Move-In Day: How To Handle The Chaos

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

 

If you are a freshman, moving into a college dorm can seem like a daunting task. You may have some questions or uncertainties, but rest-assured you are not alone. Hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful to make the transition from high school to college a little smoother. And if you’re not a freshman and you’ve moved into a dorm before, than you understand just how chaotic the day can be.

1. Plan Ahead

Check on the university website to find information about where to park, when to arrive, and what dorm you are in. This information might even be emailed to you, so be sure to be on the look out for any correspondence from your school. The more you know before the big day, the better.

2. Only Bring What You Need

When I was a sophomore, I volunteered to work on a freshmen move-in crew in the dorm I was living. One of the things that struck me, is how much stuff the freshmen would bring with them that they don’t need. If you have a fridge that is taller than 3 feet, then your fridge is too big! Often times universities have certain dorm regulations too that may impact what you’re allowed to bring. And there is no way you will be able to fit 50 or more inches of TV in between you and your roommate’s lofted beds. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Connect With Your Roommate

Not only is it important when preparing to move in to communicate with your roommate ahead of time so you don’t end up with two of everything, but you want to get to know them a little bit. You can usually find out who your roommate is through your school, whether it’s listed on your student account or in an email. This is, of course, assuming you aren’t rooming with your best friend or anyone else you already know. Either way, coordinate with them before you pack things you don’t need, which will just take up more of your limited space.

4. Stay Calm

It is okay to get excited, but try to stay focused on just finding your room, unpacking your stuff, and moving everything in. The first step usually involves going to a front desk in the lobby to sign in with the hall director to get your key. When I was on the move in crew, we would send students in to sign in while we would unload their things in front of the dorm. We then waited for students to come back and tell us which room they were in and then carried their things up with them. Remember, these student volunteers are here to help and may even be living down the hall from you. So, if you are feeling stressed out or uncertain, just remember you can talk to anyone of the volunteers, the RA’s, or the hall director and they will be happy to assist you.

Don’t worry! Moving in to campus can be overwhelming, but just remember to breathe and that this is the beginning of a new stage in your life. Even if you’re not a freshman, a new year is always exciting!

Good luck!

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How To Be Prepared For The New Semester

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

 

How you start off a semester in college can be indicative of how the rest of the semester will be.  You don’t want to start off as a stressed out wreck – you want to be cool, calm, and collected. This is why it is so important to be prepared before the semester even starts.

Here are a few ways to prepare for the upcoming semester:

 

1. Plan Out Your Route

Plan out the fastest and most desirable route to take to get to your classes. Familiarize yourself with the area and different roads in case of any unforeseen issues that may arise during the semester.

 

2. Create A Budget

Before the semester begins, figure out how much spending money you have (or will have) and create a budget now. Estimate your spending on groceries, books, etc.. You may not be able to stick to the exact plan you create now, but at least you’ll have an idea of how much money you have and you’ll spend smarter.

 

3. Research Your Classes and Your Professors

If you don’t like to dive into a semester completely unaware of what to expect, do a little bit of research. www.ratemyprofessor.com is a great source that I used to find out what students have had to say about the professors and classes that I was about to start. But, while this can give you a little bit of an idea of what to expect, it’s important to not judge a class or a professor solely on a review before you experience it yourself. Keep an open mind!

 

4. Order Your Books

It can be a real drag to purchase books after your classes have already began. Many professors may already expect you to have read certain chapters for the second class and then you’re stressing out trying to get the book as soon as possible. It’s best to eliminate any extra stress and simply rent/purchase your books before classes even begin. And hey, I just happen to know a great site with awesome prices from which you can rent your books! Check us out at www.bookrenter.com!
The goal of all this preparing is to eliminate as much stress as possible from the semester as you can. You want to start each semester feeling ready and confident. Prepare yourself for a great semester! Keep an open mind, learn new things, and enjoy yourself.

 

What are some things you are doing now to prepare for the new school year?

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8 Things To Do Before The Summer Ends

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron TranchemontagneDid you start off this summer with a huge list of summer activities you wanted to complete before the season ends? Summer is almost over, so if you haven’t taken an opportunity to enjoy it yet, make sure you do so soon! Make this summer memorable and fun!

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer by doing some of the following:

1. Hiking

I could be very biased because I’m from New Hampshire and have unlimited access to the breathtaking White Mountains, but I think hiking is a much underrated summer activity. It’s great because it lets you reconnect with nature, it’s very healthy cardio, and often times the destination is worth the trek. One of my favorite summer memories is hiking up to Zealand Falls to see the beautiful views on the summit, and then stopping at the waterfall on the way back for a refreshing swim in the pool below. Its best to go with at least one other person, but anything beyond a group of four can get hectic. Make sure you pack a lunch, snacks, plenty of water, sunscreen, and plenty of bug spray.

2. Camping

This one and hiking almost go hand in hand, and they’re fun for the same reasons. Go camping without an RV, trust me, it’s a whole different experience. You can either drive out to a campsite and park your car at your designated site, or you can venture into the woods with all your gear on your back. I usually go to a state park that allows camping because it is the perfect mix of civilization and wilderness. Bring a tent – of course – and either some inflatable mattresses or foam squares to lay on the ground to make sleeping more comfortable. There will likely be a fire pit and maybe a grill there, but consider bringing your own personal grill and a small tank of propane. Depending on where you go, they may have bathroom facilities, but it’s always best to check ahead of time so you can plan out what you need to bring and what you don’t. Also, check out my last blog about summer camping hacks.

3. Family Reunions

Haven’t seen your cousins, aunts, and uncles in a while? Why not have a family reunion? My family does this every year and in the 40 years that it’s been around, it has become one of the most widely anticipated events of the year in our family. It’s always the first weekend in August and everyone in the extended family is invited for a surf n’ turf cookout complete with lawn games, music, and good company. It’s always good to reconnect with the family members you haven’t seen in a while.

4. Sun Bathing

Yes, it’s not too late to go outside and get a tan. This is an activity with lots of multitasking opportunity. You can read, talk on the phone, take a nap, listen to music, etc. all while laying outside. Just remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated if it’s hot!

5. Fairs

Ever been to a fair? They’re pretty fun, right? If you haven’t been to the fair, rest assured, it’s pretty fun. There are lots of fairs that happen at different times in different places, but end of the summer into early fall is usually a fair-filled season. There are games, rides, and often times even a petting zoo! Not to mention all the fair food that is delicious and terrible for you (I highly recommend the deep-fried Oreos). You may even get to see some fireworks while you’re there!

6. Outdoor Entertainment

Does your town have a park? Do they sometimes host concerts, theatre productions, or movies in that park? If they do you should consider going to one! It’s just like going to all that stuff normally, but outside! Often times the movies shown at outdoor venues are indie movies or documentaries that you wouldn’t get to see in a commercial movie theater. Most of the time, the concerts feature relatively unknown bands who aren’t big yet, but might be in 5 years or so and then you’ll get to say, “I saw them play 5 years ago at a park in my town” and everyone will think you’re so trendy and ahead of the curve.

7. Museums

If you can find a museum about something you are genuinely interested in or just want to know more about, then prepare to have a super fun day of learning (yes, that is possible). Typically the exhibits at science museums will feature something mind-blowing and/or interactive. Art museums are less interactive but may have some very awe-inspiring pieces if you’re an art lover. There are also more specific museums dedicated to a certain topic or person. For example, if you are in Virginia you can visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, where you can tour the house and the grounds to see what life was like on the property. You’ll see everything and gain more of an appreciation for a little piece of American history.

8. Amusement Parks

Although the lines and the ticket prices can be a hassle, it’s usually a fun day whenever you go to an amusement park. The rides are thrilling, the games are entertaining, and the food is cardboard (so pack your own lunch). I also include zoos and aquariums in this category because often times amusement parks will have their own zoos or aquariums, like Busch Gardens in Florida or the York Wild Kingdom in Maine. And if you think about it, zoos and aquariums are essentially nature-museums operated like a theme park. If you can’t find a theme park within driving distance of you, see option #5.

If all else fails you could always go play in the sprinkler (maybe?). Whatever you do with these last few weeks of summer, have fun and appreciate each day. School will be back in session before you know it!

What is the best thing you’ve done this summer? Share in a comment below!

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Studying Abroad: “You Won’t Know ‘Till You Go”

Filed under: College Life, Education, Fun Ideas, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

“You won’t know ‘till you go!” That’s the slogan my university uses to promote study abroad. In the months before my trip, I posted about the reasons you should study abroad, and what to pack. Now that I’m back, I’m going to share with you my experience studying abroad in Spain and encourage you to hopefully study abroad someday as well.

1. Culture

When you go on a trip with your friends or family, sometimes you don’t get a feel for the culture because you’re with your group doing your planned events. This trip, we worked hands on with employers/employees and even students that live in Spain. It was an incredible opportunity to learn firsthand the differences between our cultures, like their importance of siesta.

2. Skills Gained

Everyday for two weeks we were lucky enough to visit businesses that dealt with public relations, advertising, film, and media. We were taught valuable skills relevant to our studies by some of the best professionals in Spain. Talk about motivation! Every time we left a business, I felt like I was ready to take on the world!

3. Friendships

I do not know too many people from my school, so this trip was a big reason for me to go. There were people ages 20 to 33 on the trip with all kinds of backgrounds and walks of life. People that probably normally would not be friends all became so close in such a short amount of time just because of this experience. It was amazing the love we all had for each other by the end of the trip, even though we’re all so different.

4. New Perspective

It’s easy to get in our own bubble in the U.S. and think that our way of life is the “norm” (is there really such a thing), but going to Europe woke me into reality on how far behind I am compared to students my own age. I’d say about 90% of the people I met there spoke even a little bit of English. I do not speak any other language at all. Students there are taught from a young age 2-3 languages. Something like this gave me a new global perspective, and it has really motivated me to start working towards learning about the world, other cultures, and other languages.

5. Learning

Instead of being in a classroom for the semester, we were in film studios talking with producers, or in public relations firms learning their best strategies to getting new clients. This was incredible as a senior college student to be able to work directly with people in the field that I’m studying to be in. It was just like job shadowing, but a million times better. This trip was so much more than what I thought it would be. Yes, it was educational, but it was also life-changing for me because it changed my perspective on a lot of things. You can take a trip anywhere and have a great time, but to have an experience like this is definitely worth doing. I encourage you to consider studying abroad with your school because you really won’t know until you go.

Have you studied abroad, or are you planning to? Where? What was your experience like?

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Staying Academically & Professionally Oriented During Summer

Filed under: College Life, Education, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Summer is notorious for college students to “take a break” from school, chill out a little, and relax after having relatively high stress levels. But, sometimes we can get a little too laid back, not realizing that even though it’s summer, we still have homework. Yes, homework during the summer – and I’m not talking about summer school (but that does count too!). No matter if you’re a senior, freshman, junior, sophomore, or recently graduated – it’s crucial to always be focusing on the future of your academics and career, even when you are in need of a serious life-pause.

If you need a little inspiration on ways you can continue to work towards your life goals, here are some ideas:

1. Create A Vision Board

This is a strategy a lot of people in well-known positions use, including celebrities. Get a bulletin board and pin to it all the places you want to be able to go, all the things you would like to do, and pictures of what you want your life to look like. Every time you see it, you’ll feel that little spritz of motivation to keep focused and stay strong. It’s a good reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Find A Support Group

Since you’re on Twitter and Facebook most of the time anyway, put that time to good use and find social groups and accounts to follow that support 20-somethings trying to find their way. Type in a few keywords, such as “college,” “postgrad,” “motivation,” and you’re on your way. Not hooked into social media? Type those same words into Google to bring up a variety of local support group you can join for meetings. You can share your struggles and successes with each other, share resources, and network.

3. Make A List

Create a list of all the things you have accomplished thus far. It’s super easy to get stuck in that rut of negative thinking by focusing on all the things you have to do, things you haven’t done, and things you should have done by [insert age here]. Change this around and make a list once a week of things you’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Tried a new meal at a restaurant? Add it to the list. The little accomplishments will measure how well you’re progressing. In addition, whenever you catch yourself in the rut of that negative thinking, stop yourself and replace it with a hopeful, optimistic thought.

4. Work On A Portfolio

Depending on your major, a portfolio is a crucial piece to have on hand for interviews, or for handing over to a career advisor at your university. A second pair of eyes never hurts, and if you already have one going, add to it, update it, and keep it fresh. Taking a look at it periodically is another great reminder of what it is you’re working toward.

5. Interview Someone With Your Dream Job

Is there someone in particular you strive to be like? Reach out to interview them, find out how they got where they are, and draw your inspiration from your new muse. Can’t get there contact information? Look for someone who has a position similar. Make sure when you ask them about their job, you find out how they stayed motivated. It never hurts to gain new ideas.

Do you have any secrets for staying driven? Share them with us!

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