Health tips for the holiday season—how to avoid getting sick

Germs are a constant threat in college settings so it's wise to make sure you're taking care of yourself.

Germs are a constant threat in college settings so it’s wise to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

You know you need to get that flu shot. And you try to sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands regularly. But are there other things you can be doing so illness passes you by this holiday season? Read on to learn more about some health tips—from exercise to nutrition to prevention—for how to avoid getting sick this winter. 

The basics

Life in college moves pretty fast. You certainly can’t afford to miss too much class time due to illness, but you also don’t want to come down with something during your precious winter vacation. Read more

Test taking tips for final exams: How not to fail

Planning ahead for final exam prep can ease stress and help you sleep better once finals arrive.

Planning ahead for final exam prep can ease stress and help you sleep better once finals arrive.

It’s final exam time again. You know what you’re supposed to do and what you’re not supposed to do. Don’t forget your test taking tips, practice good study habits, get some sleep and exercise. If you don’t want to fail all your final exams, disappoint your parents, waste your tuition money and become a bum, here are some study tips for college and a list of what not to do.

Don’t ignore the teacher. If you find some material confusing, get a consultation from the teacher; he or she is there to help. The important information you need to understand thoroughly shouldn’t be a mystery to you at this stage. Read more

DIY presents—Make your own homemade holiday gifts

Homemade gifts go over well with friends and family because they come from the heart.

Homemade gifts go over well with friends and family because they come from the heart.

You love receiving presents—desperately trying to unknot the bow, giving up and sliding it off the box, ripping the paper and then casting aside the lid to reveal the thoughtful treasure your loved one has imagined you would adore. But when it comes to giving presents, sometimes the challenge of finding that perfect thing (or affording it) can suck a bit of the gift-giving joy right out of the season. What’s a cash- and time-strapped college student to do? DIY presents. Yup, even if you aren’t the crafty type, you can make your own homemade holiday gifts. Read more

Console gaming at college: Xbox One or Sony Playstation 4?

The craze behind keeping up with the latest video console is a normal part of a student's life. (Courtesy of EMR)

The craze behind keeping up with the latest video console is a normal part of a student’s life. (Courtesy of EMR)

It’s a sellout, no matter which new video game console you’re talking about. Both the Sony Playstation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One left gamers waiting as the preorders and sales left shelves empty the week of their release, and game console sales are – for the moment – healthy. On November 17, 2013, Sony sold more than 1 million units of the Playstation 4 within 24 hours of its release. Despite a price point about $100 higher (the Xbox One is retailing for $499, while the Sony Playstation is going for $399), Microsoft’s Xbox One had similar results: in the 24 hours of its debut on November 21, the Xbox One sold more than 1 million units, and retailers were left waiting to restock their shelves. Read more

Student health: How to protect yourself from meningitis

Meningitis is common on college campuses due to crowded dorms and busy cafeteria settings. (Courtesy of Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Meningitis is common on college campuses due to crowded dorms and busy cafeteria settings. (Courtesy of Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Since March, Princeton University has seen seven cases of bacterial meningitis. What’s notable about the Princeton cases is that they are the rare strain B. Meningitis, which can arise in crowded dorm rooms on college campuses. Living and eating in close proximity, such as in college dorms, help spread the disease. Here is some information on meningitis, the risks for contracting it and tips for prevention. Also ask your student health center for information.

Causes and risks of meningitis

Meningitis, the inflammation of the membranes around your brain and spinal cord, is caused by a viral infection or a bacterial infection, the latter of which is the more serious form. Read more

How to take a selfie (without being a jerk)

The difference between a good and bad selfie is knowing the right time to take them. #authorselfie

The difference between a good and bad selfie is knowing the right time to take them. #authorselfie

Your profile picture is woefully out of date. Your roommate is asleep. It’s just you and your smart phone and it’s 2 a.m., and this has to be done right now (because some things become ridiculously important at two in the morning). You need a selfie. But there’s a fine art of taking a selfie – and there are some tips and tricks that can keep you from looking like a jerk. Given the rise of Instagram selfies taken while driving (distracted driving much?) – or the Tumblr that collects selfies taken at funerals – it’s easy to get so caught up in that photo op that, rather than looking good online, you give yourself a bad reputation. Here are some tips on how to – and how not to – take a good selfie. Read more

Do it yourself: Speed cleaning tips for dorm life

If you seem to constantly misplace your textbooks in a room like this, it might be time to clean.

If you seem to constantly misplace your textbooks in a room like this, it might be time to clean.

No one likes it, but sometimes you gotta do it. Whether it is because mom and dad are coming to scope out your dorm life or because something green is growing in the tub, there comes a time when you have to tackle the mess that your living space has become. But you can make the whole task easier with some do-it-yourself speed cleaning tips that will have your room or apartment tidy and clean in no time.

Stop mess before it starts

One super easy cleaning tip? Stop the mess before it starts. So for instance if you use something, say a bowl to eat cereal, then clean it and put it away when you are done with it. Read more

How to go green on campus—environmental ideas for college students

Being environmentally responsible even while in college is easier than one might think.

Being environmentally responsible even while in college is easier than one might think.

College life is all about studying, meeting new people, having some fun, figuring out who you are and … recycling? Well, while how to go green on campus may not be what first springs to mind for college students, there are a lot of environmental ideas they can incorporate into their university life. Whether you consider yourself a caped crusader for the environment or not, read on for some simple ways you can make a difference to the planet without breaking the bank.

On the cheap

Think that to go green you have to spend a lot of, well, green? Not so fast. Environmental ideas for college students don’t have to deplete your bank account. Read more

Studying tips that will reduce stress: [Hint It’s about teamwork]

Study groups are effective as long as each member plans to stay focused and on topic.

Study groups are effective as long as each member plans to stay focused and on topic.

Whether it’s midterms, finals or quizzes that happen in between, you need studying tips to help you reduce stress and perform at your best. Time management tips are a good place to start. Nothing brings on stress like an impending deadline or a to-do list that’s crammed with high-priority tasks. But you don’t have to suffer alone. Try a little teamwork. Interested? Read on.

How to reduce stress

Learn how to work and play well with others. That’s right. Don’t suffer alone with your deadlines and final exams. Read more

Get around campus: Transportation options

College is the perfect time to get creative in ways to navigate your way around campus and town.

College is the perfect time to get creative in ways to navigate your way around campus and town.

College life is about getting around. Traveling between the dorms, gym, classrooms, library, and student union can be quite far, especially if your college is large and has multiple campuses. You also want to go into town or home to see Mom. Car, bike, bike rental, public transportation, the campus shuttle and walking are all available to you. Here are some do-it-yourself tips for finding your way around.

Walk – The first choice, obviously. Although you’ll be stiff and tired the first week, you’ll get used to it. Walking everywhere will keep you in good shape and you can meet people and chat along the way.

Escorts – If you ever feel insecure walking around campus at night, ask your college if they offer police, campus security, or TAs or RAs who will accompany you. If not, get some friends to walk with you. Read more