Student Life

4 Budget-Friendly Holiday Decorations for College Students

If you’re living on a budget, it can be a little difficult finding inexpensive decorating for the holidays.  However, we’ve found some awesome ideas to prep your pad for the holidays that won’t break the bank.

Festive Paper Chains

These may bring you back to your elementary school projects, however, they can certainly make your place just a little more festive.  All you have to do is cut out strips of paper and glue the ends together so that the strips interlock with one another.  Hang these chains up anywhere and it will certainly get you into the holiday spirit.

Tree of Lights

This was a pretty cool idea we found at Reader’s Digest.   Simply by taking a strand of lights and a few thumbtacks, you can make yourself a tree right on your wall.  It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a tree either.  Maybe a snowflake or a snowman suits you better!

Candy Wreaths

This was a pretty cool idea we found.  All you have to do is cut out a ring of cardboard in the shape of a wreath.  Then glue wrapped candies onto the ring, and hang.

Pillow Presents

Simply by taking ribbon and bows, you can wrap up your throw pillows to look like gifts!

 

 

 

 

References

“32 Budget-Friendly Christmas Decorating Ideas” by Cynthia Dermody and Rachel Hofstetter

“11 Cheap (and Easy) Holiday Decorating Ideas for Your Home” by Kathy Wilson

 

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Student Life

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo from cuindependent.com

As everyone heads home for the Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to make sure that you didn’t forget anything.  Here are some things to remember BEFORE you head out:

  • Take out the garbage.
  • Turn the heat on low.
  • Unplug lamps, computers, etc.
  • Make sure that all flammable materials are away from any heaters.
  • Make sure to lock all doors and windows.
  • Throw out any food items that are going to go bad while you’re away.
  • Make sure to bring any homework with you that you’ll need to do for when you get back.
  • Make sure to bring any chargers you’ll need for phones, laptops, etc.
  • Make sure to bring any medications you take.
  • Make sure to bring enough sets of clothes with you.
  • Make sure to bring toiletries.

It’s important to remember that before you leave that you close up your place for a few days.  It’s also a good idea to check that you have all the essentials before you head out, so you aren’t kicking yourself when you realize you’ve forgotten something.

Overall, we hope that you all have a safe trip home and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

References:

“Going on Vacation or Closing Up a House” by Pressed4Time.com

 

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Student Life

3 Ways To Get Through College Crunch Time

It’s getting to that point in the semester when you’ll be getting more and more work piled on to you, and/or you have to catch up on everything you’ve been procrastinating on.  We’ve certainly been through it, and isn’t easy.  However, there are some things you can do to get through this crunch time in the semester.

Make a to-do list.  Writing down a list of things you need to get done by the end of the day, the end of the week, and/or the end of the month can be really helpful.  It not only helps you to organize your thoughts, but it will also help you to remember everything.  It’s really easy to forget when you have a lot of stuff on your plate.  Writing everything down like this, in an organized list, can also help you to de-stress, because you may just realize that you really don’t have that much more to do.
Prioritize.  This is probably the most important you can do to get through this time in the semester.  You may even want to prioritize your to-do lists and make yourself a note of the things that you should get done first and what things can wait.

Take small breaks.  It’s a good idea to take small breaks in between working, as it can help you keep focused and give you time to collect your thoughts while you do your work.  Maybe you want to work for 30 minutes, and then take a 5-minute break.  Or, maybe you want to work for an hour and take a 10-minute break.  It’s completely up to you.

We know that it’s coming to be a difficult time in the semester when you’ve got a lot of stuff going on.  However, it’s important to make sure that you get through this time so you can finish off the semester on a good note.  By making a to-do list, prioritizing, and taking small breaks in between your work, you can help ensure that you successfully make it through this crunch time in the semester.

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Student Life

The Four Most Essential Pieces of Clothing for Winter on Campus

Walking around campus during the winter can be . . . shall we say . . . less than fun.  It’s often slippery, cold, and windy.  It also seems like everything you wear gets drenched whenever it snows.  This is because college is different; you are constantly walking in between buildings to get to your classes.  You need the right gear to make it through your day without getting cold and drenched.  This is why we’ve put together a list of the four most essential pieces of clothing for getting through winter on campus.

Photo from buffalostate.edu

Snow boots.  Your best friends will be snow boots when it gets to be really snowy.  We suggest picking boots that are not only waterproof, but also have a warm lining and have treads on the bottom so you don’t face plant on your way to class.

A waterproof snow jacket.  Like we said, it seems like every time it snows on campus, everything you wear seems to get wet.  This is why a warm, waterproof snow jacket is a great idea for getting through those cold, snowy days.

Gloves.  Gloves are pretty much a give in, however, we don’t just recommend any gloves.  We specifically recommend getting gloves that have some sort of traction so that you’ll still be able to use your phone while you’re wearing them.  It can be a pain if you have to make a phone call and you have to remove your gloves.  The best thing is to either find gloves that just naturally work well enough so that you can still use your phone, or find gloves that can do that (they actually make them, which is cool).

A hat.  Like gloves, a hat is kind of a give in.  However, we really recommend a thick knit hat that will cover your ears.  This way you won’t get that searing pain in your ears that you get when it’s really cold and windy outside.  This will also prevent you from getting too soaked when it’s snowing out.

While some of this stuff may seem like a no-brainer, prepping for your trek across campus can sometimes feel like a science that you have to learn and perfect.  It really comes down to what is going to keep you the warmest and the driest when it gets really nasty outside.

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Student Life

The Must-Haves for Your College Medicine Cabinet

It’s really easy to realize the things you’ve forgotten as soon as you need it.  It’s especially easy to do this with your medicine cabinet, because you don’t notice you need things like bandages or alcohol until you hurt yourself.

It’s best to keep some sort of first aid kit in your place, so you have all your necessities in one place.  In your first aid kit you’ll want to keep band-aids of varying sizes, sterile gauze dressings, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, and isopropyl alcohol.  Other things you may want to include in your first aid kit are things like q-tips and an over-the-counter allergy medicine (in case of allergic reaction).  It’s good to have these things all in one place so if someone gets hurt, all you have to do is grab the kit that you put together.

You should avoid using the products in your first aid kit, as these are only for emergencies.  Therefore it’s a good idea to keep a supply of all of these products on hand, aside from the ones you keep in your first aid kit.

Some other suggestions for your medicine cabinet include a thermometer, antacids, cough syrup, and anti-itch medicine.  It’s also a great idea to have some sort of over-the counter-pain medicine, either with acetaminophen or ibuprofen as the active ingredient.

It’s best to keep your medicine cabinet well stocked, even if you don’t need it now.  This way you’ll have something on hand should someone get hurt, or you just need something for your headache.

 

References:

Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

6 Important Items for Your Medicine Cabinet

5 Must-Have Home Safety Products

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Student Life

Winter Weather Prep

Especially if this is your first time living off-campus, there are certainly some things you need to know about getting yourself prepped for the snow and ice that comes around this time of the year.  Particularly with the recent Nor’easter, this seems particularly appropriate.

The first thing you need to consider is essential supplies to keep on hand.  Of course you’ll need basics like a snow shovel (ideally for both your car and your apartment), road salt or de-icer, and an ice scraper for your car.  However, you also want to consider putting together an emergency kit in case you get snowed in.  A home emergency kit should include:

  • Canned goods
  • Bottles of water
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Extra blankets (in case the power goes out and you don’t have heat)

You’ll also want to make sure that you have an emergency kit in your car in case you get stuck somewhere.  A car emergency kit should include:

  • Sleeping bag (preferably a camping sleeping bag, as that will be able to keep you warm)
  • Extra winter boots
  • Additional warm clothing
  • Non-perishable or semi non-perishable snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries

These types of kits, although you may feel like you don’t need them, could save your life in the event you get stuck with no electricity or you get stuck in your car.

We also recommend getting proper snow attire, especially when you’re walking around campus (because class isn’t cancelled when it snows).  Some great winter gear we’ve learned to keep on hand are

  • A winter jacket that is waterproof
  • Waterproof snow boots with a tread
  • Long underwear or spandex to put on underneath your clothes
  • Winter hats
  • Scarves
  • Waterproof gloves or mittens

Take it from us:  These are some of the essentials for getting through winter both on- and off-campus.

Overall, the best thing you can do is to get prepared for winter before it gets here, as the snow and the ice can often come way before the first day of winter.

References:

“Top 10 Winter Survival Tools and Tactics” by Roby Ferrari

“Put Together a Winter Home Emergency Kit” by Jason Fitzpatrick

“Put Together a Winter Car Emergency Kit” by Jason Fitzpatrick

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Student Life

Dealing with Bad Neighbors

You may have (unluckily) landed bad neighbors; those neighbors that are too loud ALL THE TIME, the neighbors that host wild parties, or the neighbors who are just a little too sensitive.  In any case, having bad neighbors cannot only be a downer, but it can also cause you and your roommates a lot of stress.  Trying to sleep through those loud parties or your neighbor complaining about your every move, is certainly not going to make you feel comfortable.

You’re biggest dilemma, however, is that you can’t change your neighbors.  Therefore, you have to take action.  This doesn’t mean combating your neighbors or retaliating.  That will only make matters worse.  Instead, the best thing to do is to have a talk with them about what is really bothering you and what both of you can do to fix it.

Like with any discussion of this nature (see our roommate posts), the best thing to do is plan out what you’ll say beforehand.  This way you’ll stop yourself from saying anything you’d rather not say, and that you can get your point across.  Especially if you don’t already know your neighbors, it is best that you’re as clear and as cordial as possible.  You certainly don’t want to come off as the nagging neighbor.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid blaming the problem on personality flaws.  This can make matters worse and it will most often escalate the discussion into a fight.  The best to do is focus on certain actions and how you are bothered by those actions.  If you’re neighbor plays their music too loud, just let them know that the music is a little too high when you are trying to study.

However, this will be a little different if you’re neighbor is very sensitive.  The best thing to do in this situation is to have a talk with them, and ask them what can be done to fix the problem.  Like with any discussion with your neighbors, however, you should be sure to keep it civil and to keep it about specific behaviors, rather than personalities.

In any case, talking to your neighbor can help the situation.  However, it is not always a long-term solution nor is it a give-in.  If the problem returns, the best thing to do is to have another talk with your neighbor about the problem, and remind them of your previous discussion(s).  If the problem becomes persistent and it does not seem like you can fix it, it is best that you talk to your landlord.  This will prevent any major conflicts with your neighbors, and in most cases the issue will be solved.  In serious circumstances, it is best to have your landlord (or the authorities, if needed) deal with the situation.  You should not try to manage any situation with your neighbors where you feel you are harm’s way.

Overall, dealing with bad neighbors can be extremely stressful.  However, properly managing the situation by talking with them about the problem and trying to find workable solutions can be extremely helpful in fixing the problem.  While in most cases talking to them might work, in persistent or serious situations, it is best to contact your landlord (or even the authorities, if needed) to deal with the problem.  In the end, it’s best not to leave any of these situations alone.

 

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