A new chapter

To those of you who will be walking across the stage to graduate this weekend (or already have) we wish you the best of luck. Your years of hard work, long nights and college adventures has come to an end, but it only means a new chapter awaits. Focus on the positive things ahead of you, even if you haven’t lined up your dream job or figured out where you’ll be. Take the time to enjoy these special moments, the graduation ceremonies and the people around you who have helped get you to where you are today.

The best piece of advice is to make it memorable, and use your book to save special photos from graduation day and write down all the thoughts going through your head.

What are you most excited for post-graduation? Nervous about? Share with us here or on Twitter (@CollegeMemories).

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Sleep still matters

It happens every semester: finals come along and sleep becomes the last thing on your to-do list. You stay up late editing papers and cramming for exams, and usually have to wake up early to continue the next day. The problem is, without enough sleep, your brain won’t be able to function as well as you hoped– leading to a not-so-great grade on your exam and some dark, dark circles under your eyes.

It’s hard to remember that sleep really is necessary in order to get things done efficiently when grades are your highest priority, and you’ve realized that you probably should have done a bit more studying earlier than a few days before the test. However, sleep is completely necessary– finals or not– in order for you to do your best, feel good and move forward. Eight hours is ideal, but if that seems impossible, shoot for six. Your body and mind will thank you. Fitting in enough time for sleep is part of time management and organization, you’ll get better as you move through your college years and understand the demands at the end of each semester.
Although late nights can be frustrating, they’ll most likely also be some of your fondest memories and hopefully, your hard work will pay off. Just don’t forget about your body’s basic needs. Your book can help you remember the late nights you spent in the library studying (or maybe just procrastinating) in the library.

How have you learned to manage your time and fit in a full night’s sleep? Share your advice here or on Twitter (@CollegeMemories)!

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Hit the town!

Although your college campus will become a familiar, exciting second home, be sure not to include its surrounding city or town in your college experiences. Going to college in a big city makes this easy. Your campus is integrated into an urban lifestyle, forcing you to walk to streets and spend your weekends exploring. However, a lot of colleges are located in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by farmland or random small towns, making campus somewhat of a bubble, and keeping college kids comfortably secluded.

Whether you go to school in a major metropolis or what seems like a ghost town, there’s no excuse not to explore what your surroundings have to offer by leaving campus. Although it might be easy to get into a routine and forget anything else even exists past the campuses borders, there could be a lot of fun, interesting things to see and do. Even the smallest of towns have hidden gems like delicious restaurants, Mom and Pop stores and getaways. Even grocery shopping can be an adventure. Not sure where to go? Ask some local professors or residents, they’ll be glad to tell you the best places to spend a Saturday afternoon or night. You’d hate to leave your years at school without making sure you’ve seen everything…so do it!

Your book can help you remember every experience from your college years, including the ones off campus. What does your college town offer that can’t be beat? Tell us here or on Twitter (@CollegeMemories).

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Dining Hall 101

Depending on your school, your dining hall may be an amazing place to grab a bite to eat, or a place you go just to grab a bland, boring meal. Although dining halls have stepped up their game over the years, it can still be a frustrating experience. Here’s how it usually works (unless you’re one of the lucky ones with the fantastic dining halls): At first, you’re blown away by all the choices. Pizza? Stirfry? Deli? Salad bar? All in one place? The opportunities are endless, and certainly more exciting than your mom or dad’s standard meals. After a few months, you’ve tried everything and figured out what’s the best and what tends to leave you with a nasty stomach ache. You get into a routine, eating the same thing multiple times per week, maybe switching it up with some desserts. Eventually, the food starts to taste even more bland, the meals get boring and you’re basically sick of every option. Without your own kitchen and a very limited budget, however, the dining hall is pretty much your only option for food every day.

Yes, dining halls can get frustrating. The food usually isn’t that healthy and the options get old—really quickly. However, it’s just another part of the college experience. If nothing else, dining halls are one of the best ways to meet new people, and bond over daily meals. Just try to eat the healthiest, best tasting meals you can and be sure to switch up your choices. Hopefully, your dining hall has hired some great chefs to cook up some relatively healthy, tasty dishes.

How have your dining hall experiences been? Would you rather forget or remember them? Tell us here or on Twitter (@CollegeMemories).

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Managing your ‘double life’

After graduating high school, it’s hard not to feel like you’re leaving behind an old life—your friends, your family, and the place you grew up—everything is about to change drastically as you meet new people, make new friends and find yourself in a completely new setting.

So how do you find a balance? How do you keep in touch with the ones you love back home while still forming new, exciting relationships at school? How do you remember that “home is where the heart is” when you’re immersed in such an exciting, new place? It’s tough, but it can be easy if you just figure out what works best for you. It’s important that you embrace your college experience for what it is. Take advantage of the fact that, in a way, you get to start over and experience new things with a fresh outlook. Don’t let anyone hold you back. This is your time to figure out who you are, where you came from and where you want to go. However, keeping in mind of the people and places that have got you to this point is also extremely important.

A few suggestions:

-Keeping a Facebook thread going with your friends from home, but let them know you won’t be able to chat on the phone every night

-Letting your parents know you’ll call them on certain nights of the week

-Hanging photos around the dorm of friend and family

-Taking advantage of your breaks at home to catch up with old friends

-Arranging weekend get-togethers with friends at nearby universities

-Video chat with friends and family when you get some free time for a more personal conversation

 Your book may not be able to help you remember so much about your life pre-college, but it can certainly help you remember all of the great people you met and experiences you had. How did you find a balance between home and school life? Share with us here.

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Making this summer matter

Ahhh, summer. Over three months to relax, enjoy the comforts of home and soak up the sun– or is it? With the job market becoming more and more competitive, college students have found that working hard at a job or internship over the summer is just as important as keeping grades up and working hard throughout the school year. Internships or general experience in your field of choice is extremely important to have when it comes time to graduate and make career decisions. Hands on experience will only put you further ahead of your competition and give you experiences to speak to while interviewing. Plus, you never know which connection could lead to a full-time position after graduating.

If nothing else, internships are a fantastic way to figure out which field of work you think you’ll enjoy the most. They also give you a taste of what “real life” work is like (scary, we know). Although many internships are unpaid, it’s important to figure out ways to make it work– think of it as an investment for the future. Working part time can help you make ends meet and fix this problem but be prepared for a busy schedule. Preparing for this early in the school year will make things easier as well.

Although it would be nice to take a few months off to relax, being prepared for the future is even nicer. Your College Memory Book can help you document your experiences so that you can look back and remember what you learned and who you worked with.
What have you learned from your internship experiences? What advice would you give to underclassmen just starting on the internship trail? Tell us here or on Twitter (@CollegeMemories).

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Only a few weeks left!

For those of you graduating, time is surely winding down. Most graduations are taking place in just a few short weeks. Although it may seem hard to believe– embrace it. Make the most out of the next few week that you can. Snap photos at every chance, get outside and enjoy the warm weather and immerse yourself on campus more than you ever have before. Take advantage of your campus culture, the people you surround yourself with and all of the great things that come along with being a college kid. You’ll never get back the classrooms or the hangouts but it’s even worse to look back and think that you could have done more. Enjoy every minute. If you’re lucky enough to have a few more years to go, make sure you really soak in every minute because time flies!

Use your book to jot down all of your thoughts during this stressful/fun/exciting/intimidating time. It only comes around once. And most importantly: Congratulations!

What are some of the ultimate memories you’ve made on campus? Tell us here or on Twitter (@collegememories). We love to hear your stories.

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Doing good

Although you  might feel pulled in every direction with your busy schedule, it’s really important to try your best to get involved on campus and the surrounding community. Not only does it introduce you to new things in the area and allow you to meet great people, but you’ll feel great doing it. Volunteering is the best way to know and see that you’re giving back, contributing to make your surroundings better and help others. Your school most likely offers a million different ways to get involved. There are tons of organizations that recruit on college campuses (for example, Habitat for Humanity or Relay for Life) , weekly events and even courses or internships on that can give you great experience. Whether it’s 15 minutes a week or 15 hours a week, everything counts. Every second of your time makes a huge difference to organizations, charities and people.

 

Your book will help you remember all the great things you did for others whether it was fundraising for an event or taking the time to mentor other students. Write down what you did and who you did it with to remind yourself how great it feels to contribute to a good cause. That way, you’ll be sure to keep up the pattern post-graduation. And hey, what goes around comes around…

How do you stay involved on campus? What has been one particular project or cause you’ve worked on that you’re proud of? We want to know! Tell us here or on Twitter (@collegememories).

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TGIF.

It’s Friday, which means the weekend is upon us. Weekends are not only the few days you get to take a break from class and a busy schedule, but let’s be honest, they’re the time when the best memories are made. You get to relax and spend time with your friends, socialize, and SLEEP. You get to take a deep breath, get your mind and things together and allow yourself to enjoy some laziness. Although the weekend and all of its perks will come along every week for the rest of your life, your weekend will most definitely be especially special and memory-making in college.

Yes, it’s a little cliché—the college kid goes wild on Saturday night—but weekends at school are exciting, different and well, interesting. Saturdays and Sundays are the best when you’re spending them doing something you enjoy like hanging out with friends, watching movies or just mindlessly surfing the web. Even if you’ve got some work to catch up on, the weekend allows you to take your time and get it done.We all know what Friday and Saturday night are for but the truth is, at college your opportunities for the weekends are endless. You can be as creative as you want, maybe by finding a concert on campus or throwing a theme party. Or, you can be as simple as you want. Some of the best nights are spent in, relaxing and maybe getting some late night junk food delivered.

Your book will help you remember the best of times: the weekends you spent letting loose at school and creating some of your most memorable moments. Make sure all of those pictures you snap end up inside its pages—you’ll definitely want to relive these times as best you can.

What’s the ultimate way to spend a weekend? Let us know on Twitter @CollegeMemories!

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The world through your eyes

In the past few years, studying abroad has become almost mandatory for college students. With more and more schools offering amazing programs, and a world that seems to be getting smaller, students jump on the chance to spend a semester (or more) abroad in a foreign land.

­The bottom line is this: If you study abroad, you will not regret it. You will also most likely never have the chance to explore for months at a time again. Sure, your friends might be back on campus, enjoying the simple life that college offers, but you will be seeing the world. How often will you be able to take weekend trips to another country? Talk with strangers about their culture? Eat delicious delicacies in the streets of ancient cities?

Studying abroad most definitely one of the most important and influential learning experiences a student can have. There is simply nothing like it. You’ll make new friends, learn quickly how to live in a new place, hear stories from some of the world’s greatest professors and most likely fine tune a foreign language. If finances or nerves seem to be getting in the way, planning ahead can help. Talk to other people who went and figure out how they did it. Your school will offer all kinds of resources to make sure you go if you really want to.

The memories you’ll have from studying abroad will last a lifetime. Use your book to paste in some of your photos—you’ll most likely have hundreds—and to write down your favorite places and the amazing things you saw. That way, when you go back, YOU can be the tour guide!

We want to hear some of your abroad stories: Tell us here or on Twitter (@collegememories).

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