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College life on campus during Thanksgiving break

Taking part in community events is one way to spend your time over Thanksgiving break.

Taking part in community events is one way to spend your time over Thanksgiving break.

So you’re stuck on campus during the three- to five-day Thanksgiving break. What to do? You could clean your dorm room or serve Thanksgiving dinner to international students. Or you could give back to your community by volunteering your time you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling of helping someone less fortunate and gain a better perspective on your fellow man.

Volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner. This can be on campus or in your community. Many colleges host a Thanksgiving dinner for students who stay on campus during the holiday. Volunteer to serve food or clean up afterwards. Or the local church or community center in your town might serve dinner. See if you can volunteer there. Read more

How to get over the winter blues: Seasonal affective disorder treatment

The transition from Fall to Winter can be difficult, especially with days being shorter.

The transition from Fall to Winter can be difficult, especially with days being shorter.

Are you feeling S.A.D.? Seasonal affective disorder is a condition in which the lack of daylight makes you feel lethargic, moody and anxious. Now that the clocks have changed after Daylight Saving Time (note: it’s Saving not Savings), it’s getting dark earlier in the day. Treatment for S.A.D. includes light therapy, brightening up dorm rooms and getting exercise to make the most out of college life. If you’re experiencing the symptoms described below as the dark hours roll on, visit your student health department for extra help. Read more

Thanksgiving dinner on campus for international students

Credit: Michelle S. Kim, University Communications at UCIrvine

Credit: Michelle S. Kim, University Communications at UCIrvine

The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up soon. Classes get out, vacation week starts and everyone packs up to go home. But international students and those who live far away might not be able to travel home over the break. No fear. College life doesn’t end with the holiday. There are many ways to have a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner in the company of others: attend a campus sponsored dinner, visit a local family, cook dinner in your dorm rooms or make a restaurant reservation. 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

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

College life tip: How to de-stress before exams and public speaking

Practicing yoga is one of many ways to relax and unwind when feeling stressed.

Practicing yoga is one of many ways to relax and unwind when feeling stressed.

Many events in college can be stressful and overwhelming, such as taking exams, speaking in public, meeting new friends, learning good study habits and talking with teachers. The more you focus on what’s stressing you, the worse you’ll get. In college as in life, stressful moments are just a necessary part of dealing with hurdles that come your way. For proper student health, here are some tips for de-stressing and relaxing so you can focus on what needs to be done.

Do yoga or meditate. Yoga is effective for promoting relaxation, tension relief and restfulness. “Yoga helps us slow down for a moment and tune into the breath. Simply the focus on one thing which is the very definition of meditation allows us to decompress,” Dr. Terri Kennedy, registered yoga teacher and president of Power Living Enterprises, Inc. told The Huffington Post in “The 10 Best Yoga Poses For Stress Relief,” April 6, 2013, by Carolyn Gregoire. Read more

Pumpkins! From pumpkin carving to pick your own

Now that it's Fall, pumpkins are very in season and can be used for many purposes.

Now that it’s Fall, pumpkins are very in season and can be used for many purposes.

It’s pumpkin fever! This is the time of year when this uber-popular winter squash is king. Pumpkins are being carved, roasted, baked into pastry and chucked. Colleges are hosting pumpkin carving contests and pumpkin drops. Check if your local farm offers pick your own pumpkins and if your local community has a pumpkin festival and corn maze. Get into the spirit of college life and do something with a pumpkin!

Pick your own pumpkin

This is the time of year when you can go to a local farm and pick your own pumpkin (“pepon,” Greek for large melon). Prices are per pound, and you can select the biggest one you can find, tiny ones for decorations, medium ones for carving or cooking or whatever size you find the most manageable. Farms may also have pick your own apples, apple cider, a corn maze, hay rides, and pies and breads. Read more

Benefits of background variety and ethnic diversity in college life and on campus

Diversity quilt

Diversity quilt

Studies have shown that academic and campus life is greatly improved in an environment of ethnic diversity among a variety of student backgrounds in the student body as well as the faculty. When all groups are studying and working together, it helps young people gain confidence, become more worldly and prepare for a career.

Minority student enrollment increasing

After dipping in 2006, college enrollment has risen by 3.2 million. Also since 2006, college student body has become more diverse. Read more

College hacks: Life and study tips for the college freshman

A dorm room at the Harvard Law School.

Dorm room at the Harvard Law School

You’re new at school, moving away from home, living in a dorm with other college students, showering in a public restroom, eating in a public cafeteria. Not much of your life is private here. Perhaps none of your friends from high school are going to your college and you feel alone. And what about the big lecture rooms full of hundreds of people, and no Mom or Dad to remind you “Go to class!” — where do you even begin? Here are some study tips for college, along with advice for student health, dorm life and academic achievement for freshmen to survive the first few weeks. Read more

College advice: DIY dorm decorating ideas to spruce up your space

Pimp your place with some cool do-it-yourself decorating ideas. Whether you’re a college freshman in a dorm or a senior in an off-campus apartment, dazzle your roomies and your guests with some homemade charm and sparkle. Decorate your door, spice up your walls, find a use for your old textbooks — anything works!

End table of old textbooks

DIY end tableHave a few years worth of old books and textbooks you just can’t throw away (or sell back to the book store!)? Keep them with you forever by making an end table out of them. Stack the books and glue the covers and bottoms together, or drill a hole through the center of each one and insert a dowel stick for strength. Cut a round or square piece of particle board to use as a tabletop and glue it the top book. Paint, varnish or apply sealer to the board, and voila — an end table to rest your drink, err, homework on!

Another use for old textbooks—a clock. Drill a hole in the middle of the book. Insert clock mechanism through the hole. Battery side goes in the back, clockwork hands go in the front. Paint clock numbers or funky symbols on the face of the book or just leave it blank. Every noon and midnight the hands will point to the book’s title! Read more