Simple Ways to Stay Fit in College

Finding time to stay fit in college can be difficult for students who are trying to carry a heavy course load or who have to work and attend school full time, yet it doesn't have to be impossible. Even if you can't make it to the gym five days a week to pump iron, there are plenty of ways that you can get your body moving and toning. If you're looking to stay fit in less time, here are some tips that can help.

Walk everywhere. Burn some extra calories and give your legs a real workout by walking to all of your classes, to work or just around campus. It will help to wake you up and if the weather's nice, you won't mind it one bit.

Make workouts social. Whether you want to head to the gym or just play some team sports, working out with others can help you kill two birds with one stone. You'll be getting fit and making time to see friends. Plus, it'll make fitness a whole lot more fun.

Choose wisely in dining halls. There are good foods to be found in college dining halls, but there are also a lot of not so good foods that can tempt you. Make it a habit to always have a salad or fruit and keep sweet and salty snacks to a minimum.

Use your own body weight. Don't have time for a trip to the gym? You don't really need any equipment to keep your body looking good. Simply do a program of exercises that utilizes your own body weight. That way, you'll be able to work out anywhere.

Join a team. Sports can be one way to get you working out without making it feel like a chore. You'll get a chance to make new friends, have fun and workout your body with a set schedule and people to be accountable to so you won't be as tempted to pull a no-show.

You can make up a million excuses as to why you're not keeping to a fitness routine as a college student, but most of them won't hold much water. Like these tips listed here, there are many ways to stay fit, limber and lean while you're a student and avoid putting on those dreaded freshman 15 without having to be a gym junkie.

Study Methods for Finals

There has never been just one steady way that college students have memorized all of the information they need to know for a final exam. Among all of the studies and tests, no research lab has been able to conclude that one way is the best option for every college student. Instead everyone is left to fend for themselves trying what works best for their friends or what a teacher proposes. You may have a method that, so far, has been getting the job for you. With this technique, you have been able to perform well enough on tests and quizzes to make the grade. However, there may be a technique out there that you have yet to give a try. Even when things are going fine, there is no need to ever feel content, or that you couldn't possibly do better. With this being said, students should always strive to challenge themselves and explore new and innovative ways of studying for the ever so valuable final examinations. With your performance on finals carrying so a large weight and impact on your overall course grade, there is no reason to resist trying something new that you may have never practiced.

Knowing where to start can sometimes be the biggest challenge for students. While it may never be the most frequently asked question to your friends, fellow classmates, and instructors, picking the brains of others can help you put together a solid list of methods and techniques that you try out. Put together a collection of information you need to memorize, and then break this information into sections and for each section attempt a different studying method and you will be able to immediately eliminate the useless from the productive. Final exams can ask students to remember an immense amount of information, and you can really give yourself a break by using a method that can cut down on the amount of time you have to spend focusing on terms and phrases, allowing you to clear your head more and make the entire preparation for the exam a much less hectic experience. You want to look for little tricks – this shouldn't be a complex procedure. The simpler your method, the easier you should be able to obtain the information and keep it in your brain just long enough that you can spill it all over your test and answer all of the questions you need.

8 Great Staycation Ideas for Spring Break on a Budget

Spring break is a popular time to hit the slopes or bask on the beach, but not everyone can afford to take a vacation this year. It may seem like a drag to skip spring break, but you’d be surprised at how many fun and free things you can do while staying with Mom and Dad. It’s the perfect opportunity to rediscover your hometown, visit with old friends and catch up on lost sleep. Here are 8 great staycation ideas for spring break on a budget:

  1. Go to Museums: Going to museums is a wonderful way to spend your spring break staycation. Not only is it an educational experience, but it’s also a very affordable activity for college students. Many museums have free days and offer discounted admission rates for visitors with a student ID.
  2. Have a Movie Marathon: Sometimes, there’s nothing better than having a movie marathon with your old buddies. Pop some popcorn and have everyone come over to your parents’ house to watch your favorite macho action movies, chick flicks or ridiculous home videos. Make the marathon even cheaper with $1.00 movie rentals from Redbox.
  3. Attend Local Festivals and Concerts: It’s not uncommon for cities to host festivals and concerts when students are on break. If your spring break falls on the week of St. Patrick’s Day, your hometown likely has a free parade or party to celebrate the holiday. Get your friends together to check out local bars and venues for good ole’ live music.
  4. Camp in your Backyard: You don’t have to go to the Grand Canyon to get a taste of the great outdoors – just camp out in your backyard! Sure, your parents’ backyard probably lacks the kind of wildlife you’d see at most campsites, but it’s still a fun adventure to gaze at the stars and roast s’mores in the back. This way you’ll save money on gas and additional camping gear and can go to the restroom without the fear of a bear attack.
  5. Have a Pool Party: Who needs Panama City Beach when you’ve got a swimming pool and grill at your fingertips? If you’re lucky enough to get sunshine this time of year, gather up your hometown friends for an awesome and affordable pool party. Ask everyone to bring something to throw on the grill or snack on and you’ll have food covered. Buy soft drinks instead of alcohol to save money and not worry Mom and Dad.
  6. Go to Local Sports Games: While you’re home for spring break, go support your local sports teams. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to attend every high school basketball game or track meet. You might be able to catch an inexpensive D-League basketball game, a NPSL match or an AHL game in your hometown. Minor league sports games can be just as exciting as professional leagues, but don’t come with the expensive ticket price.
  7. Catch up on Reading: Why not take this week to kick back and catch up on some reading? It doesn’t matter if you curl up with your favorite Jane Austen novel or your dreaded economics textbook, at least you’re reading and making time for yourself. While you’re home, visit the nearest public library to browse the bookshelves and check out books for free. Don’t forget to return your books before you go back to school, or else you’ll end up with a not-so-sweet library fine.
  8. Volunteer: Make good use of your spring break staycation time by giving back to those less fortunate than you. Volunteering will get you off the couch and doing something productive that won’t cost you a dime. It doesn’t matter if you volunteer to walk dogs at your local animal shelter, help build a Habitat for Humanity house or mentor at-risk kids, your weeklong contribution will be much appreciated, and you’ll feel good too!

Grasping the Main Idea

One of the most difficult times to ever take notes is in the heat of the battle. Your professor may be on a rant that has all of your attention, you are enjoying the lecture and are so intrigued by the choice of words your instructor is using that you have no thought to even write down any notes. On the other hand there are instances where you may be so bored by something a professor could be saying that you have turned your attention to doodling. Focusing on the instance where you are so caught up in such a strong presentation, a great tip that will allow you to listen, but also not lose track of some of the main points of your professor's lecture. Remaining focused with a pen in your hand or your fingers on your laptop will allow you to instantly write down the main idea or argument being made, allowing you to expand later on by memory or with a fellow classmate. If the information you are hearing begins to come repetitive, it is still important to remain attentive and ensure that you understand the premise of what is being covered.

Lectures are a big part of college, different professors base their entire course schedule around them, and it is their opportunity to introduce ideas to students in the most direct way. As they speak, they can instantly read the reaction of his or her students, knowing where they need to dive in further and expand, while also knowing when enough has been said and they are free to move on. For students this can occur as well, you can read a professor's body language and know when they may be just trying to reach out to the select few who are having a tough time grasping a topic. The most important thing to do, whether this lecture carries any weight or not, is to take down a portion of the information so you are able to recall the event and be able to make references to it if you have any questions for a fellow classmate or your instructor. You need to remember that each step over the course of a semester has an objective and when you miss the slightest main idea, you could find yourself back tracking longer than you wish. The real advantage comes later on when you are able to expand further on any ideas in your own time.

Why Being a Perfectionist May Not Be Helping You

Have you always been the kind of student who strives for perfection in, well, everything? Do you push yourself super hard to be the best and feel bad when anyone does better than you? While having ambition and drive can be great, perfectionism isn't necessarily a trait that always has positive results. It can drive students to be stressed, overworked and actually much more unhappy than they would be otherwise. Still not convinced? Here are some of the downsides to aiming for perfection.

It can impact happiness.Does working long hours and having little time to spend with friends in a meaningful way really make you happy? Being perfect means nothing unless you're enjoying your life. Sometimes you have to let go of control to do that.

You may get extremely stressed out. Trying to keep up with meeting the highest standards in school, work and other activities can be exhausting and immensely stressful. Many times, its not even necessary to be perfect to excel, so it might be time to think about how hard you're really pushing yourself.

It may make you very judgmental. Not only of yourself, but of others as well. This may make it hard to make or keep friends who feel they can never match your lofty ideas of who they should be or how they should act.

Your goals may be unreasonable. It's great to set high goals for yourself, but there are times when certain goals are just plain unattainable. Failing to meet them again and again can send you spiraling into self-hate and destructive behaviors.

Sometimes the best lessons in life are in failure. Perfectionists are by nature terrified of failure. While failure isn't ever fun, sometimes the lessons learned by not being perfect are much more profound and life changing than those learned through success.

You won't ever be enough. When has a perfectionist ever done enough? Tried hard enough, put in enough effort, attained a high enough level of performance? The answer is never. While it's admirable to always aim to be the best, its impractical and impossible to push yourself to always be perfect.

Being a perfectionist isn't always a bad trait, but it does have its downsides. If you're the type that can never settle for less than the best, sometimes it might be nice to give yourself a break, kick back and just relax. It could do wonders for your happiness and stress levels, making you even better when you get back to work.

10 Great Student Film Festivals For Fans and Filmmakers

Let’s face it: many student films are, well, not that good. They’re invariably about suicide or troubled twentysomethings or one of a million other ideas that have been completely covered in the past 100 hundred years of movie-making. But for every few (or few dozen) that don’t live up to the hype, there are those that announce the presence of new talents and serve as calling-cards for the blockbuster directors of tomorrow. Some of today’s biggest filmmakers, from Christopher Nolan to George Lucas, got their start making student films. Because of that, student film festivals are amazing places to see new works and discover the women and men who will eventually graduate to bigger and better things. Whether you’re a student looking for ways to break into the fest circuit or a movie lover looking for new ways to experience film, these student-focused festivals should be on your radar.

  1. Silverscreen Film Festival: This Missouri-centric film festival started life in 2008 and has grown considerably since then. In its inception, it targeted student filmmakers from the University of Missouri and Stephens College. Soon enough, though, the fest grew to include a number of other state schools, including William Woods University and Truman State University. Considering there are more than 30,000 students at Mizzou alone, that’s an impressive amount of potential filmmakers to draw from. It’s one of the region’s newest and quickest success stories.
  2. Arizona Student Film Festival: This Arizona festival is open to students statewide who are in 3rd grade through college and who attend and public or private school, which makes for a huge potential field of entrants. While the festival does allow for students (especially younger ones) to receive guidance from educators, the films themselves have to be shot, edited, written, and directed by the students. The organization acts as a kind of incubator for local talents, with prizes including a digital camera kit meant to inspire the young filmmakers to keep plugging away at their passions.
  3. No Limits Film Festival: Based in Sheffield, England, the No Limits Film Festival is all about, well, no limits: student filmmakers aren’t restricted by content, length, or subject matter. If you want to make an animated short about your childhood, go for it; if you want to film a three-hour documentary about a punk band, you’re welcome to do so. It’s one of the biggest international student-based fests in the U.K., attracting aspiring filmmakers from around the world. The fest also organizes special Sheffield events throughout the year to keep the film scene alive and stay on people’s radar. The jury is also composed of students, which adds to the peer-approved flavor of the festival.
  4. Campus MovieFest: Billing itself as the world’s largest student film festival, Campus MovieFest is kind of a rolling tour that moves across the country and shows students that making a movie is a lot easier than they think it is. The organization started at Emory University in 2000 and now includes dozens of universities nationwide. The goal is to provide students with the cameras and computers they need to shoot and edit a five-minute film and then screen them in big theaters. Each school’s quickie movies are subsequently screened, with prizes being handed out for comedy, drama, and more. It’s less a traditional festival and more a crash-course in film production for students who’ve been looking to try their hand at making movies. Students can also petition to bring the festival to their school if they’re feeling left out.
  5. Angelus Student Film Festival: The Angelus Student Film Festival, held annually at the Directors Guild Association center in Los Angeles, just got a big publicity boost when Luke Matheny nabbed an Academy Award for his short film God of Love, which won the Angelus grand prize for excellence in filmmaking last fall. The Angelus Fest focuses on student films that revolve around themes of redemption, humanity, spirituality, and works that they feel "respect the dignity of the human person." In other words, the content is slightly more hopeful than entries you might find at other festivals. Considering the quality of their entries and the way their alumni often go on to bigger things, the festival’s definitely worth checking out for filmmakers and fans in the SoCal area.
  6. Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival: Despite its insular focus, the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival is a great resource for film fans and young storytellers in the surrounding area. The festival sets itself apart from most other student film competitions by only accepting work from students in the greater Toronto region; anyone living there who’s between ages 18 and 28 (formerly 26) can fire up a camera and submit something. The local scope makes for a less harrowing competition, but it also has the added benefit of making the fest a window into the lives of young Torontoans at any given time. It’s like getting a snapshot of local life.
  7. Fresh Film Fest: Held annually in the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary, the Fresh Film Fest International Film Festival (or, more easily, Fresh Film Fest) rounds up student films throughout Europe with the goal of fostering artistic and political communication between nations. The festival has a particular focus on the Visegrad Group — the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia — and serves as one of the biggest student-oriented festivals in that part of the world. Fresh Fest screens close to 150 films over a few days packed into multiple screening venues. A must for any and all non-U.S. student filmmakers.
  8. City University Film Festival: CUFF, as it’s known coloquially, is the official film festival of the City University of New York school system. Although the festival itself is farily young — its inaugural year was 2009 — it’s already making a name for itself in the film festival circuit, especially among New York students. CUNY student films are screeened in a competition that’s open to the public, which makes the fest one of the more accessible of its kind. The group is also drawing on a pretty powerful student body, since it’s based at Macaulay Honors College, and the CUNY system has hundreds of thousands of students.
  9. Ivy Film Festival: Born in December 2001, the Ivy Film Festival is held on the Brown University campus in Rhode Island and features a wealth of films from undergraduate and graduate students primarily from Ivy League institutions. The festival actually skipped a year and resumed in 2003 to make accomodations for size and programming. The festival’s hook is that it offers a venue for student filmmakers not merely to display their works but to workshop and collaborate with one another and to learn from established industry talents. Featured speakers have included Martin Scorsese, Doug Liman, and Brown grad Michael Showalter.
  10. The Shortie Awards: The Shortie Awards have been around since 2001, when the film festival was established as a way to celebrate the works of young filmmaker and their teachers. These student films come from real-deal kids, not film school students, either: the fest showcases works from filmmakers ages 7-18. Although the festival and awards ceremony are based in Washington, D.C., film submissions are accepted from around the world. The Shortie Awards also maintains a YouTube channel for fans to catch up on old works or rewatch their favorites.