12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

During the winter months, everyone around me sees a winter wonderland with snow angels, igloos, and hot chocolate. I see a death trap with black ice, wet socks, and poofy jackets that make me look like a marshmallow. I’d gladly take the hot summer any day. When you go to a college in a region that experiences all four seasons, you don’t actually get to enjoy the summer on campus with friends. In New York, it starts getting chilly around October, and even when spring officially begins in March, we often still have cold weather through May! But I think we’re finally starting to see more sunlight and more gorgeous weather, which hopefully isn’t just a fluke. That said, it’s the perfect time for hanging out with friends and making memories. Whether you’re chilling with friends from your hometown who you haven’t seen all year, or you’re meeting up with your new college pals you saw just a few weeks ago (though, it feels like a year), here are some ways you and your friends can have some fun this summer.

1. Attend a free outdoor festival.

Be on the lookout for food and art festivals in your neighborhood. I go to school on Long Island and there’s always some sort of festival happening around the spring and summer — the Oyster Festival, Lobster Festival, music festivals. You can get into these festivals for little to no money, and you can spend as long as you want and try everything you see. A quick search on Google for fun festivals in the area should give you some ideas.

2. Go to the beach.

This can be a meticulously planned day-long trip or a spur of the moment stop for an hour or so. You can never go wrong with taking photos while your hair blows in the breeze, or building sand castles and collecting pretty rocks. If you decide to go for the entire day, make sure you come prepared with sunscreen, water to keep you hydrated, and cute sunglasses so you look as sharp as the sun.

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

3. Go for an ice cream run.

Well, unless you or one of your friends is lactose intolerant. In that case, go for a dairy-free ice cream run. One time, my friends and I stopped by this ice cream shop in town that was known for having the best ice cream in the area and it was SO good! Turn it into a journey for finding the best place for soft serve. You can also never go wrong with hitting up a childhood favorite for a vanilla cone with sprinkles.

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

4. Make ice cream together.

On the other hand, if you’re really feeling your inner culinary genius, try making your own ice cream at home. I’ve done it when I got bored of eating whatever’s from the store, because it’s so easy to really customize it and turn it into something of your own. If you’re going for a plain vanilla ice cream, simply whip up some heavy whipping cream until you see peaks (but not butter!) and mix in condensed milk. Freeze and you’re ready to eat! From there you can add whatever toppings and things you want, and you can turn this activity into an ice cream party for you and your friends.

5. Have a picnic in the park. 

It has been my dream to have a picnic photoshoot. You can invite as many friends as you’d like, and you don’t have to worry about there not being enough space because you’re outdoors and there’s certainly room for everyone. It can be a potluck-type of picnic where everyone brings some food or drink item to share so one person doesn’t have to do all the work.

6. Go for a run and turn it into a routine.

This is perfect for hanging out with friends from your hometown. You can plan a daily or weekly run through the neighborhood with them to make up for not being able to see each other all year. This is a great way to reach any health and fitness goals with a buddy. And if running isn’t your cup of tea, you can always walk or get creative and do outdoor yoga.

Related: How To Make Time For Going To The Gym In College

7. Have an outdoor photoshoot. 

I used to hate taking pictures of myself in high school, but when I started blogging I began taking photos more and, well, sometimes I needed to be in them. Now I love, love, LOVE having photoshoots with friends and I always have so many ideas for them. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to fun photoshoots I want to do, and you don’t even need a fancy DSLR — an iPhone would be great for the job. You never know when you’ll need a really good photo of yourself!

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

8. Attend an outdoor concert. 

Check to see if there are any free concerts happening in your area this summer. I know in New York City, there are free concerts happening throughout the summer for various artists. This is a fun way to get to see a singer you really like without having to pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket. And afterwards, you and your friends can hang out ad grab a bite to eat at a local shop. Be sure to check out my concert checklist for tips on what to bring with you!

9. Have a pool party in your backyard. 

I recently got a lip-shaped pool float from my internship and it’s so cool and so pretty and I’m dying to get it in the water. I don’t know how to swim, so I guess it works for me. But if you’re just using an inflatable pool in your backyard, you don’t really need to know how to swim, and you also don’t have to drive to a public pool. Blow one up that’s big enough for you and your friends, fill it with water, grab some sodas or even some fancy *adult* beverages and chill.

10. Attend a conference together. 

I know conferences sound boring, but there are actually some really cool ones for millennials that you can look into. They’re great ways to hang out with your besties, meet new people, and forward your career while learning new things. Her Conference is definitely my favorite. I went last year and had a blast, so I’m obviously super excited for this year’s. Pick a conference together, but also remember that you may need to book tickets in advanced.

By the way, if you’re curious about my Her Conference experience, be sure to read my post on the 19 things I learned from it.

11. Go on a tour of your city. 

While I visit New York City more often than I visit (the dentist? my neighborhood library? office hours?) I still have never gone on an actual tour of the place. I’ve always thought those red double decker tour buses looked cool, but I’ve never hopped on one for sightseeing. This is a cool idea for you and your friends, especially if you don’t always go to your nearest metro city. You might even discover a few new favorites.

Related: The Awkward Traveler’s Guide To Manhattan Part One: Basics + Battery Park

12. Hit the highway for a road trip. 

A road trip can be anywhere from Brooklyn to Montauk, or from Vermont to California. It’s all up to you and how long you’re willing to tolerate all your friends in one cramped car. Just kidding. But a road trip would be the perfect way to catch up with hometown friends or make new memories with college buddies. All you need is a car, a friend who can drive, and the wind in your hair.

What are your ideas for hanging out with friends this summer? 

Follow me on Pinterest for more great tips and ideas related to college and lifestyle!

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

Thank you Hask for sponsoring this post and sending me products. As usual, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Macarons & Mascara possible! 

The summer months are probably what every college kid has been dreaming of since, well, the first day of the semester. While I love learning and taking classes that advance my skills, the summertime has always been an important time for me to completely unwind from the tension of the school year and rejuvenate. I know a lot of people mainly look forward to the summer to exercise and get toned arms and legs, but a lot of people forget that maintaining healthy is as important as maintaining a healthy body. It can be so easy to forget to treat your hair right when you’re so busy, and the hot summer weather makes it more annoying to manage your mane (especially if your hair is long and thick!) Personally, frizzy hair has been a struggle for me since I started combing it myself in middle school. You wouldn’t believe the number of YouTube tutorials I’ve watched, product research I’ve done, and half empty bottles I’ve tossed out in a disappointed manner. Over the years, I’ve found what works for me for keeping my hair healthy and free from frizz. Here are my tips for making sure you keep your hair as healthy as you can.

1. Keep the heat styling to a minimum. 

While I’m a frequent user of flat irons, I usually try to wear my natural curls during the summertime to give it a break from all the hot tools because heat styling can damage your hair by causing split ends and weakening the hair shaft. I’ve also gotten into the habit of letting my hair air dry after I wash it instead of blow drying it — would you believe that I haven’t used a blow dryer in almost three years?!

2. Massage your scalp regularly. 

You don’t need to pay money at beauty salons for a scalp massage — you can do it by yourself at home! Massaging your scalp increases blood flow to your hair follicles and strengthens your roots. In the long run, it can even prevent excessive hair loss. I don’t have much time at all during the school year to massage my scalp, so the summer months are the perfect time for me to get back in the habit. I used my fingers to work the Hask Bamboo Oil Strengthening SHINE® Oil into my scalp and roots. I also applied a little to the rest of my hair for some extra shine. Applying oil to the hair is a good way to reduce frizz and increase shine — a little goes a long way, especially since bamboo oil is thick and full of natural vitamins for strengthening the hair.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

One thing I learned from my mom is to turn the massage into an oil treatment. After working the oil into your scalp, grab a plastic bag from grocery shopping and cover your head with it. If you have a shower cap you don’t mind getting oily, this also works perfectly. This traps any produced heat and opens up the pores, and doing these makeshift “steam cap” treatments can improve the elasticity of your hair. I just keep the bag on my head for about an hour before I wash it off. It still makes it easy for me to move about and sit at my laptop blogging. You can also keep it on overnight for better results.

3. Concentrate the shampoo into your scalp. 

Sulfates help free your hair from oil and grease but too much can strip your hair and dry it out. A few years ago, I got into the habit of really concentrating my shampoo lather on my roots, which were greasiest. I applied very little to the rest of my hair, and even sometimes just let the lather run down my hair. I know that doesn’t sound ideal, but it has helped ensure that my hair isn’t too dry. If you want to stay away from sulfates altogether, try the Hask Greek Yogurt Repairing Shampoo with Blueberry and Acai and the Hask Greek Yogurt Repairing Conditioner with Blueberry and Acai. I have one word for this duo: HEAVENLY.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

A Greek yogurt formula is swirled with a fruit extract formula to add protein and moisture to the hair. Blueberries are not only great for eating; the antioxidants in them make them great for repairing damaged hair. My first thought after shampooing with this for the first time was I need to apply another handful! I didn’t want the shampooing to end because it smells so good and felt so rich. A lot of shampoos I’ve used in the past left my hair feeling stringy and sometimes even a little crunchy, but this worked so well and left my hair feeling soft. The conditioner was also like a dream — super thick and creamy, and my hair smelled wonderful after using it. If you’ve ever had a smoothie bowl with blueberries, that’s literally what this smells like!

4. Avoid color treating your hair. 

I am an avid lover of hair dye and self-expression through hair color. I’ve dyed my hair pink, blue, silver/gray, blonde (accidentally), red, and copper, and I was always fully aware that color treatment is damaging. Let’s just clear this up once and for all, people. If you lighten or dye your hair with bleach, ammonia, peroxide, ammonia-free boxed dyes, and other chemicals, your hair WILL take on some sort of damage. You could experience some hair fallout, split ends, or overall extremely dry hair. You CAN work to minimize the damage and repair the hair through proper care. For the last eight months, I’ve been working on simply giving my hair a break from dye and color. I notice a lot fewer split ends and my hair has become far less dry. If you have an event coming up that you really want to dye your hair for, take steps to do it safely and work to start taking care of it immediately after.

5. Deep condition your hair regularly. 

Deep conditioning is one of the ways you can care for your hair after dyeing it. Deep conditioners are more moisture rich than regular conditioners, and you’re meant to leave them in longer before washing them out. The Hask Greek Yogurt with Fig & Honey is a great one to use, especially because it leaves your hair packed with gorgeous natural shine. I applied it to my hair after using their conditioner and left it on for 10 minutes. I think their Greek Yogurt collection is perfect for anyone who really likes hair care products that emphasize the benefits of fruit. And if you want to get on this charcoal beauty trend that everyone makes videos about, try out the Hask Charcoal with Citrus Oil Purifying Deep Conditioner to absorb any impurities from the hair. You don’t have to deep condition your hair daily or even every other day; once per week is just enough to give your hair a healthy shine while repairing any damage.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

6. De-tangle your hair from the tips to the roots. 

It literally hurts to see people yanking at their hair with a comb. It hurts even more to see them pull out a clump of knotted hair bigger than my breakouts during that time of the month. Always comb through your hair starting from the tips and work your way up to your roots. You’ll de-tangle your locks much quicker and easier this way, especially if you work in sections. If you comb through your hair while it’s still wet, be extra careful because your hair is more fragile when it’s wet.

7. Avoid washing your hair every single day. 

Your hair produces its own natural oil to moisturize your strands. So while you want to wash your hair to get rid of excess oil and buildup, washing your hair daily will completely strip it from the oil and dry your hair out. This is especially important to note of curly hair, which craves moisture in order to stay frizz-free. For this reason, I only wash my hair once a week. It helps me maintain my hair’s natural moisture while still ensuring that it’s clean. Try it out! If you think you might need something to keep any greasy strands at bay, try the Hask Monoi Coconut Dry Shampoo. This is unique from other dry shampoos I’ve tried because it also uses light coconut oil to keep your hair looking vibrant and bouncy. Just quickly spritz some into your hair before styling. By the way, it also leaves your hair with a luscious coconut-y smell!

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

8. Don’t straighten your hair while it’s wet. 

I used to be super guilty of this without realizing how bad it is for my hair! Okay, my hair wasn’t soaked when I did it, but some strands were still slightly damp. Either way, you’re hurting your hair if you straighten it while it’s wet. The sizzling sound you hear when you do it is scary enough, but to make things worse, you’re increasing the likelihood of hair breakage by weakening your shaft. Always let your hair completely dry before using any hot tools.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

What are your secrets for maintaining healthy hair? 

Related: The Collegiate’s Ultimate Guide To Skincare, 10 College Beauty Essentials

How To Improve Your GPA For Next Semester

how to improve your GPA for next semester

So the semester’s finally over and you seem to have made it through in one piece — until you crumble at the sight of your new GPA…maybe this wasn’t your best semester yet (it’s OK, things happen) but instead of kicking yourself in the ass over and over for it, you need to get ready to give your average the comeback you know it can make.

Whoever said college is easy was without a doubt lying and I’d like to smack them across the face. Whether you’re studying biochemistry, engineering, history, journalism, psychology, or others, you WILL have at least one difficult semester. You may not do as well as you would have liked to, and while grades aren’t everything, there are still some pros to maintaining a good GPA such as:

  • Being able to rush sororities/fraternities
  • Scholarship qualifications
  • Study abroad applications
  • Membership in honor societies
  • Postgraduate education (med school, law school, etc.)

Take it from someone who once had a horrible semester and received a D in a class that brought down her average — it can be difficult to rebuild those numbers. But I didn’t say it was impossible. The glorious thing is that you don’t even have to wait until next semester to start improving those numbers; if you’re on summer break (or winter break if you’re reading this in December) you have a treasure trove of resources to give your GPA a makeover.

1. Set a reasonable goal.

If you currently have a 2.9, no way in hell will your GPA be a 3.7 by the end of next semester! Understand that making huge leaps of improvement will take time. This is somewhat because the credits for your classes will be weighted differently. For example, a 4-credit class account for more of your GPA than a 2-credit or 3-credit class. So if you get an A in your 4-credit class, you’ll be in a really good position for doing well that semester. But if you get a C in said class, you might not be satisfied with what you see, even if you get a few A’s in 3-credit classes.

Setting reasonable goals makes it easier for you to define your progress, which in turn can help you continue to reach your desired GPA. If you currently have a 2.9, aiming for a 3.0 or a 3.1 is pretty reasonable. 

2. Speak to an academic advisor.

More likely than not, they can tell you what classes you should take if you want to start making progress with improving your grades. They can make recommendations that fit you if you actually go see them. I know you’re super busy, but making some time even just once per semester to sit down with an advisor can make a huge difference. In the past, I have had advisors give me suggestions about the best class sequences for me so I don’t overwork myself. They’re actually a valuable college resource that often gets overlooked.

3. Take a summer class. 

If you can afford it, taking a summer class or two is a good start for improving your GPA. You’ll still be taking classes applicable to your major or school’s curriculum, and it’ll help boost your GPA if you do really well in them. I know people get annoyed when their average is boosted from like a 3.0 to a 3.09 after one summer class, but every decimal counts. If you’re feeling adventurous, try taking your summer class in another country by studying abroad! I have a bunch of blog posts all about studying abroad that you can check out, but my favorite one is probably things to consider before you leave.

And if you’re considering taking a class during the winter session, I also have a post for surviving those, which you can read by clicking here.

How To Improve Your GPA For Next Semester

 4. Take a summer class at another university. 

This is like the ~pro tip~ version of the one above. Sometimes, universities in your neighborhood offer the same course you need to take for less money AND the course itself may be easier. This is good to keep in mind because, first off, summer classes are intense because you typically have six weeks to learn five months’ worth of material and get tested on it. Second, if your college is notorious for making classes more difficult than they need to be, this is a good way to still earn credits for the class while boosting your GPA. Always check with your college first to make sure the credits will transfer AND be calculated into your average.

5. Consider changing your major. 

I am in no way condoning giving up and quitting (all the time) but maybe the reason you didn’t do so well is because you weren’t studying something that you’re actually good at. I was actually in this boat and I’m so happy I changed my major — I suck at science and math, but I’m a beast at writing (if I do say so myself). I wanted to go to med school and be a doctor, but chem lab and bio were kicking my ass, and I was sick of doing just okay in my classes even though I worked so hard in them. I ended up realizing that the field just wasn’t for me and that writing was my calling, and I’d be truly happy as a writer. Maybe you’d make a terrible Business major, but a great Environmental Science major. Explore your college’s degree programs and see what stands out. 

Related: What To Do If You Want To Change Your Major

6. Change up your study habits. 

Maybe studying from midnight to 4a.m. didn’t do the trick for you. Perhaps actually sleeping during those hours and studying in the morning until class will actually help you more. It can sometimes take a while to figure out what study habits work best for you, but if after a semester of skimming chapters in textbooks didn’t help you, then try a more proactive approach like creating outlines or flashcards. You’ll perform better on exams when you know what habits work for you.

Related: How To Create An Effective Study Schedule, How To Have A Productive Library Study Session

7. Get a summer internship. 

A lot of college degree programs may require you to have an internship that you can receive college credit for. This in turn gives you a grade of “Satisfactory” on your transcript and depending on the college you attend, it could give your average a little nudge. Plus, during an internship you tend to learn things that you don’t always learn in a classroom setting. This is knowledge that you can bring to your homework assignments and exams, so don’t overlook the power of being an intern. 

8. Move forward. 

Life goes on whether you decide to cry about your GPA or do something about it. If you spend your time wallowing in your sorrows you won’t have enough time to make progress.

What are your tips for improving your GPA?

6 Things I Learned This Semester + Fall Goals

10 Things I Learned This Semester + Fall Goals

Last week, I concluded my junior year of college. My spring semester was insanely busy and full of stress, but thankfully that part is over. It’s so crazy to think that I only have one more year to do all the awesome, unique, fun shit that’ll be way harder to do after I graduate. It feels like I just discovered everything I was missing out on because I always played it safe and didn’t want to venture out of my comfort zone, and I’m kind of sad about that. But, I’m still really determined to learn from everything I went through over these last five months. The funny, upsetting, aggravating, and unique memories all surfaced at once, so I decided to write this post. And because I’m lowkey excited for the fall semester to start already even though I’ve only been home for four days, I also included some of the goals that I have for next semester. First off, here are the lessons I learned:

1. Some of the best experiences are the ones that happen spontaneously.

I know, this is one is a cliche but it was proven true for me over and over again this semester. I’m a very meticulous planner, and I don’t like straying from my schedule, but there were a couple of times when I randomly decided to do things, like make a quick stop at the beach to catch the sunset with my friends, and I always had so much fun. I have so many cool pictures from photoshoots and so many cool memories that I wouldn’t have if I stayed in my room bored out of my mind doing homework. Now I can’t tell if I’m still a crazy planner person or if I’m more go-with-the-flow. Is it possible to be a mixture of both?? What if I’m taking one of those personality tests and I can only pick one?? Maybe I’ll answer this question next semester…

2. Simply wanting something isn’t enough.

I always say I have an idea for doing something and then I rarely act on it. During the fall semester, I thought it would be cool to study abroad somewhere before I graduate, except it wasn’t going to keep on being just a thought for me. I took the necessary steps to learn more about the programs offered, talked to my parents about it, and did all the planning and research I could do for my study abroad experience (which turned out awesome!!) This semester, there were a lot of moments when I thought things like, wouldn’t it be so cool to have a fashion internship in Boston? I’d love to finally check out that ice cream shop everyone’s crazy about. Did I try to apply to said fashion internship? Did I make plans to visit said ice cream shop? No, and no. Sure, there will probably be more times when doing something turns out to be just a passing thought, but the next time I really want something, I’m going to put in the effort to plan for it so I can make it a reality.

By the way, if you’re thinking about studying abroad, check out my post on things to consider before you apply!

3. Having a good attitude will attract good people your way.

How you carry yourself is how people will see you — and remember you! This semester, my roommate told me that she remembers getting good vibes from me when we first met. We met for 15 minutes more than a year ago and she remembered me and liked me enough to want to be my roommate this year. This semester, one of my closest friends (who just graduated and is going to medical school!!) told me that he remembers first seeing me at a meeting for an organization we were both involved in, and he thought I seemed cool so he decided to talk to me. It felt so nice to hear that peoples’ first impressions of me were really good ones, but it was still a wakeup call to the fact that in the same way that you can be judged for the good things people see, you can also be judged for the not so good things people see.

If you think you’re doing a good job hiding the fact that you’re pissed about something, you’re probably not; someone is bound to notice and it may turn them off from you. Being more aware of this will definitely help me think about how my attitude affects the decisions I make and how I carry myself.

4. If you have even the tiniest feeling that you might regret not doing something, you probably will.

I think the only thing worse than regrets about the things we did are regrets about the things we didn’t do. Holy wow, I need to put that on a shirt or something. Anyway, ever since I applied to live my dreams of studying abroad in a foreign country, I decided to live by a new life philosophy: If you’re saying no because you can’t afford it or don’t have time for it, you’re probably holding yourself back. A tinge of fear or a love for being too comfortable is no longer an excuse for me to not do something. Five years from now, will I remember the time I sat inside in the air conditioning on a hot day, or will I remember the time I drove from New York to California with my best friend?

5. Sometimes great experiences are worth spending some money on.

Was studying abroad expensive? Hell yeah. Would I want to do it again if I had the money? Definitely. I’m probably biased but I think that any travel experience is well worth the money. You get exposed to something new, you learn a lot, and you make so many new memories. This can also be applied to attending a ceremony or conference you’ve wanted to attend for a long time, or signing up for a workshop you think is really cool.

Related: How To Be Money Smart While Traveling Abroad

6. But I also spend money frivolously sometimes…

I sometimes think I spend too much money, even when I think I’m buying something I really need. I sometimes forget that I should save my money for something that I really want, and then I feel bad once it’s spent. I’m definitely gonna work on this, though. If you’re in the same boat as me, be sure to check out my tips on how to save money in college.

Goals for next semester…

1. Go to the gym six days per week.

Towards the end of the semester, I got into the habit of attending the gym almost everyday. It was great because I was able to make some progress towards my fitness goals, I felt healthier, and it was something fun to do with my friends. Of course, there were some times when I didn’t feel like going because the weather was really bad and it was a long walk from the gym to my room. But next semester, my residence hall will LITERALLY be a three-minute walk to the rec center, so I don’t plan on making excuses for not going to the gym.

2.  Get my bartending certificate.

My college offers a bartending class (not for credit) that you can pay extra for. It’s a semester-long thing and in the end you can receive your bartending certificate. I’m not a drinker and I don’t know much about alcohol but I hope to use this class to learn more about mixing drinks and the unique qualities of each.

3. Make more friends in my new classes.

Friendships played a very important role in making this semester a successful one for me. So, I hope to keep the new friendships I formed strong and create more. At my college, there are so few journalism majors that it’s easy to walk away at least knowing everyone’s names. I hope to get closer to some of the journalism majors I didn’t get to talk to much in the spring. I also hope to make more non-journalism friends, too, which may be a little harder because I don’t have classes with them but we’ll see how it goes.

4. Keep posting at least twice per week.

Maintaining my blog got really difficult this semester because I was dealing with a class that ate up so much of my time, it was a miracle if I got two hours of sleep some nights. But, I made it through. There wasn’t a single week where I didn’t post, and I’m really proud of myself for that. I love blogging and getting to share things with you all on this site, so I definitely hope to keep doing that next semester.

5. Get straight A’s.

Getting A’s in your classes is such a great feeling. Grades aren’t everything, but sometimes seeing an A on your transcript for a class you know you really worked your ass off in can really be encouraging. I hope I can get those straight A’s, though it will definitely be difficult, more so than it was this semester. There were times when my brain was so fried that I couldn’t concentrate, but hopefully this summer will be a chance to get back on track and get focused for the fall.

6. Attend every football game at my school.

I’m not a huge football fan because I don’t understand the game sometimes, but I am a huge fan of college athletics. I love getting dressed up in red and going out to cheer on our teams while listening to the band, and possibly catching a t-shirt mid-flight. Football is huge at my college, and of course, so is homecoming, but everyone goes to homecoming. It’s gonna be my last semester getting to be a Seawolves Football fan unless I come back to visit as an alumna, so I hope to make the most of the season.

7. Work for the athletics department. 

Working for the athletics department is something I’ve always wanted to do. I adore our mascot so much that I even wanted to be the mascot when I was a freshman, but alas, I am far too short for the position. There was an excellent opportunity with the football team that would be perfect for strengthening my video editing skills, but the timing doesn’t work with my schedule, so I’m going to have to keep my fingers crossed for another upcoming position.

8. Actually use my financial tracker.

I made a financial tracker in my bullet journal last year and used it all of two times. I mentioned that I may have had a money spending problem this semester, so in the fall I hope to actually use my tracker to stay on top of my spending.

9. Start building good credit. 

While we’re on this real-talk, adulting thing, I might as well throw this one in there. Moment of truth: I don’t have my own credit card yet. *gasp* At least not one that’s completely my responsibility. I don’t use cards often at all because I probably wouldn’t be able to stop spending if I did. But I do want to start building good credit because I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now. I could be living at home with my parents; I could be on the hunt for an apartment in another state; I could be on the hunt for an apartment in another country. Good credit is important for many adult decisions and things, so better late than never, right?

10. Decorate my room really nicely. 

It’s my last fall semester in a dorm room, so I want to go all out with decorating. Well, not exactly all out. For my internship last summer, I wrote an article about two college girls who basically turned their dorm room into what I imagine a room in a palace would look like — I’ve never walked inside a palace, so I wouldn’t know for sure. Their room is goals AF but I doubt I can get on that level, but I still hope to create something that’s even half as enviable!

Thanks for reading this almost 2,000-word post! What are your goals for next semester?

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box Review

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box

Thank you Seventeen for sending me free products. As usual, all opinions are 100% my own.

Tens of thousands of you have been loyal readers who put up with my quirkiness, unforgiving sass, and totally annoying and uncalled-for puns. So, you’re probably already familiar with my undying love for magazines and the magazine industry. Seventeen has been one of my favorites since I was in middle school and I almost never miss an issue. I used to huddle over the magazine with my friends at lunchtime, careful not to get any gross middle school mac and cheese on any of the pages, and we’d bookmark beauty tips and cute looks for dress-down days. Now, fast-forward almost 10 years and I’m a member of the Seventeen Social Club!!! I was so excited when I received news on my acceptance, and I’m even more excited to get to tell you all about awesome events and products, which brings me back to the point of this post…

I recently received two great goodies that I’m going to share with you: Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Tapioca Dry Shampoo and Schick Quattro YOU™ Disposable Razors, which both happen to be perfect additions to your summer beauty bag this year. First off, let me say that in the past I have had great experiences with products from both of these brands, so I already had pretty high expectations for both products, and they didn’t disappoint!

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box Review

The Clean Freak Tapioca Dry Shampoo absorbs excess oil in your hair so you don’t have to squeeze in the time to wash your hair if you’re already running late for something. This semester, I found myself barely having enough time to myself because of my course load. Washing my hair often meant waiting several hours for it to air dry before I can style it, which then takes another two hours. When you’re running around trying to interview people and cover events for articles, time to yourself is never really guaranteed. I had the regular Clean Freak Dry Shampoo from before, and that has saved my hair from greasy days more times than I can count. The Tapioca Dry Shampoo is the exact same way, except it’s made from tapioca starch, which is natural.

Like with any dry shampoo, there’s no water necessary, and there’s no dry time to wait out. Just shake the can well and hold it a couple of inches away from your hair while you spray it. My roots always get greasy so quickly, especially since I exercise daily at the gym, so all that sweat makes my hair extra slick. I like focusing the spray on that part of my hair, and I usually comb through it, or use my hands to rub it in further to really create volume.

I don’t have any cons about this product, so I’m basically just going to tell you that first off, the smell is WOW. The scent is warm sugar and my hair literally smells like a sugar cookie after I spray this in. I was so pleasantly shocked by the scent when I first used the product because the other dry shampoo I had been using had no scent. I love when my hair has a yummy scent, and I don’t get that often because I feel like the scent from my conditioner disappears after I style my hair with heat, so the scent is definitely a plus for me. It’s very quick and easy to use and can fit into your gym bag for use after a workout session this summer. Obviously, you shouldn’t use dry shampoo as a total substitute for washing your hair, but this product is perfect for getting rid of those shiny spots until you’re able to wash your hair.

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box Review

Summer time is basically razor shopping season because everyone is planning trips to the beach, wearing dresses and skirts to the office, and donning shorts to the gym or a trip to the city. During the winter, I could get away with not shaving because, trust me, I wasn’t planning on heading out in waist-deep snow in a pencil skirt, but something tells me it may not be as easy to do that in mid-July. Like I said, I have used shaving products from Schick in the past and have always had pleasant experiences with them. My favorite one was definitely the Schick Intuition razors with replaceable soap cartridges, which gave me really long lasting shaves, so I was excited to try these ones. They came in a pack of four (yay!) and should offer a really close shave.

The pool at my college recently opened up after years of renovation, so I thought this would be the perfect time to test out the razors. I don’t usually use shaving creams because I often find that body wash and even my hair conditioner are more moisturizing and better at keeping my skin soft, so I just used the body wash I’m currently using. I lathered it onto my legs, wet the razor a bit and then began shaving. I got a smooth shave — no nicks or bumps — and it lasted almost to the end of the week for me.

I gotta say, I’ll be keeping these razors close by this summer. Especially because it already seems like it’s going to be a hot one and it’s not even June yet (I spent two days home from college and they have both had me sweating!) I really loved these products and I hope you’ll give them a shot this summer as well.

Have you tried these products before? What are your thoughts? 

10 Questions To Ask Before You Begin An Internship

10 Questions To Ask Before You Start An Internship

The semester has ended and you have moved out of your dorm room. If you aren’t studying abroad, taking a summer class, or working part-time, you’re likely interning somewhere. Internships are great ways to build hands-on experience in your desired career field, and they’re also great for networking and even making new friends. I had an editorial internship — my first internship EVER — last summer and I had such a fantastic experience. Of course, looking back, I found some things I could improve on, and I wish I had done a few things differently, but it’s a learning process, right? If you’re curious about what my experience was like, be sure to check out my post on What I Learned From My First Editorial Internship.  I didn’t know too much about what to expect, other than the fact that I was told I would take on the same assignments as full-time employees. I didn’t know anyone who already had editorial internship experience, so I was kind of like the guinea pig of my friend group. I didn’t know what would be considered appropriate office dress, and I pretty much didn’t ask all the questions I probably should have asked beforehand. Because I want to make sure you don’t stress on the inside as much as I did when I started my first internship, here are 10 questions to ask before your first day no matter what kind of internship you get. 

1. What time should I be in the office?

This is probably one of the most important questions that you can’t be shy about asking! I know you’ve heard of the average 9-5, but not every internship requires that you work during those hours. Some may ask you to come in a little later, and others may ask you to come in a little earlier. Some are even a little flexible and allow you to come in any time between, say, 8am and 10am. Usually, your hiring manager will tell you this info ahead of time, but if they don’t, be prepared to ask. Last year, I always tried to be in the office before my boss. Being late is obviously a huge internship mistake, but being there early will earn you a really good impression. Try saying something like, “what time are you usually in the office? Should I plan to arrive then, too?”

2. What is considered appropriate office attire?

Like I said, I didn’t know what was considered appropriate for the office on my first day because I failed to ask my hiring manager beforehand. I guess the question just didn’t occur to me, and I spent hours the night before combing through my closet looking for something decent. I settled on a plain button down, leggings and my favorite riding boots (it was still quite chilly at the time). I polished off the look with a statement necklace. My goal was to look business casual so that I was neither too dressed up nor too dressed down. And because it was still chilly, I brought a blazer with me so I was prepared either way.

The office dress code varies from company to company, honestly. Some are very laid back and will allow you to wear shorts, sundresses and jeans, while others will prefer it if you kept it more on the business casual side. Asking before you begin will give you enough time to buy any dress shirts if you need them, or invest in dress pants.

Related: 6 Pairs of Shoes You Need For Your Summer Internship

3. Should I bring my laptop or other materials from home?

This is yet another question I FAILED to ask…I didn’t even think about it, but not all internships will give you access to company computers. I just assumed that because it was an editorial position, I would have desk space and a computer to work on. Well, that and the fact that I was told during my interview that I would have a desk and computer to work at if I was selected. There may be times when having a laptop or even a tablet on you will come in handy, so ask to make sure it isn’t required. If you must bring your laptop, be sure to pack your charger and any other accessories you need.

4. Is breakfast or lunch offered?

Well, don’t ask it LIKE THAT…

At my previous internship, everyone in the office had access to the kitchen, so I could make myself a cup of coffee, have any drinks in the fridge, and help myself to bagels, pizza, and anything else that was catered or ordered. Of course, it’s always best to have some money for food on you at all times just in case. Also ask what the lunch policy is. If it isn’t clear if your internship offers you food, you can bring up the topic subtly by saying something like, “are there any great brunch or lunch places near the office?” Then, cross your fingers and hope they say something like, “actually, on Wednesdays we order pizza for everyone.”

5. Who can I contact if I have trouble getting inside the office?

It’s important to have contact information other than email of at least one person you’ll be working with. If the receptionist isn’t in and the office door is locked, you’ll need some way of getting into the office. Make sure you can call your boss and ask them to let you in if push comes to shove.

6. How does compensation work?

You’ll usually be told ahead of time whether or not the internship is paid, but make sure you understand how you will collect payment. Will it be deposited directly into your account once a month? Will you find a check on your desk biweekly? Also, become familiar with the person who deals with administrative tasks such as payments, so if for whatever reason you have a question about your money, or are confused, it’ll be a lot less awkward to go ask them.

7. Is there parking available? 

If you will have to drive to your internship, make sure you know whether or not you can use the company parking lot (or if there’s even a company parking lot!!!) Asking this will help you plan ahead in case you’ll need to leave home a little extra early to scout out a parking spot near the office.

8. What will a typical day look like? 

Say something like, “out of curiosity, what will a typical day for an intern look like? I just want to make sure I come prepared.” This way, you’ll know if you’ll be moving around a lot so you can avoid wearing the cute new heels you just bought. Plus, if you’ve suddenly got cold feet about your internship — which is perfectly fine and normal — hearing what your day-to-day will look like could calm your nerves and make you feel beter about it.

9. Who will I report to? 

Your hiring manager won’t necessarily be the person you submit your work and time sheets to. You’ll usually be told who you will report to after you submit any necessary paperwork, but if you aren’t, make sure you ask, and on day one, make sure you introduce yourself to this person.

10. Who can my career center contact? 

If it isn’t a paid internship and you must be able to receive college credit, make sure you ask what the company’s policies for credit are, and how your career center can get ahold of the hours and work that you log. Know ahead of time whether or not you’ll need a signature from your supervisor, or if you’ll have to submit a spreadsheet of your hours.

Good luck on your internship, everyone!

How are you preparing for your first day? 

7 Tips To Make Moving Out Of Your Dorm Room Less Stressful

THANK GOD THE SEMESTER IS OVER. I cannot tell you how many times I want to scream this from the rooftop and put it all over Twitter. It has been a wild semester and frankly I’m about ready to pack up and go home. Don’t worry, this post won’t be a rant about how dreadful these last five months have been. I promise, I’m going to tell you something useful. I’m actually going to talk about one of the most-stressful, most-hated, most-parents-yelling-at-you-because-your-stress-is-making-them-stressed times of the school year: move out day.

Move out day isn’t really a day, per se. You just move out of your dorm room after you take your last final exam, so this day is different for everyone. Move out day is usually less hectic than move-in day because on move-in day there are thousands of students moving in all at once. Last summer, I actually wrote a blog post on how to make move-in day less stressful and lots of people really liked it, so be sure to check that post out if you have the time and aren’t stressing about the end of the semester. And if you are reading this to procrastinate studying for any remaining final exams, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so here are my tips for moving out of your dorm smoothly.

1. Have your parents pick up non-necessities.

Over the course of the semester, you probably accumulated a lot of unnecessary items because in January you convinced yourself that you just needed a Keurig to make hot chocolate (ahem, me) and in March you had to take advantage of the massive online shoe sale. If you live close enough to campus that your parents don’t have to take a plane to see you, arrange to have them pick up a few things from your room. The other day, I sent my TV, a couple of storage bins and a whole lot of shoes back home with my parents. Items like these make a huge difference when packing. This will relieve the stress of trying to get everything to fit in your car.

2. Arrange a designated time to move out.

Figure out a time that works for you and your parents, especially if they work. Moving out doesn’t take all day, but it can take up a significant amount of time. If your mom has to be at work by 5pm, don’t arrange to start moving your things at 3pm because chances are, you won’t have enough time, and that’ll stress everyone out.

3. Pack as much as you can the night before.

All your clothes should be in your suitcase. Your mini fridge should be de-frosted and cleaned. All your books and desk items should be packed. Don’t wait until your parents arrive to begin putting things in boxes. I like to have everything packed and ready and moved into the living room the night before just to get it all out of my way.

4. Communicate with your parents.

This is honestly one of the easiest ways to ensure nobody stresses out over moving out. Your parents may not understand the moving process as well as you do, so you need to get them up to speed so everyone’s informed and aware of the next steps. This is especially important if your school makes you follow strict move-out procedures. Make sure they understand everything that has to happen every step of the way. They can also help you better if they know what you need to do.

5. Have your parents bring a hand cart. 

I have been using my dad’s hand cart to move in and out of my dorm room since freshman year, and, let me tell you, I don’t know how things would’ve gone without it. Hand carts help you save on the number of trips to and from your car. I can usually stack a couple of things on the hand cart and roll them through the hallway — it’s just so much easier! You can probably borrow a hand cart from your residence hall, but they often have limited quantities, so be aware of this.

6. Toss anything that can be thrown out. 

I hate bringing a binder full of lecture notes home because 1) it’ll weigh my bags down and 2) I don’t have any room for them at home. If you know there’s a really good chance you won’t need notes for a certain class in the future, just throw them out. Save the pages you think are most important and burn the rest of it. I’m kidding, don’t burn anything, but feel free to fling them in the dumpster.

7. Donate any untouched, non-perishable items.

Lots of residence halls tell students that anything left over will either be thrown out or donated. My building leaves boxes in the lobby for students to donate anything they no longer want. This can include clothing, canned food items that weren’t eaten, and dorm items that were gently used. When I moved out last year, I dropped off a whole bunch of extra items that I knew I didn’t want to have to deal with when leaving campus. This year, I’m probably going to end up donating non-perishable mac and cheese cups that I haven’t touched and other items. It’s a good way to save space in the car while helping others.

What are your tips for making move out day run smoothly? 

Related: 13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room And What To Bring Instead

 

 

8 Pro Study Tips For Acing Your Finals

study tips for conquering finals

Cue the horror movie music and screams of terror. Finals week is here, and as much as we’d all like to just fast forward to summer vacation, we’re going to have to get past this last level. As someone who easily gets distracted by so much as a piece of string on the table, I can definitely say that studying for exams is probably my least favorite thing to do. But when you have multiple exams coming up, you really start to feel the weight of crunch time. You can’t afford those innocent, little two-hour distractions, and you don’t want to be left thinking about all the things you should have done to better prepare for your tests. Finals week is especially important if you’re a graduating senior. We all get to the moment where we say, “it is what it is at this point,” but for some, there really isn’t anymore room to say, “fuck this” and let whatever happens happen. A good grade on your finals could be the difference between a D and a B- if you haven’t been doing so well during the semester. It can also be the difference between straight A’s and that one A- to kill your 4.0 for the semester. No matter what your situation is, here are my study tips to help you conquer finals week.

1. Change up your study spot. 

We all have that one spot on campus where we can study all day long. As much as I love sitting in the couches at Starbucks under the dim lighting, with an iced white chocolate mocha in front of me, the same environment can become very mundane. Maybe the 4th floor study lounge of the math building was a little too quiet and it drove you bonkers the other day. Maybe your room was a little too warm for you to concentrate. Make things a little interesting by moving your study group to different places on campus. If you study in the library on Monday and Tuesday, try studying in a college lounge or learning center on Wednesday.

How To Ace Your Finals

2. Set a study goal for each day. 

Do you want to outline the first five chapters in your chem textbook today? Do you hope to start and finish your history class study guide? Goal-setting is a huge advantage because it helps you create a direction for your day. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have sat down knowing that I had to start doing work, but had no idea what I should get started on first. This will help things feel less overwhelming so you can get everything done — less time wasted on trying to organize yourself. In another blog post, I talk about how to create an effective study schedule, so you should definitely check that out for more tips.

3. Use highlighters. 

Forget about underlining with a boring pen or pencil. Highlighters add some color to your notes while helping the key information stand out to you better. So when you refer back to your notes later on, instead of reading every word from top to bottom your eyes will only glance over the highlighted aspects. And if you feel the need to highlight every single word in the textbook…you’re doing highlighters all wrong. Extra pro tip: create a color-coded key. Highlight vocabulary words or key terms in blue, key dates or formulas in yellow, key people in pink, and so on.

4. Come up with pneumonic devices. 

Pneumonic devices can often be clever, hilarious, and sometimes perverted, but, hey, whatever helps you remember key phrases from the textbook! I have relied heavily on pneumonic devices in the past. I also feel that they’re a more active way of reviewing information because you force yourself to think of ways to remember certain things rather than just repeating the information in your brain over and over again. What’s the silliest pneumonic device you’ve ever come up with? Let me know in the comments! 

5. Make up songs related to the material. 

When I was a Health Science major studying for my bio final, I needed to remember the Krebs cycle, but there were just so many steps to keep engrained in my mind. So, I looked up fun songs on YouTube and ended up finding the Krebs cycle sung to the tune of the infamous cup song! Mind you, it didn’t sing out every single small detail, but it helped me remember the major aspects of the cycle. Two years later, I still remember parts of the song by heart! You never know what will stick.

6. Email your TA. 

Your TA is a student just like you, and he or she was in your shoes just a year ago, so they know exactly how you feel right now. They also have the insider tips on doing well on exams. If you haven’t buddied up to your TA over the course of the semester, now would be a good time to reach out through email and start asking questions. Most TAs are extremely nice and will go out of their way to help their students. If you ask them to meet with you one-on-one, they’ll likely make the time in their own busy schedule. Your TA is a valuable resource, so make sure you actually get in touch with them before it’s too late.

How To Ace Your Finals

7. Attend the review session. 

I know your days of sitting in stuffy lecture halls are over (for this semester at least) but sometimes review sessions can help you go from confused out of your mind to on your way to getting a solid A- on that final. Attending review sessions also gives you the chance to ask your professor any last minute questions you might not have thought about before. Extra pro tip: cover at least part of the material before the review session so you can ask for clarification on anything that came across as confusing.

8. Start the day off with a positive attitude.

Finals week may be a week of sleep deprivation, but always plan to start the day off in a good mood. If you have to head to Starbucks or take a long hot shower to put a smile on your face, go for it. This will help put you in the mindset for getting work done, and you’ll feel more like you can accomplish what you set out to do. One of my favorite things to do that instantly puts me in a good mood is listening to music while I shower or brush my teeth. I also have a post on how to make your mornings more exciting if you’re interested.

What are your tips for acing your finals?

The Ultimate Guide To Comfortably Wearing Heels Around Campus

How To Comfortably Wear Heels Around Campus

Wearing heels on campus is a scary concept to me. There are cracks left and right in the parking lot I walk through to get to class; It’s a 15-minute walk from my dorm room to the library, and I don’t really want to make that trip in heels; If I were to stumble and fall over on campus, I’d be stumbling and falling over in front of 20,000+ people. So, no, I don’t usually wear high heels on campus. Except, this week I did. I wore heels for most of the week and it turns out that I didn’t experience as much pain as I thought I would! When I’ve worn heels in the past, my feet have basically started bleeding after a few hours.

Avoiding wearing heels on super busy days is probably the biggest way to avoid putting your feet in pain, but sometimes the situation is unavoidable and you’ll just have to deal with it. You may have a meeting in the morning and an interview in the evening, or a class presentation at noon and a banquet at night. Sounds like your feet would be in for a rough journey. On the days I wore heels this week, however, I was able to comfortably walk and stand in them basically all day! As you can see by the above photo of me, I’m literally JUMPING with my favorite pair of booties with a 3.25″ heel! So what sorcery made it possible for me to do this??? Here are my tips for being comfortable in your heels.

1. Avoid heels higher than 3.5 inches. 

If you can get heels no higher than 3 inches, that’s even better. One concept about the art of high heels that I didn’t know about until my mom told me is called a platform. Heels without a platform move pressure forward on your toes because your foot is elevated at an angle. The higher the heel, the more of a platform you’ll need in order to be comfortable. Also, if you can wear something with a thick heel, that’s even better. I typically only buy booties with chunky heels because I feel more confident stepping on cracks in the sidewalk if my heel isn’t skinner than the pencils at the bottom of my backpack.

2. Purchase the right size. 

No matter how tempting it is to wear your cute, strappy heels from high school, if you can’t really fit into them anymore, you’re better off just buying a new pair. It’s NOT worth the pain to walk around in heels that pinch your feet from every direction. On my most recent trip back home, I uncovered a pair of tan booties I used to wear in high school. I thought they’d go perfectly with a casual dress I recently bought, but when I tried them on again, they were a bit tight and uncomfortable to move in.

3. Invest in feet cushions.

Have you ever worn heels and then take them off to find that the back of your foot above your heel is now red, bleeding, and in pain? Last summer, I bought these gel-like feet cushions that you stick on the insides of your heels to avoid this problem, and let me tell you, I don’t even remember what life was like without them. These are a must-have. Because one side is a strong adhesive to stick to your shoe, you can’t really remove them and put them in different shoes, so investing in a set of them is probably the best thing to do. They’re pretty inexpensive, too and you can get them at pharmacies like Duane Reade.

The Ultimate Guide To Comfortably Wearing Heels On Campus

4. Take shortcuts on campus. 

Do everything in your power to avoid taking the long way to class or to your job. If a friend offers to drive you somewhere, take them up on that offer. I also try to avoid walking on any surface that isn’t relatively flat. My campus has some small areas that are designed to look like cobblestones, and I avoid walking there on a regular day when I’m wearing sneakers so you can bet your Kate Spade coupon I’m going to avoid walking over those stones in heels. I’m also not a fan of walking in mud or over grass when I’m wearing heels because you never know when you could walk over a rough patch and end up on your face.

5. Take advantage of any opportunity to sit down. 

This is more of a precautionary measure for later in the day. You never know when your next opportunity to sit down will be, especially if you have a busy rest of the day ahead of you! If you’re waiting on a friend for lunch or waiting for your professor to come to office hours, take this as a chance to pull up a chair or have a seat on the floor. It takes some pressure off your feet for a little bit until you’re ready to hop on them again.

6. Tread carefully. 

I know some people like to have a heavy step so everyone and their mother knows they’re coming, but if you aren’t careful you could break the heel of your shoe. Be very cautious when walking to avoid embarrassing moments like this, and to avoid hurting your feet more.

What are your tips for surviving the day in heels? 

Related posts: 6 Shoes To Wear For Your Summer Internship