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Your profile picture is woefully out of date.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

Public speaking presentation for the job interview and business meeting

In order to feel more confident with your public speaking skills, the best method would be practice, practice, practice.

In order to feel more confident with your public speaking skills, the best method would be practice, practice, practice.

Effective public speaking presentation is an essential lifetime skill; it isn’t just a class in college. Speaking clearly and effectively inside and outside the classroom is a valuable and essential skill. It shows that you are confident and knowledgeable about what you’re saying. It also helps you persuade your audience to take an action. Public speaking skills help you in a job interview, business meeting, networking and communicating with peers and teachers.

Why do I need public speaking skills?

Karen Burns wrote in “Why You Need to Be a Decent Public Speaker” June 9, 2010, in USNews.com: “What better way to shine at job interviews, or in staff meetings or at business luncheons than to express yourself clearly, confidently, coherently and concisely? Speaking makes you visible. Speaking makes you memorable. Speaking can even make you look smarter than you really are.” Read more

Seasonal farmers’ market offers whole foods for student health

Buying fresh produce locally is not only easy on the wallet, but the fresh food is also great for your health.

Buying fresh produce locally is not only easy on the wallet, but the fresh food is also great for your health.

This is the season for apples, homemade breads, pumpkin pie and artisan cheese. Get them all at your local farmers’ markets, which are springing up this fall and winter to feature a bounty of foods. College life doesn’t have to be bland and full of processed foods. Good student health means plenty of fruits, vegetables and fresh whole foods. Buy some fresh veggies, bread and apple cider at the farmers’ market, bring them home to your dorm rooms and have an indoor picnic on the floor. Read more

DIY Wednesday: How to make your own last minute Halloween costume

Showing off my fangs. (Courtesy of Shanna Riley)

Showing off my fangs. (Courtesy of Shanna Riley)

If you’ve waited to learn how to make your own last minute Halloween costume, you’re in good company!  Doing a quick search on the web comes up with these great last-minute Halloween costume ideas that you can make with just a few ideas from your — or your roomie’s — closet!

For the ladies

If you’re not into showing a lot of skin just because it’s Halloween, check out Collegefashion.net’s  “13 Little Black Dress Halloween Costume Ideas” post by contributor Jenna. Start out with your LBD, add a few accessories and you’ll get a variety of styles for you and your ladies to wear while heading out for the night: Read more

Scary prank videos and other tricks for Halloween

Office prank where desks have been covered with Halloween effects. (Courtesy of Joe Goldberg)

Office prank where desks have been covered with Halloween effects. (Courtesy of Joe Goldberg)

Need ideas for the perfect Halloween? You’ll get more than a few when you check out the many scary prank videos on the Internet. You can get your ghoul on with inspiration from the haunted shopping cart to the telekinetic girl who has a Carrie-style breakdown in a coffee shop. It’s that time of year when you can let yourself go and enter the world of the weird and absurd. Let’s check out the highlights.

History of Halloween

Just how did we start celebrating such a strange holiday? Most texts attribute Halloween’s beginning to ancient Celtic religious festivals like Samhain. At that time, November 1 was the beginning of the New Year. Read more