things to do

The College Bucket List

June 19, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

College Checklist

College Checklist

College is just a few short years, but there are a countless number of things every college student should do before they graduate. It’s never fun to be the college graduate that regrets “what they should have done” while they had the chance. To avoid this, make yourself a bucket list before you begin your freshman year, and check off as you go. Here are some ideas to get started.

1) Get an internship. This is important to do in order to gain connections and set yourself up for a potential entry level job post-graduation. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will be hired, but it benefits you in so many ways in regards to both experience and finding out if what you’re studying throughout college is what you see yourself doing in the future.

2) Attend a school-related sporting event. There’s no greater feeling than being part of a crowd of fellow students cheering on their school team. At Florida State, the school spirit is bone-chilling and a once in a lifetime event that all graduates miss.

3) Take a spontaneous road trip with your friends. Depending on where you attend school, a lot of popular spots for college students are Orlando, Panama City Beach, and New Orleans. Last minute road trips are the best yet. College gives you the opportunity to make the decision the night before, pack up, and go, even if you only have $30 in your pocket.

4) Pull an all nighter in the library. It’s tradition to do at least once, especially during finals week. Bring all of your friends, find a table, and plant yourself there for the entire night with some snacks and coffee on standby.

5) Cut the negatives out of your life. We graduated and moved on from high school for a reason. Avoid anyone in your life that seems to bring upon negative vibes. Learn to make adult decisions in college by not caring what others think of you. There are various types of people that you will come across and be able to build relationships with, so never feel the need to hold onto the bad.

6) Study abroad. While I have personally never studied abroad, everyone always has nothing but positive experiences and stories from their time spent abroad. It gives you an accurate perspective into the lives of other cultures, in addition to the thrill of traveling before having any major responsibilities.

7) Learn how to handle your liquor. Let’s face it, we all drink in college, whether it’s five nights a week or just once throughout the semester. Live up the crazy nights and accumulate stories you can laugh about with your friends years down the road. Find your balance and know how to have fun while still being responsible. Those nights stumbling home at 4 AM and somehow making it out alive will eventually catch up, so do it while you can.

8) Attend a music festival with your friends. I’ve only attended one music festival, and I certainly hope to relive it. They’re the ideal atmosphere for relaxing and drinking in the great outdoors.

9) Find what you love to do. Its cliché, but in the end, that’s what college is all about. Find whatever motivates you to wake up every single morning to do what you’re passionate about.

10) Create a website. Whether it’s a WIX page or your own themed website, this is huge plus when searching for a job. It will certainly make you stand out from the typical graduate with just a resume and cover letter. Compile all of the work you’re proud of, fix it up, and download and organize it all onto one site. Companies will appreciate the extra efforts during the hiring process.

Check off this bucket list throughout college, and try your absolute best to take advantage of every single one. Add to the list as you go, and always remember, you only live once.

Top 10 list for your college career

October 3, 2014 in Campus Life, Colleges, Top 10 Lists

College is the perfect opportunity to make a name for yourself. Its a chance for many to get rid of their high school identity and become a new person. There are 10 things that every college student from around the country that you need to do.

1) Attend a sporting event – One of the best ways to show school spirit and hangout with a lot of friends. No matter what sport it is, always a fun time to cheer on your school.

2) Go to a party – No one should be staying in every weekend night, students work hard and deserve a little time to relax. A house party or frat is always a good time and will be the stereotypical college experience!

3) Join an organization – The easiest way for a student to get involved and have a bigger role on campus. Whatever cause, foundation, or professional group that students have a strong feeling towards. Becoming a strong leader on campus not only helps you make a name for yourself on campus but will look great on a resume.

4) Take advantage of intramural sports – Many students unfortunately won’t compete at the college level in athletics. Thankfully many colleges provide intramural sports to continue your athletic career a couple more years.

5) On-campus events – Colleges and Universities provide many shows/concerts to their students. Whether it is fellow students that are putting on the presentation or a big time celebrity it is always a fun experience to go to shows. Most of the shows that are produced by students are free just by showing your student i.d. Also, if it is a stand-up comedian or a concert of someone famous they give students a discount. Take advantage of these opportunities at your school.

6) Campus rentals – Recreation departments at many schools have a lot of equipment for students to rent. Bikes, canoes, kayaks, skates, or skis. The equipment is there for the students to use and it is at a very low cost to rent.

7) Free movie night – As a college student, it is sometimes hard to find things to do especially at a low cost. Thankfully many schools keep this in mind and offer free movie nights at  many locations around campus.

8) Internships! – Many students have a hard time trying to figure out what they want to do for a career. Internships are a great opportunity for students to learn about what a particular job is like in a professional setting. Not only do they get to find out what they would like to do but companies will take notice about the previous experience students have with a internship.

9) Go to the gym – Universities include a gym membership into your tuition, if you’re paying for it might as well use it! Great way to stay healthy and not gain those dreaded college pounds. Also by going to the rec center its a perfect opportunity to meet new people and relieve some stress.

10) Have fun – College is supposed to be a time of exploration and experiences. You want to be able to tell stories for years to come about your college days. Get out there and have fun!

UMaine

UMaine

How To Keep Yourself Entertained Over Winter Break

December 20, 2013 in Alive Campus, Colleges, Travel

Going home for winter break!

Going home for winter break!

Most college students travel home at the end of each fall semester. That is what’s great about two-semester colleges and universities – you get a month-long winter break and a three-month summer break. But honestly, being home for winter break can get a little boring. Here are a few tips of what to do over your month-long winter break.

1. Relax

You just finished finals and papers and projects and all of that stressful stuff – so, relax. The end of the semester is demanding and can cause a lot of anxiety – you deserve a relaxing break! De-stress by watching TV on your comfy couch or by getting a relaxing massage at a local spa. Being lazy for an entire day is okay – trust me, you’ll feel great after staying in your pajamas and lounging in front of the TV all day.

2. Sleep a lot

You’ve probably missed out on a bunch of sleep during finals week so go to sleep early and sleep in late. This is the one time (or one of the only times) you’ll be able to lazy around your house and sleep all day (if you want to) so do it. Don’t be ashamed of sleeping from 9 PM to 11 AM one night (if you can sleep for a full 14 hours) – you earned it.

3. Hang out with high school friends

Catch up with some of your oldest friends by going out to your favorite lunch spot or the local bar. It’s so much fun to catch up and reminisce about old times with your high school friends. And after not seeing them for an entire semester, I’m sure you have a lot to tell them! Also, catch up with some high school friends that you haven’t seen in a few years – I’m sure they have a lot to tell you!

4. Spend quality time with your family

Go to a workout class with your mom, spend the day at the public market with your dad, or watch some HGTV with your sister – spending time with your family is precious so take advantage of having an entire month off to hang out with them. Spending time with family and friends over the holidays is important – and trust me, your parents will want to spend a lot of time with you so do it I promise they’ll appreciate it a lot!

5. Explore your hometown

It may sound kind of strange, but exploring your hometown now that you’re a little older could be fun! Walk around your hometown’s local streets and eat at some of your favorite restaurants! I’m sure there are many places that you haven’t been and there are bound to be new restaurants or shops in the area – so get searching!

6. Take a day trip with family or friends

Winter break is a great time to take a long weekend trip with family or friends. Going to a city nearby for a weekend or a week-long trip to a warm state (like Florida or California) is an awesome idea. Also, you’ll be home for an entire month and you’ll want to break up your month-long trip home – so go on a short trip!

Top 10 Things To Do As A College Student In Boston

November 29, 2013 in Academics, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

The Boston Harbor at night

The Boston Harbor at night

1. Go to a Boston sports game

Sports are a huge part of Boston’s culture, so it’s essential that you attend at least one Boston sports game while in college. Whether it’s a Boston Red Sox game, Boston Celtics game, New England Patriots game, Boston Bruins game, or all four – just go! And even if you don’t like Boston sports teams, it’s a great time!

2. Go on Spring Break

Whether you go to Mexico, Punta Cana, or Miami – go! College is one of the only times in your life where you can go on a crazy spring break trip to Cancun and get away with it. It is expensive so start saving up, but it’s totally worth it. Who wouldn’t want to lie on a beach drinking strawberry daiquiris all week?

3. Live off campus

Even if your parents want you to live on campus for all four years, try to convince them to let you live off campus for at least one year! It’s a great learning experience and a helpful transition from college life to the real world. Dealing with rent, bills, cable, grocery shopping, and more is a learning experience in itself. Also, if you’re planning on staying in Boston for a summer living off campus is a good option because you can live in your own apartment and won’t ever need to sublet for those summer months!

4. Go to dinner in the North End

If you’re looking for an authentic, huge portion Italian meal (and honestly, who isn’t?), try the North End! As most Bostonians and tourists know, the North End is great for Italian food. One of my favorites is Al Dente – the portions are gigantic and delicious! After your tasty meal, head on over to Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street for the best cannolis in town – I promise, you won’t regret it!

5. Get drinks on the Boston Harbor

There are a plethora of fun bars overlooking the water at the Boston Harbor. Once your turn 21, go out for happy hour drinks by the water! The views are awesome and the atmosphere is always fun. Try Tias right on the harbor!

6. Take a day trip to Cape Cod

During the warmer months, take a quick day trip to Cape Cod. Also try Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Maine, Rhode Island, and/or New Hampshire. These coastal towns and states are an awesome getaway from city life. All about 1-2 hours away, they’re conveniently close and absolutely beautiful. If you’re looking for a day of relaxing by the beach, these escapes are perfect!

7. Go to Top of the Hub

The best views of Boston are without a doubt seen at Top of the Hub, a restaurant and bar at the top of the Prudential Tower. Whether you get appetizers, a full dinner, or just drinks at the bar, you’re bound to have a great time! The essentially panoramic views are spectacular during the day and at night.

8. Take advantage of your campus “points”

Most, and many, students learn that taking advantage your “points” system at your university is essential. Yes it’s real money, but it totally seems fake! You can swipe or tap your student ID and get into any dining hall, buy any food on campus, etc. It’s the last time your parents will be paying for ALL of that stuff, so take advantage of the “free” food and Starbucks while you can.

9. Go to the annual tree lighting in the Boston Common

The annual tree lighting in the Boston Common falls right before Thanksgiving – and it’s absolutely breathtaking! A huge crowd of Bostonians, visitors, and vendors gather to light the gigantic tree in the Boston Common Park. Bring your knit hat and gloves because it gets very cold!

10. Eat an awesome New England lobster roll

And last but certainly not least, it may sound dumb but eating (or at least trying) a really great lobster roll is essential when you live in New England. Lobster is delicious – but a well-made lobster roll is hard to come by if you’re not in New England.

While You Can…

October 25, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love, Top 10 Lists

1. Meet New People: This is the most important part of college. Besides getting a degree, of course. But, really, I feel nothing but pity for those people that come to college and live out of their suitcase. They go home on the weekends, they stay in their rooms in front of their computers, they call their parents every single day… College is a dual-sided coin, with academic advancement on one side and social development on the other. You want both, trust me. And don’t think for a second that you can or should just rely on your high school friendships. Your friends from high school will change, and so will you. Even if one of them comes with you to the same college, you’ll probably end up drifting apart as you grow up. It is nearly universal. So do your best to meet as many people as you can, expose yourself to new things, and you’ll build friendships stronger than you ever imagined possible.

2. Join an Interesting Club: There are so many different clubs available to join at any given college. And joining one early on is a fantastic idea because it will introduce you to new people who are interested in the same things that you are, and you may even learn to enjoy something you never thought of. Maybe you’ve never picked up a sword before, but join the fencing club and you might discover a passion for the parry and the riposte. Maybe you’ve never really been into board games, but joining a club dedicated to playing them could introduce you to all the cardboard greatness that you’re missing out on. In any case, find out what clubs the school has to offer (official and unofficial), and choose one. Maybe even at random.

3. Travel Overseas: They say there’s no better time to travel than when you’re young. If it’s your first time at college, you’re probably young. You’re also got a relatively small amount of responsibility on your plate. Outside of classes and a job, you’ve got free time. Save up your money and get overseas, maybe for Winter or Spring break. You may be surprised by how cheap overseas travel really can be, if you are comfortable with staying at hostels instead of hotels, and don’t mind eating cheaper food. But if you’re not OK with cheaper conditions, then it’s going to cost you much, much more. You could also consider taking a semester abroad. Different schools have different ways of providing such an experience for their students, and sometimes it can be quite cheap.

4. Short-term Relationships: You’re going to fall in love at college, and you’re probably going to get your heart broken, too. And it might happen multiple times! Of course, you could be one of those people that meets their true love freshman year and gets married after graduation and goes on to raise a wonderful family with five children. But that’s unlikely, so don’t count on it. Deaden future heartbreak by assuring yourself that you’re probably going to be in multiple relationships throughout college, and so it’s a better idea to not get too hung up on any one person. No one should ever marry their first love. It takes dating multiple people to learn what you do and do not like in a person, so stop worrying and just have fun. And try not to get too upset when you get dumped.

5. Learn a New Skill: Free time! You’re going to have a ton of it. If you want to spend your free time out of class chilling with your friends in the dorm taking turns playing Super Mario World, by all means, indulge. It was crazy old John Lennon that said time wasted having fun is not time wasted. He was right. But with all this free time that you won’t ever have again once you graduate, you could spend some of it learning something useful. Learn to play an instrument. Learn to use Photoshop. Learn what all the buttons do in FL Studio. I would suggest learning a language.

6. Start Budgeting Money: No better time than now to start budgeting your money. Four years is a long time, and you’ll tell yourself, “I can buy this useless thing, I’ve got plenty more time to save money over the next few years!” No, that’s not good. Don’t tell yourself that. Instead, start budgeting right now. Put away 10% of every dollar you make. And never, ever touch it until you absolutely need it. Perhaps for a car, or a house, or a trip around the world as a graduation gift to yourself. Just don’t blow all your money while you’re in school because you will regret it painfully. My best advice is to not go to restaurants or order delivery. Go to the damn cafeteria–you’re paying for it, anyway.

7. Rely on Yourself: Stop calling your parents all the time. I don’t mean never, because they deserve to hear from you every once in a while. But it’s time to grow up and become your own person, and that’s not going to happen if you’re continuously relying on your parents for every little thing.

8. Seek a Niche Future: Whatever major you’ve chosen, start thinking about the different ways you could find yourself a niche position in that field. It’s getting to the point where specialization is necessary for success. You can’t just get a degree and then land a job afterwards. No matter what major your choose, you’re going to face the possibility of joblessness, or a job in something completely unrelated to what you studied. If you major in writing, start specializing in scientific writing or technical writing, for instance. Or if you’ve chosen biology as a major, start specializing in a certain organ of a certain creature. You don’t want to wait until graduation to start carving out your niche.

9. Summer & Winter Classes: Something I wish I would have done from the start, and everyone I know wishes the same. Summer is great! Winter break would be great if it wasn’t so cold! But did you know that you could graduate a whole year or more earlier if you took classes during these breaks? I highly recommend it. The classes are longer each day, but you finish them in just a few short weeks, and that’s less time you have to spend at college. At the very least, it will lessen the workload you’ll have during the final semesters, which often are the most difficult. Being able to focus on just a couple major-related courses for your last semester will feel like a luxury.

10. Have Plenty of Fun: Get out of your room and have fun. You’re living in a little pocket-universe called college, and it is the last bastion of fun. Well, not really, but do not take all this free time and social interaction for granted. Make the most of it. Go to parties. Meet people. Seek out romances. Don’t let yourself get bored!