The month of August has been a particularly difficult one for me for personal reasons and I just found myself downtrodden and just lacking zeal. Although I tried the fake-it-til-you-make-it approach, I still felt that artificial smiles and the fake joy I was putting out was poisoning my mood even more. But as life does, things got better, and something I found that really helped me was celebrating. Whether I was celebrating the little things, or even the big things, just celebrating was enough to put me in a genuinely good mood. I like having an occasion to celebrate, even if it’s a silly one. So below I’ve compiled a list of holidays through to the end of the year that you may not have known about that are worth celebrating just because. I’ll be celebrating them, and I’d love for you to join me. So put on your party hat, and seize the day!

For September:


5th- Cheese Pizza Day

No one will ever have to fight me in order to convince me that pizza consumption is a  good idea. If eating a truck load of pizza would save humanity, let me be the first to say that, YES, I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE. On this day, pizza is being taken back to the basics. No toppings, no special whatever. Just a simple cheese fest. I can't wait.

21st- International Day of Peace

This one is so important because in a world where political, racial, and so many other boundaries are constantly at the forefront, we often forget that underneath our exterior appearance and other arbitrary preferences, we are all the same. This day is dedicated, as the United Nations puts it, to "cultivating a culture of peace." Read more about it on the official website here.

25th- Binge Day

Any excuse to consume excessive episodes of a show is a good excuse. Considering I do this pretty well already, I'll make sure to check this day off the list with flair. I just spent a day watching a season and a half of unREAL. And I loved it. So you can say I've warmed up sufficiently for this day.

For October:


7th- Bathtub Day

I am a huge advocate for pampering yourself. But sometimes as a college student, frequent trips to the spa don't necessarily make huge sense budget-wise. So how about downsizing your spa day and just DIYing it from home? A bath is always relaxing. I personally recommend the Aveeno Active Naturals Stress Relief Foaming Bath. It's under $5 and smells absolutely great!

11th-Face Your Fears Day

Whatever fears have been holding you back, today is the day to let them go. Think about what scares you, and just do it. Grab a friend if you have to, and truly make a day of it. And once you've faced your fear, CELEBRATE!

22nd- Make a Difference Day

Although this calendar has been all about reasons to celebrate for yourself. Today, be the reason someone else celebrates. Going to a homeless shelter and donating clothes or serving food could be an option but there are so many other things you can do.

For November: 


11th- Origami Day

Celebrating  a culture that is not your own can be a great way to not only learn something new, but to make cool connections. Today is all about the delicate Japanese art or origami. Taking a blank sheet of paper and turning it into a work of art is so much fun. So surround yourself with good people, and get folding!

24th- Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day

What's your unique talent? It doesn't have to be something that only you can do, but it's something you truly excel at and enjoy! My talent is talking. Yes, I'm claiming it as a talent. I'm all about talking, all the time. So you know what I'm going to do? Grab some gal pals, grab some food, and talk!


26th- Cake Day

Could I really make this list, and not include Cake Day? No. Not at all. Your local bakery is probably having a sale, but you can totally bake and decorate a cake yourself...then cut yourself the biggest slice. Who said you can't have your cake and eat it too?

For December:


3rd- Make a Gift Day

It's December, Christmas is approaching, sales are lighting up everywhere. But before you pull out your wallet, pause and think about what you were about to buy. A sappy card? A generic gift? Why not make your loved ones a gift? They won't be expecting it because today is definitely not Christmas, and they'll appreciate it because you took the time out and put some effort into it.

7th- Cotton Candy Day

You may or may not be tired of all the food related days in this post, but I'm not! So grab your niece or nephew and hit the candy store! The opportunities for fabulous instagram pictures are endless. Thank me later. And tag me so I can see them!

30th- Bacon Day

Lord, here goes another food day. But listen, did you really want to round out the year any other way? Discover a new diner and see what kind of bacon they're serving up. An adventure and a crunchy treat? Sign me up!

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What days will you be celebrating with me?

8.29.2016

12 Holidays to Celebrate This Fall


The concept of college is already anxiety inducing for so many who are taking their stage left exit from high school. Now top it off with having to share close living quarters with a stranger, and the anxiety levels might just sky rocket! I

 know I personally was stuck in the mindset that my roommate and I would either be the very best of friends just like in the corny movies, or we wouldn’t be able to stand each other—I have no idea why I was fixated on these extremes—thus  rendering my freshman year completely ruined.

Fast forward an entire year, and I’m heading into my second year of college, and with two roommates under my belt—one each semester—I feel like I have a few good tips on how to get along with your roommate starting even before you meet face to face.


GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER BEFORE MOVING IN


My roommate and I actually met by texting through an app called CampusQuad. CampusQuad is a super helpful group chat app that connects college students. Within the app, just about every college in America has a group chat for the incoming class of that year. Here it is in the Apple app store.

"Download CampusQuad and meet people just like you. You'll have friends before you even set foot on campus!"


The QUAD app was ideal because by texting through it, we were able to get a feel for each other and other people from our incoming class without the pressure of exchanging any solid contact information. 

We spoke on a nearly daily basis although it was sometimes difficult due to the fact that I was eight hours ahead, on a different continent. The mornings for her were my afternoons so it wasn’t too bad.

Okay so I didn’t actually meet my roommate through the CampusQuad app, although it is how I met a bunch of people from my incoming class. My roommate and I originally met through Instagram

By simply going to the explore page and looking up hashtags that pertained to my university, I found a few people who had posted using the school’s hashtag and I was able to semi stalk them. On their pages, after going through their most recent images—okay so I went through all their pictures, sue me— I dropped a few comments along the lines of, “Hey! I’ll be attending [insert university here] this fall too! Looking forward to seeing you around campus!” 

A comment like this generally drove the person back to my Instagram page and occasionally started a lengthier dialogue. So go ahead and stalk your university on across any social media you can find them on!

ATTEND ORIENTATION + MINGLE


Another great way to get to know each other before move in day is to go to orientation. Texting or interacting through social media may be great, but face to face interaction is even better. 

Because I lived too far to attend orientation, my roommate had really taken a chance by asking me to room with her. But orientation is a great time to meet your future roommate because you’re all participating in pre-planned activities generally created to get people to come out of their shells a little bit more. 

The first few hours are guaranteed to be awkward, but don’t be afraid to say hi to a stranger. That stranger might just be your next best friend.

 "Forget what your mama said—TALK TO STRANGERS!"


DON'T SPEND TOO MUCH TIME TOGETHER


Once you’ve settled in with your roommate, you’re probably going to have the urge to hang out with her all the time. That’s understandable; she’s probably the one person you clicked with amazingly. But listen, you don’t need to spend every waking moment together. 

One of the reasons I was able to have successful runs with both my roommates was that we didn’t really hang out together all the time. In the case of my first roommate, we didn’t have the same circle of friends, and we also had differing majors with her being a Communications major while I was a Biology major.

I will admit that at first I was concerned that we wouldn’t have anything in common past our initial “click” but this actually ended up working in our favor. Fairly quickly, we ended up developing a little routine where we would talk about our days in the evening back in the room. 

With both of us having experienced something different throughout the day, it was definitely an entertaining way to wind down our evenings.

"Be your own person. Make your own friends."


With my second roommate, it was a bit different. We clicked on so many levels it often didn’t make any sense. Since we’re both inherently talkative, we literally never ran out of stuff to talk about. 

She, too, was a biology major, and although we had similar classes, we weren’t actually in any of each other’s classes. She, too had a separate group of friends, however, our friend circles overlapped a lot. At the end of the day, our biggest struggle was to stop talking and actually fall asleep at night.

SPLIT RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPENSES


No one likes a moocher. Therefore, it is important to establish responsibilities as soon as possible or one roommate will get frustrated because they find themselves bearing the brunt of the dorm room expenses. 

I would advise taking turns on who buys the toilet paper (Side Note: toilet paper is MAJOR. Like, SO important. And you never really know how essential it is to your way of life until your parents stop providing it, and it’s on you to get it yourself). 

Taking out the trash and general cleanup is also something that should be split equally to some degree. It won’t be a big deal though if everyone acts like a grown up and cleans up after themselves.

"Show that you care by being fair."


Resist the urge to wait on splitting responsibilities until someone fails to fulfill something the other felt as though should have been taken care of. By being up front about it, you avoid a bitter confrontation down the road. 

So take the time and set up a white board or chart documenting each person’s duties and when switches of duties are meant to happen. This way, when someone doesn’t do what they’re supposed to, they can’t claim that they didn’t know or didn’t have early enough notice.

VOICE CONCERNS IMMEDIATELY


Being passive aggressive is not cute and neither is sitting around waiting for your roommate to change habits they don’t know they have. If there is something your roommate does that you don’t like, and then by all means let her know! 

By not telling her, you are subjecting yourself to a life of discomfort for no reason. In the same manner that you should be making accommodations for your roommate, your roommate should do the same for you. It is a shared space after all.

"Boss chicks talk it out. Petty girls hold a grudge."


And by sorting out your issues by yourselves, you avoid the tedious chore that is Roommate Mediation. There’s nothing worse than getting the RA involved. 

Even after the situation is resolved, there tends to be residual feelings of resentment on the part of the accused/guilty party.

BE 'ROOMMATE OF THE YEAR'


Nothing says Roommate of the Year like a cute sticky note left on the TV, the door, or the mirror. Everyone needs a little confidence boost or word of encouragement once in a while. 

Little random acts of kindness really do go a long way. She has a test coming up and has been studying hard? Pick up her favorite blueberry bagel on your way back to the dorm. It’s the small things that are the most appreciated.

"It's the little things..."


What your mom said about being treated as you would like to be treated? Pay attention to that because she’s really speaking from experience. 

And kindness just makes for a more pleasant environment within your dorm room.

8.04.2016

Everything You Need To Know About College Roommates



Everyone likes to save a little money here and there, especially if they're a college student. That's why I wanted to share with you how I was able to save over $280 my freshman year of college. 

I'll also walk you through a simulation of my savings on textbooks for my upcoming school year. This year, my textbooks will be included in  my tuition so I won't actually have to buy them, but I still wanted to share this tip because that definitely isn't the case for everyone. 

Let me tell you what the not-so-secretive secret is: Slugbooks.com.



SlugBooks is a site that compares the price of textbooks across multiple websites and presents you with the lowest ones. I always recommend to anyone just entering college, or even at the start of each semester when new books are necessary, to always rent their textbooks. 

I recommend this because the chances of you using those textbooks after that semester are slim to none. The best part about renting textbooks is that you can use them, and send them right back to wherever they came from once you're done with them. 

This is particularly satisfying for textbooks needed for a class you weren't a fan of. So let's jump right into it:


STEP 1: PUT TOGETHER A LIST OF YOUR CLASSES 

This coming semester I will be taking the following classes:

Global Business
General Chemistry + Lab
Psychology
Anatomy and Physiology + Lab
World Literature Before 1700
General Psychology

...for a total of 17 credits.


STEP 2: FIND OUT WHAT BOOKS ARE REQUIRED FOR EACH COURSE

The next thing you need to do is find out what books are necessary for each class. You can most likely do this online if your campus book store has a website.

Global Business-

Global Business Today (9th Edition) {Paperback Rental, Used: $88.80}
General Chemistry + Lab-

General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts (7th Edition) {Hardcover Rental, Used: $104.50}
Workbook with Solutions to Accompany General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts {Paperback, New: $125}
General Psychology-

No book listed
Anatomy and Physiology + Lab-

Seeley's Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology (9th Edition) {Hardcover Rental, Used: $93}
Photo atlas for anatomy and physiology {Paperback Rental, Used: $50.60}
World Literature Before 1700-

The Bedford Anthology of World Literature {Paperback Rental, Used: $21.20}
Don Quixote {Paperback Rental, Used: $6.80}
Othello {Paperback Rental, Used: $3.20}
Lais of Marie de France {Paperback Rental, Used: $3.00}
One Thousand & One Arabian Nights {Paperback Rental, Used: $2.99}

All  the prices above are from my campus bookstore. So in total, I would have payed $499.09. Just a few cents shy of $500 (all this being before tax of course).


STEP 3: OPEN SLUGBOOKS.COM + ENTER ISBN NUMBERS


Once you open slugbooks.com, enter the ISBN number unique to each textbook. You'll find this number with the textbook in your campus' online bookstore. Below, I entered the ISBN for Global Business. Alternatively, you can just enter the textbook title and pick it out from the list that comes up. 

STEP 4: SEARCH FOR ALL OF YOUR TEXTBOOKS


As you can see, for my Global Business textbook, I can rent it from Amazon for $18.48. This is $70.32 less than I would have rented it at my campus bookstore. Now I'm going to go ahead and search for the rest of my textbooks.


If I were to pick the lowest prices available for each book, using Amazon as the main site I bought from thanks to free two day shipping with Prime Student, the total for my books would come out to $121.78. This means I would have saved a whopping $377.31!


STEP 5: RETURNING YOUR BOOKS

When it comes time to return your books, if you stuck mostly with Amazon while shopping on SlugBooks, you can print out return labels via your Amazon account and return the book absolutely hassle free. 

Amazon is also really generous with the time window you have for your books, so there's no need to worry about not having them turned in on time.

*************************************
I hope this was helpful and that you too will get to walk away with a few more savings this upcoming year.

My last back to school post: End of Summer Checklist


8.02.2016

Back To School: How I Saved Over $370 On My Textbooks

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