Seven Things You Have To Do To Make 2017 The Best
College Life |  Source: @SBphoto

Seven Things You Have To Do To Make 2017 The Best

Let 2016's habits die.

It's refreshing to let one year end and another one begin. Even though it's just a turning point from December to January, it's still a good opportunity to reset your life and get things back on track (don't lie, we all know things fell off track in 2016).

You probably made a mental list of what you want to achieve this year. Here's a some unique ideas to get you on the right path.

Begin a 52 week savings plan.
It's not too late! You can still get onboard with an easy savings plan that'll leave you loaded by the end of the year.

How it works: you set aside a certain amount of money each week (depending on how much you want to have accumulated by the end of the year). Some methods snowball from the previous week, i.e. Week 1: $10, Week 2: $20, Week 3: $40, etc. Others are a fixed amount, such as $40 every week. Either way, you're still gonna thank yourself by the end of the year.

yearly weekly savings plan

Figure out your credit.
If you don't already have it, get it. This is easily established by opening a credit card. You can sign up for one at most major retailers: Best Buy, Victoria's Secret, Buckle, etc.

Or, take a further leap and get yourself a VISA credit card. But do the smart thing and pay off the amount right away. Then BAM, you have good, reputable credit. This is especially useful when you want to take out a loan for a house, car, or any other adult purchase.

Donate a piece of clothing for each one you buy.
This a sure-fire way to keep your closet from bursting at the seams. For every clothing purchase, find something that you already own that you don't want anymore and sell it or donate it. If you can't find something you don't want to throw out, then you don't need to buy new clothes.

Start saving receipts and documents.
Important documents should always be saved and organized in a binder or folder so that everything is one place. Receipts for major purchases, like car repairs and appliances, should also be kept in a folder. This way, you can easily access information about your medical history, taxes, and anything else boring.

How I Store and Organize Our Important Info.   FREE Printables  (I have been wanting to organize all of these papers and this is the best way that I've seen yet):

Keep track of your thoughts.
Any time you're ever curious or unsure about something, write it down or save it in your phone. When you're bored, you'll have a list of things to look up and learn about.

Send more thank you notes.
This goes a long way. Whenever someone does something for you, helps you out with something, or is just a good friend to you, send them a thank you note. It has way more value than a text.

Champaign Paper has a wide selection of thank you cards for any occasion. Our cards are hand designed, printed, cut, and scored out of our in home studio.  Made in Ohio.:

Keep your phone away from your bed when you sleep.
Not just for the sake of preventing you from checking social media like an obsessive freak. This also forces you to get up out of bed when your alarm goes off in the morning. Once you're standing, you won't want to go back to sleep. See ya, snooze.

Revitalize your lifestyle for 2017 and make changes that you may not have thought of. You've got nothing to lose!

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College Life | 

Poo or Die

The College Bathroom Quandary

It's a conundrum for the ages. You're in public. You have to seriously drop a deuce. You're either one those people who can take care of your shit (literally) with no regard to who is within earshot--or worse, sitting less than a foot away from you--or you are one of those people for whom pooing in public is the stuff of nightmares and you'd rather let your own butt hole turn itself inside out than take the plunge.

If you're the latter, then the shared bathroom sitch in your dorm and at school in general has no doubt given you seriously anxiety. (Does anyone have a Xanax? Asking for a friend.)

And it's not just the poo quandary. You've got shared showers, to flip-flop or not to flip-flop, and those weirdos who think it's OK to smear their hair all over the shower wall and leave it. (Like honestly, who are you as a human being?)

We've listed a few things that can make dropping the kids off at the pool a little easier.

Hit off times: If you seriously cannot go in front of others, try hitting the bathroom during hours when most people aren't around: during peak class times or at like 1 a.m. when people are either still out or too blitzed to notice what you're doing in the bathroom, or way before the earliest class your school offers--we're talking like 6 a.m. Beat the traffic.

Spray it: If you're weird about people smelling your poo, buy a mini Lysol or room freshener spray to surreptitiously sneak in the bathroom. OK, this might sound weird, but spray the toilet water with a good amount of it your scent of choice before things do down. It creates a sort of filmy seal on top, thus masking any sort of undesirable smell from entering the air. It's very scientific. Hair spray works for with this trick, as well.

Toilet paper scarcity: We've all had those roommates who simply found it beyond their realm of ability to contribute their share of toilet paper the house bathroom. Like, how hard is it to buy toilet paper? This isn't the U.S.S.R. circa 1989. Even worse are those people who leave a single square hanging limply on the roll, without the decency to leave a fresh one on the back of the toilet like an actual human being. And like, a single square is a sufficient amount of TP for someone roughly the size of a Barbie, but I can assure you that myself--as well as my dumps--operate on a larger scale. Solution: buy your own toilet paper and keep it under your bed--all you have to do is remember to bring it to and from the bathroom each time.

You stayed over with your crush: First, if you have to pee, make sure there's an ample amount of toilet paper. This is key. If not, go home, because then he/she is just an gross human being and you don't need that kind of irresponsibility in your life. Now, if there is TP, cover the seat in multiple layers, because there's a very good chance that bathroom has never been cleaned. If you got a turtle head poking out, it's time to go home. If the chances of you making it across campus before the window closes are < 0 percent, then make a pit stop at the student center/nearest academic building. Some rando from your English class hearing you poo is way better than someone you'd potentially like to hook up with again.

Hair art: Some ass hat on your floor likes to leave half their head of hair on the shower wall, and as the odds have it, you are always the next one in the stall and spend the entirety of your shower playing contortionist and trying not to brush against the wall in a roughly 3-by-3 foot box. Tip: leave them a not-so subtle message written in their own hair. I've found that 'You're a dick' is pretty effective. Note that this actually involves you touching their disregarded follicles, but you're a grownup now, and it's time to make some hard choices. Also, no one should lose hair as such an alarming rate, so you might wanna remind everyone on your floor to check for bald spots. Alopecia is real, you guys.

To flip-flop or not to flip-flop: Yes. For the love of God, yes.

We'll leave you with this: if you find yourself in a stall and notice a of suspiciously quiet pair of feet next to you that likely belong to some poor soul suffering from poo anxiety and who is not doubt squeezing those cheeks together like there's no tomorrow, do them a favor and get the fuck out.

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College Life | 

Best Habits to Create Your Freshman Year

Get your shit together.

It's your first year on your own and it's time to do a little growing up. Sure, college is a hell of a ride and your last real chance to be a kid, but it's also a time to get your act together and start adulting. Here are 5 habits to create your freshman year that will benefit you in the long run.

1.Get up before 8 a.m. Just because you don't have a class until 1 p.m. doesn't mean you need to be sleeping until noon. Think about how many hours a day you spend wrapped under covers when you could be getting shit done. Get your ass out of bed and get your day rolling. Someday you're going to have a job that forces you to wake up early every day, so you might as well start the habit now. I can tell you from personal experience, becoming a morning person will change you.

2.Make working out a part of your daily routine. Hands down one of the best habits you can create to benefit you for a lifetime. Start working out now and 10 years down the line I'd be willing to bet you're still hitting up SoulCycle on the reg. Not only is this habit the way to a kick ass body, it's also a great way to improve mental health. Taking a break from the day to do something good for yourself gives you the chance to get in the zone and focus on you, and lord knows a little you time is always a necessity.

3.Put yourself together. You know that saying, dress for success? Well last time I checked successful people don't walk around dressed like they just rolled out of bed. Putting on jeans and a cute top takes absolutely no more time than throwing on leggings and a bro tank. It's a little thing that makes all the difference, and you never know who you'll meet.

4.Read at least one news article a day. College is the perfect time to broaden your horizons and become a little more grown up. There is nothing more unimpressive than someone who absolutely has no knowledge of what's going on in the world around them. Keep yourself informed and up to date. I'm not saying that you need to know every detail about every issue out there, but you should be able to hold an intelligent conversation on the presidential debates.

5.Think about what you are putting in your body. While college is a time you should enjoy, it's not an excuse to drink thousands of calories a beer a week and consume nothing but processed foods. Be conscious about what you're putting in your body. You don't have to go completely nuts, but try to eat some green things now in then and/or take a vitamin.

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College Life | 

Four Things You Didn't Realize You Needed to Know How to Do Until You Got to College

Adulthood: where fun goes to die.

For the most part, parents are very hands on until you go to college. But once you're an official college student, you almost instantly become an adult. And let's face it, there are a lot of things that our parents or teachers didn't teach us how to do before we were released into the wild.

I am a junior in college and I still don't fully understand how taxes work. Dealing with something that entails so much money and government regulation is terrifying for a broke clueless college student. Words like "W2" and "FICA" and "Income Tax Return" make just as much sense to me as calculus (keep in mind I'm a journalism major for a reason). Don't worry though, Ellen has you covered.

Taking your car to the mechanic
Your car is basically equivalent to your freedom. If your car breaks down, or you get in an accident, your life becomes one big hassle of asking for rides and walking wherever you must. Checking to make sure your oil doesn't need to be changed or making sure your tires have enough air seems like an easy task. But, when the mechanic finds the 10-month-old Starbucks in the trunk and a dead rabbit in the front grill, you might start to feel a little too young to be handling an object that costs several thousands of dollars.

Writing a check
These days, most jobs just do direct deposit, which eliminates getting a hard check every two weeks on pay day. So, the first time I ever had to write a check to my roommate for the electric bill, I was completely clueless. I had no idea what the routing numbers were or what the account numbers meant.

Filling out medical forms
When I'm sick, I want my mom. Sorry not sorry. There are very few things that I think are worse than having to go to the doctor by myself. Think about it, you're already sick. You probably just want to go to bed, and doctor's offices smell funny. The last thing you want to do is fill out a bunch of confusing paperwork. Do you know how hard it is to remember your social security number, insurance provider, and your parents birthday's all while you want to curl up and admit defeat to your illness? Really hard folks, really hard.

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College Life |  Source: @kirsty

Seven Things I Wish I Knew Before Packing To Study Abroad

Europe is where shoes go to die.

Packing is never fun, unless you're some completely decisive, super organized, minimalist freak...erm...person, who can also see into the future. Having to pack for an entire semester in another country adds another level of difficulty to the struggle. Here are some things I wish I knew before I packed to study abroad.

Bring things you don't necessarily want to bring back. You may be relying on a wardrobe smaller than what you're used to when normally at school, this means that you'll be wearing the same clothes more and they'll wear out a lot quicker. So bring things that you like, but maybe not your favorite items. Pack basics and jeans that you'd be fine throwing away before heading back home. (This also helps make room for souvenirs.)

Europe is where shoes go to die. You'll be doing so much walking on different terrains that your shoes will likely need to be tossed by the end of the semester. Pack a small variety that are versatile (stylish walking shoes, boots, etc) and you won't be heartbroken if you need to leave them.


Layers are your best friend. There's hardly ever a situation where layers aren't the answer, and this holds true when packing for abroad. Light layers are always the best bet in terms of weather and fashion. They are easy to mix and match, which is especially useful when working with a smaller wardrobe. Scarves are great for this while also being perfectly European.

Be (overly) prepared for rain. Do you know how much it rains in Florence, Italy? I sure didn't before I went, but now I will never forget how much I got drenched. If you haven't already, before heading abroad is the perfect time to invest in a good rain jacket, and for the love of God, do not forget your umbrella.

Rock a messenger bag, but one that doesn't make you feel like a grandma. For me, messenger bags always feel the most secure and are easiest to lug around all day. You should pack two purses, at most: one, a mid-sized messenger bag is great for flying and touring and then a smaller and fancier bag big enough to hold essentials, but also small enough to not be a nuisance at a club.

Bring a towel. My abroad housing provided bedding and towels, but you never know what the situation will be at a hostel or sketchy hotel, or if you'll need an extra. A beach-sized towel is the most versatile; but again, bring one that you can ditch abroad so space isn't unnecessarily taken up in your suitcase on the way home.

Bring a soft, super-light bag as your carry-on. While you might wish you had a wheeled-suitcase when you're lugging it around, fabric bags are easier to overstuff in a bind and weigh less. If you need to move things around from your checked luggage to fit weight limits, or squeeze some extra items in, it's way easier with a more duffel-style bag.

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College Life |  Source: @jehnner

Seven Things You Need for College and Seven Things You Don't

Freshmen, I'm talking to you.

The summer before you start college, your life is hectic. All of a sudden your mom is talking about shower caddies and bed sheets while your dad is losing his mind over how you are going to transport all your crap to campus. But despite popular belief, you don't need the entire back to school section at Walmart. There are some things you will for sure need, though.

1. Business casual clothes
I know college is the time to turn up and have the time our lives. But if you plan to make any money at all, do yourself a favor and bring some business casual clothes to college. You'll have to go to interviews for jobs, as well as internships and all the other semi-grown up things in college. And while you may be still drunk from the night before, at least you'll look like an adult at your interview.

2. Velvet hangers
They save so much space. Don't get plastic or wire hangers, the plastic hangers are so bulky, and wire hangers should only be used when you lock yourself out of your car. Velvet hangers also keep clothes that tend to slide off hangers in place so you won't have to be constantly rehanging them. Also, hangers that are specifically for pants/skirts save tons of space!

3. Coffee pot
You may not be a caffeine addicted fool now, but if college has anything to say about it, you will be by the end of your first semester. Just think about all of those sleepless nights full of reading and studying, and (God forbid) 8 a.m. classes.

4. A surge protector
Protect your reputation while you can, you don't want to be that person who causes the whole floor to blow a fuse with your multitude of chargers and plugs.

5. A mattress pad, or two or three
Regardless of all the money spent on tuition and housing, and dining plans, the beds will always be the same. And they are uncomfortable as hell, so unless you're one of those people who enjoy sleeping on floor like mattresses, spend the money and sleep well for the rest of your freshman year.

6. A full length mirror
If you're one of those people who love to check themselves out head to toe, you know where to go. (Target, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond etc.) Bonus: some of them even make you look skinnier.

7. Basic medicines and vitamins and band aides
For one, college is a breeding ground for all germs, viruses and bacteria especially if you live in a residence hall and have roommates. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, nasal sprays, DayQuil, Nyquil, Vitamin A, B(12), C, D etc, bring it all. You'll thank me later. And make sure to get the cute band aids with Spongebob and Nemo on it, it makes the drunken scratches and bruises hurt less.

And surprisingly, there are some things you really won't need.

1. Your whole closet
Seriously don't do it. Dorm closets are the same size as the dorm: small. You most likely won't wear everything you bring and if you're anything like me, you'll make sure to replenish your closet in no time.

2. Your old high school t-shirts/workout shirts
You are guaranteed at least one new tee when you go to orientation, and don't forget any organization fairs, all of those organizations want you, and they'll bribe you with anything they can think of ie. T-shirts. And like I said before, your dorm closet is tiny and won't be able to fill it all.

3. Excessive room decor
I know it's tempting to go all out and drop endless money to make your living space feel like home but you need to keep the size of our dorm room in mind. Don't bring things that have no use that could take up critical space. Your desk space is crucial. Those all-nighters during exam week will most likely be held there, so save yourself some money and some space by going easy on the decorating.

4. Printers
Most colleges have free printing ( typically paid by tuition) all over campus. A 24-hour library, printers in all of the lobbies in dorms, and academic buildings on campus all have either free, or student ID charged printing. So it seems redundant to have your own printer. Unless you really want the convenience of never having to leave your room to print.

5. Candles
As a member of the female population, I feel as if it's in my DNA to love candles with a passion. And although I am unashamedly obsessed with candles, I'd rather not accidentally burn down my dorm, so to save you the hassle, just buy Febreze instead.

6. Pets
No matter what kind of sad, abandoned look they give you, keep them far from your dorm. Some people will read this and say 'Duh, of course I can't bring my German Shepherd into a cubic box that houses myself and another person.' But too many times in college has this scheme been tried, or even hidden from RA's. Spoiler alert: it never ends well.

7. Ironing board or iron
If you have to bring an iron, leave the board at home and use your desk, but seriously, you have time to iron? And you CHOOSE to iron? When you could be sleeping? Maybe you might need an iron once, maybe twice, you could borrow someone else's. I recommend getting a steamer, it takes up less space. And if you're really short on space or cash, use your straightener for your hair to iron out those few wrinkles in your favorite party shirt.