ludicrous endeavor. All the time, we preach about being comfortable with the skin we’re in, and yet we’ll spend hours lying motionless under UV rays just to make our skin a few shades darker. Shouldn’t we instead just appreciate the spectrum of skin tones out there?

Furthermore, tanning is one of the biggest time-wasters. There’s not much you can do while tanning; you have to be still and make sure you’re not using anything that will cause weird tanlines. Basically, your options are to read or listen to music. Why subject yourself to complete boredom for an hour or more if you don’t have to?

You’re also bound to get sweaty, and you’ll probably rub yourself down with sticky tanning oil. It doesn’t make sense that doing nothing would make you that gross afterward. If you want to get sweaty, go to the gym instead. Now that’s a good use of your time.

It’s proven that sun exposure causes early aging, which is why you’ll see many avid tanners with not-so-smooth skin, even at a young age. Think about what happens to just about anything when you bake it: it dries out and shrivels up. Your skin is doing the same thing, except moisturizer isn’t going to save you. You’ll wind up with wrinkles much sooner than you anticipated, which is hardly worth skin a few shades darker now.

But here’s the big reason why college students should forgo tanning: skin cancer. Everyone thinks “It won’t happen to me,” but it can and it does. No one is immune. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “The number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.

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Photo from glamour.com

What people really need to realize is how silly it is to put yourself in direct risk of cancer just to darken their skin tone for a little while. It is not like the skin-darkening caused by tanning is permanent; you have to constantly upkeep it, wasting time in the tanning bed and exposing yourself to damaging UV rays again and again.

Take it from a girl who’s about as pale as pale gets: it’s not so bad. I just think about how nice and wrinkle-free my skin will be years from now, and that makes it all the better. I certainly haven’t the time or patience for tanning anyway.

 

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So You’re Taking a Summer Class

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You might think you know what you’re getting into with summer classes, but it’s a whole different game. Summer classes are condensed versions of what you take during a normal fall or spring semester, and they’re consequently that much more intense.

Each summer class runs for about a month as opposed to the four month time span you’re used to. That means summer class professors have to take four months’ of information and squeeze it into one very short month. That’s why your summer class is probably held every day of the week.

I learned the hard way that procrastination absolutely does not work in the summer. In truth, procrastination is never an efficient or helpful method, but if you default to your procrastinating ways during a summer class, you will not survive. This is because you simply don’t have the time to put things off.

In the class I took last summer, we had a weekly exam. It sounds like a lot, but again, it’s a much shorter time span, and it made sense, equating to about four tests. I often put off studying until the night before, and it was always a huge disaster. I wound up pulling all-nighters almost every week, and completely burnt myself out.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Quite simply, just don’t procrastinate. Even if you’re a procrastinator at heart like I was, you just have to remember that you only have to act like an on-top-of-things productive human being for a month. You can handle that.

You’re likely to have a smaller class in the summer, which is great because you can develop a closer relationship with your professor, and there will be more time for questions. You’ll develop a little bond with whoever is in your class because you’re all in the same boat.

You’ll also probably have to be willing to take initiative. There likely won’t be as much time for dissecting things and going over topics as in-depth as you might prefer in class, so you’ll have to be willing to work hard outside of class and get help from your professor. And don’t forget how helpful your good friend the internet is. Can’t figure something out? Try Googling it before you implode.

Most of all, give yourself a pat on the back. It might seem like a drag to take a summer class at first because you’re passing up what’s supposed to be a break, but think of the lighter semesters to come that you’ll have as a result.

Just stay calm and remember to manage your time wisely. You probably cannot go out partying every night and get through your summer class alive. But if you’re diligent, you’ll do just fine.

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Everyone Should Read the News

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As a public relations major, I am told on a daily basis by professors how I should be paying attention to the news. In this profession, it’s expected that you know what’s going on not just in your immediate environment, but in the world as well. I certainly can’t argue with that. However, I don’t agree that it’s just PR people who should be keeping tabs on newsworthy goings-on in the world; every student in every major should.

Let’s start with a really simple and relatable example: How foolish do you feel when somebody asks you if you heard about that thing that happened in that place, and you’re like “Uhhh….what?”

Or worse, you nod and say, “Oh yeah!” and pretend to know what the heck they’re talking about.

Save yourself from that awkward situation and check out the news once in a while. You’ll feel so gosh darn smart when you can reply with confidence, “Yes, actually, I did!” Then go on and show them your well-educated demeanor.

You honestly feel so much cooler when you can be the one ASKING other people if they heard about that thing that happened the other day in that place. And when they say “no,” you can go ahead and inform them. Way to spread the knowledge, you good Samaritan, you!

Plus, the more you read the news, the more you want to read the news. It becomes a habit, and you feel disconnected and out of the loop when you don’t keep up. It’s like when you don’t get to check Facebook for a few days, am I right?

No matter what your profession is, having knowledge about what’s going on in the world around you is beneficial. Even if you work at McDonald’s, you can keep tabs on the latest in the fast food industry. Or if you work in an office all day, check out the news from the competition and impress your boss when you come up with ways to keep up with them.

It’s a common misconception that all news is boring. Certainly, some of it is, but even the boring stuff is important. You might not be into politics, for example, but having an idea about what’s going on makes you knowledgeable about your own country, and let’s you make better informed decisions in your day-to-day life.

Plus, there is always news to address what you are interested in. For example, there is a plethora of news material for me as a foodie to indulge in. And there are more quirky avenues of acquiring your news. Although accurate and informative, traditional media like ABC or The New York Times aren’t the most exciting. Try websites like Buzzfeed. Is there a lot of fluff on Buzzfeed? Yes, but they do real news too, and they present it in such an easily digestible way.

What it comes down to is that you never want to be in the dark. I know that ignorance sounds easy, and sometimes, it just feels better to turn the other cheek. But why is that when we know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away? The best we can do is educate ourselves with what’s going on the world. There’s no better way to tackle fear than finding out as much as you can about what frightens you. For some people, that’s war. for others, it’s the latest fashion trends.

Don’t be in the dark. As college students, we’re no longer innocent children who look at the world with rose-tinted glasses. Take those glasses off and watch your local news in the morning. Even Good Morning America or the Colbert Report will update you.

No excuses.

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How to Be a Better Commuter

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Photo by The Tangerine

Utica College has a fairly large commuter base. It attracts a lot of local folks, myself included, who choose to go home at the end of every day and drive back again in the morning. Some of us have a quick five-minute drive while others devote an hour or more there and back.

We all have our reasons for why we prefer it this way. And as with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages. One of the hardest things about being a commuter is dealing with harsh CNY winter travel and making that dreaded decision of whether or not to take your chances driving to school every time the snow rolls around.

There are several things to do to lessen the inconvenience and dangers posed by nasty weather. For starters, be smart when you’re making the decision of whether to face the commute or not. If you can afford to miss the class without severely getting points docked from your grade, then it might be best to not go in. Even if there’s important material, you can always try speaking to your professor or getting notes from a friend. Class is very important, and so is attendance, but your safety is the most important of all.

That being said, I am not in any way condoning skipping classes without a darn good reason. After all,we are seasoned veterans here in CNY when it comes to driving in harsh elements, so if you can, get your butt to class. It’s a given that you should drive slow, and always leave early on a bad weather day so you don’t feel the need to rush. But if you can’t avoid leaving late, do not try to rush there. It’s better to make it to class safely and a few minutes late.

It’s a good idea to even leave for class early on a good day when you’re a commuter. You never know what kind of traffic snafus or incompetent people you’ll encounter along your journey.

In fact, getting there early means better chances of a better parking spot. You can’t argue with that!

Being a commuter can also be tricky if you’ve got a long day with back-to-back classes and/or work. You don’t have time to run home again, so it is key to plan ahead when packing for the day. More obviously, you’ll need all your books, papers, etc. for your classes. But you also want to make sure you have tons of food to get you through the day. I recommend bringing more than you think you’ll need in case you get stuck being out later than you originally intended.

On a similar note, I recommend getting yourself a Brita water bottle. It has a built-in filter, so you can feel safe drinking tap water. That means you’ll have water all day long, and won’t have to bring or buy a million plastic water bottles.

It’s also not a bad idea to keep your car stocked with essentials like tissues, Advil, and your chargers for your phone/laptop/etc. This way, you won’t find yourself running to the store or back home when you unexpectedly need something.

If you have a laptop or tablet, I definitely recommend bringing it to school with you as a commuter. You never know when you might need it. If one of your classes gets canceled and you’ve got time to kill, you’ll be glad you brought it along.

Be sure to have a back-up plan for rides. Just last week when it snowed on Friday, I got completely blocked in by snow thanks to the snow plowers at my apartment complex, and couldn’t get out of the parking lot. Luckily, I had a friend who was willing to pick me up on her way into school.

Finally, try to be as picky with your class schedule as you can be. Some classes are only offered at one time, and you have to deal with that. But if you can choose classes so that you have to make as few trips to campus as possible, then do it. Your gas tank will thank you.

Are you a commuter? What do you do to make your life a little bit easier?

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So You’re Single on Valentine’s Day

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I’ve stopped looking at Valentine’s Day as a day allotted for celebrating your sweetheart, and instead started looking at it as an excuse for celebrating whatever you love most. For me, that’s food, family, and cats. In that order.

It might seem hard to face V-Day alone, especially if you’re living on campus while your family is miles away and your roommate happens to have a hot date. But don’t let your relationship status get you down; there’s so much more to February 14th than romance.

If nothing else, V-Day is a great excuse to binge-eat chocolate, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. It’s also a good reason to show some love to yourself. You can make it a day about you, and use it to indulge and treat yourself more than you normally would. There are so many possibilities and so many reasons why it doesn’t have to stink.

The key is changing how you think. Get the idea of candle-lit dinners with a significant other out of your head. Yes, for some people, that’s what V-Day means. But for others, it has a whole different meaning. What means the most to you? What do you love? That should be what the day centers around.

There are plenty of things to do on Friday, Feb. 14th that will make it an awesome day regardless of your relationship status. You can have a movie marathon. It doesn’t have to be rom-coms; watch a marathon of blood and gore if that’s what you’re into. Just pick you favorites, pull on your pj’s, and settle in with a smorgasbord of snacks.

Here’s my favorite: eat as much chocolate as you want. Forget your diet; it’s one day out of the year. Grab as much chocolate as you can handle from the store then eat it with every meal: chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, Nutella-peanut butter-banana sandwiches for lunch, your favorite dish with hot cocoa to drink for dinner, and endless chocolate candies for dessert.

It’s all about treating yourself. Grab another single friend and head to your favorite restaurant to indulge in comfort foods. Or, stay in and get your favorite take-out. You could even cook a fancy meal for your friends or family.

Heck, spoil your pets too while you’re at it. Make it a day of appreciation for them. I love my cats like they’re my children, so I’ll happily throw them a V-Day celebration. Animals are much easier to please than people anyway.

You could even go on a little shopping spree to treat yourself. Chances are, you’ll have the mall to yourself since all the lovebirds will be off having fancy dinners.

And, if nothing else, rejoice for the awesome sales on Valentine’s Day candy the day after.

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How to Trick Yourself into Getting Fit Without Leaving Campus

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Photo by Kevin Waldron

With the recently relentless cold, we’re all about ready to go into hibernation mode. But it’s important to keep yourself moving so that, come summertime, you’re in great shape to enjoy the sunshine and freedom. And of course, your health doesn’t become any less essential in the winter.

For me, an hour or two at the gym each day is my way of staying active and fit. But some folks just aren’t gym people, and that’s okay. You can work little spurts of fitness into your already existing daily routine, and you don’t even have to step foot off campus to do it.

  1.  Get walking. You already don’t have much of a choice when it comes to walking to class if you live on campus. However, you can leave your dorm 5, 10, or even 30 minutes early to walk around campus & maybe the local streets before you head to class.  Just a few minutes of walking means extra calorie burn, plus it will wake you up for your class. Even if you commute to school, you can leave early and take a walk before class too.
  2. Pack heavy. Wait…aren’t you supposed to pack light? Not in this case. Take as much junk to class with you as you want: water bottles, all the books you need for the day, laptop, a sweatshirt, food, etc. That extra weight means more work toting it around, so you’ll burn calories and build strength without even trying. It might seem like a pain, but it’ll  be convenient having everything you could need with you so you don’t have to return to your dorm.
  3. Be a stair master. Got a few minutes between classes? Why not take a hike up and down the stairs a few times? There are plenty of staircases to choose from, and you can take different ones if you don’t want to look weird walking up and down the same flight. Climbing stairs will get your blood pumping fast, and it will wake you up after you’ve been sitting most of your day.
  4. Plank like it’s your job. I love planks because you can do them anytime, anywhere – no equipment required. Plus, they are one of the most effective exercises you can do. If you’re in the middle of studying (or more likely, browsing the internet), take a break to do a quick plank. It’s not an hour-long workout commitment; it can be as short as a minute. Make sure your elbows are aligned with your shoulders, and keep your butt down and back flat. Your abs should be doing the work here, not your back. However, this will work your shoulders too. If you don’t do planks often, start with 30 second intervals then work your way up to longer and longer planks.6-exercises-you-are-doing-wrong-plank
  5. Take a seat. Wall sits are another great anytime, anywhere workout as long as you’ve got a wall. You can take study breaks to do these with the planks, or alternate doing them. Wall sits will work the back and front of your legs, and you’ll feel it fast. Again, start with 30-second intervals, then work your way up. Press your back flat against the wall then slide down until your knees are aligned with your toes and bent at a 90-degree angle. It’s like you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Now hold that position. You can make it harder by placing a book in your lap.

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    Photo from Fit Chicks Central
  6. Get creative. You probably don’t have a set of weights in your dorm room, but you don’t need one to get stronger. Anything remotely heavy can serve as a weight, whether it be a water bottle or a book. You can do bicep curls, weighted lunges, dead rows and more with all kinds of objects you already have lying around.
  7. Blow dry your hair. I know this one sounds like a long shot, but you get a serious shoulder workout blow-drying your hair! Try to switch arms halfway through to fatigue each side equally (although this may be difficult if you’re only used to one side).
  8. Get up. If you’re studying or doing something that doesn’t absolutely require sitting, get off your butt! You can pace around your room while doing flashcards or browsing Pinterest on your iPad. I wouldn’t suggest taking this outside your dorm though because then it gets a little dangerous and you run the risk of bumping into something (or someone). You can even take your downtime outside on nice days. Play frisbee with your friends instead of opting for Netflix on the couch.
  9. Jam out. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love to rock out to their favorite music in the privacy of their own room. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re probably lying. Turn up the tunes, put on comfy pjs or sweats and dance your heart out. It’s so silly and fun, you don’t even realize you’re torching calories. Get your roommate in on the fun too, if you like. Just make sure you keep your music at a respectable level.
  10. Take the long way. There is usually more than one way to get to whatever class or part of campus you’re heading to, so take the longest one. This little change can make a big difference over time without being a huge inconvenience to you.

Moral of the story: a lot of little changes make for a big pay-off. You don’t have to over-exert yourself to get in better shape. In fact, you just have to trick your brain into thinking you’re not doing anything different than normal. These small tweaks to your day won’t cost you a lot of time or pain, but they’ll trick you into working harder and whipping your body into better shape, all from the comfort of the UC campus.

What are YOUR favorite fitness tricks?

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Is Moving Out Right for You?

Boehlert_Hall
Photo by Jamie Callari

I didn’t choose to move out per say. I had every intention of living at home and commuting to school for my entire time at UC. However, my wonderful plan was torn to shreds when my parents decided to up and move right before my junior year.

I was faced with the difficult decision of moving out and being independent or following my parents during their move and having to transfer halfway through my college education. Neither option would be easy, so I ultimately decided I couldn’t give up the public relations program I am so passionate about at UC.

My whole moving out process happened in about two weeks, and it was a whirlwind of changes. I had to find an apartment ASAP, lug all my stuff there, and suddenly learn how to be an independent human being. This also meant that managing my food blog would be twice as hard and time-consuming without my mother to act as my sous-chef, camera woman, and grocery shopper.

I know; it doesn’t sound that appealing at first, does it? It certainly didn’t feel like it to me at the time. But weeks passed, and then months, and suddenly, I was settled in and functioning rather efficiently. Moving out of my parents’ house seemed daunting at first, but I was shocked at how quickly I adapted when forced to do so (and that sentence applies to almost any situation in life).

With moving out, you garner freedom. And I’m not talking about throwing wild parties; I’m talking about the ability to decide what you want to buy at the grocery store, how to decorate, how messy you can be, and whether or not you’re going to put pants on that day (unless your roommate(s) disagree with any of these things). Suddenly, there’s no authoritative, judgmental eye over you. And for the first time in your life, you really come into your own.

Yes, you take on a lot more responsibilities when you no longer live with your parents, but honestly, this is a good thing. You’re going to have to be an independent, functioning adult at some point, so this is like the trial run before graduation. You’re going to learn a lot of important things like the most efficient way to kill a spider and how to change light bulbs. And although these things might feel like a pain while they’re happening, you can’t help but beam with pride for yourself afterward.

Living independently allows you to focus. It gives you more clarity to think about what it is you want and how to get it. Sometimes it’s something as simple as getting your work done. Without having your family over your shoulders, doing homework and writing papers becomes a bit less about distractions. But you also have more room to pursue and think about your interests. You get to concentrate on you.

The best part is you don’t have to move out forever. Most parents will happily accept you back if you decide that’s what you want after some time. Now is the best time to try it; college is all about having flexibility in your lifestyle and trying new things so you can decide what you want for the rest of your life. Whether you’re moving into a dorm or choosing apartment life, moving out of your parents house will be better for you than you ever imagined. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge.

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