Top 5 Thanksgiving Host Gifts

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Image courtesy of watiporn/freedigitalphotos.net

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Thanksgiving is a time for coming together with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks for all the special people and things you have in life. When you are invited to celebrate Thanksgiving at someone else’s home, it is always polite to bring a little gift to say “Thank you.” College Lifestyles™ has has a few gifts ideas you could give to your host.


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Facebook Statuses That Kill Your Career

Image courtesy of arztsamui/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of arztsamui/freedigitalphotos.net

Facebook is one of the most popular social media outlets today. People can post pictures, stories and statuses to update their friends, family and coworkers about what is currently happening in their life. When it comes to posting and sharing on Facebook, it is important to keep in mind some things can get you in trouble and potentially ruin any career you want to have in the future.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

1. No one likes a “Negative Nancy”

Talking negatively about anyone on Facebook can be a red flag to employers when trying to get a job after college. Talking negatively, for example, about a job that you currently have, is not a smart move. When you post it you just want people to like it and agree; but an employer may see those posts and not want to hire someone who posts their negative opinions of a company that they work for.

“If you want a career as a consultant or freelancer you have to be VERY careful as to what you post in relation to any company. For example, working in the food industry I keep my post very food-positive – never negative – since companies and future clients can look at my posts and determine if they want to work with me. If I say ‘this grocery store is terrible’ and a future client shops there, I can say goodbye to them.” –Shelly Marie Redmond, CEO and Founder of College Lifestyles

 

2. Spelling Errors

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is improper grammar. Grammar is a skill that everyone should have and not overlook even on Facebook.  Adding a ‘z’ or using slang words is not a classy move. No one wants to have to guess what you are saying or trying to say when you spell words wrong.

“I don’t know if this is just the English major in me, but I feel like if I looked up a potential employee on Facebook and saw their statuses were just written terribly (bad spelling, no actual sentences), I don’t know how much I’d trust them in a professional environment. Also, I dislike statuses about “lighting up” or “who wants to smoke tonight.” There’s a guy I’m a Facebook friend with who posts stuff like that EVERY day. Very unprofessional, and, considering how it’s illegal here, I wouldn’t want to hire that person. Rachel Buoye, Senior, University of Kansas.”

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

3. Facebook Fights

We’ve all seen Facebook fights in our news feed. They are sometimes quite amusing to watch but when you look at some of the things that are said, you wonder if they know other people can see what they are saying. If you are going to have a disagreement with someone, send him or her a message and do it privately. This way the whole world won’t be watching and mocking your interaction.

“A Facebook status that is toxic to your career could include incendiary personal posts. You don’t want to use Facebook to start fights or insult others, especially those with whom you have worked or may work. Your employer may find your profile and see from these posts that you are confrontational and rude behind others’ backs. Whether that is true or not is a different matter, but beware of how you may appear to others because of your posts.” – Kaitlin Green, Graduate Student, Duquesne University

4. Obscene Language 

Obscene language is plastered all over the Internet especially on Facebook. If you are planning to have a career after college you don’t want to have obscene language all over your Facebook. It makes you seem classless. A future employer would not want to hire an employee that could potentially make the organization look bad.

Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

5. Inappropriate Pictures

Party pictures are the biggest offender of inappropriate pictures that are posted on Facebook. We all know that college students go out and have fun but there are sophisticated  ways of posting pictures of you and your friends out for a night of fun. Be smart about the pictures you post. If you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see it, don’t post it.

Facebook is a useful tool for staying connected and sharing but it can also be a tool that if not used properly, will ruin any career you planned on having. Before you hit the enter button to share a post, be mindful of your interactions and the language you are using. You never know if it could come back to haunt you.

Image courtesy of Pixomar/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Pixomar/freedigitalphotos.net


Declining a Job Offer

Image courtesy of Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net

Going on job interview after interview can be stressful and tiring. Hoping to get that call from the employer you’ve wanted to work for since you graduated college can make you anxious. But what happens when you get a call from an employer you didn’t want to work for and they offer you a job that you don’t want? Declining a job offer can be a stressful process. College Lifestyles™ has the help you’ll need when faced with this challenge.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

1. Pros and Cons List

There can be pros and cons to every job offer you receive. Make a list of the pros and the cons of that job.  If the cons outnumber the pros you may choose to decline that job offer and keep on searching. You could also be faced with an intoxicating pro like how much you get paid  or the benefits and may you may want to keep the job. When it comes to making a pros and cons list make sure with what decision you make you are willing to give something up to gain another. If you are not willing to do that then you might want to keep on searching for that job that gives you exactly what you want.

Image courtesy of sheelamohan/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of sheelamohan/freedigitalphotos.net

2. Tell them ASAP

Telling the employer you do not want to accept their job offer should be the first thing you do. The sooner you tell them the sooner they can hire or keep interviewing candidates depending on their need to fill a position. The best way to tell the employer is with a written letter or a phone call. You could also email them if that is one way they tend to communicate with you but sticking to a letter or phone call would be ideal.


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Keeping it Classy: Professional Photos for Work and Social Media

Image Courtesy of ImageryMajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of ImageryMajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Can you send over your headshot?” is a popular request from an employer, even if you aren’t a model. Your employer might use your photo for identification reasons, or just to see if you know what is considered a ‘professional photo’. Professional photos are one of the many things a coed should think about during the job search process.

Get Gussied Up

If you have the means (or a friend that’s a photographer) it doesn’t hurt to invest in some professional photos you can use for online profiles and resumes. A picture adds a personal touch to your profile and also shows off your personal style. Wear a flattering color and make sure your hair and makeup are done when you take your photos.

Image Courtesy of Marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 Remember that Quality and Size Matters

Make sure your pictures aren’t pixelated, blurry or have that “ I took it in my bathroom” look. Using a webcam usually isn’t a good idea either because the computer’s angle makes it difficult for the photo to manipulated into a good headshot. Also, don’t use a “selfie” as a professional photo. Since these photos are so popular among young girls in social media, sending an employer this type of photo will make you seem unprofessional and immature.

Image Courtesy of Photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 Take Down Suggestive Photos

You become a part of the company’s brand when you are hired and your perceived behavior in photos might fall back on your company. This is why you should make sure your online presence outside of work won’t hurt your reputation.

Use Appropriate Body Language and Facial Expressions

Are your arms crossed? What about the infamous sassy kiss face? These photos have a time and a place, but representing your new job is not the time or the place. There may be exceptions, especially if your employer wants you to be perceived a certain way ( if you work at a gym, maybe your boss wants a fun superman pose for the website) but these photos are carefully conceived and the employer will discuss these expectations with you. It’s safe to say that good posture, a relaxed stance and bright smile will do the trick. Don’t go overboard; one or two clean poses are enough.

Image Courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Clean up your photos and make sure they represent the professional you. For more information on professionalism and social media etiquette, visit these classy articles:

Social Media Professionalism

Snag a Skill: Social Media

Top Five LinkedIn Profile Slip-Ups

 


Ten Reasons You Should Write a Thank You Note

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/SaraNualpradid

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/SaraNualpradid

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Birthdays

It’s especially classy to send thank you notes to friends and coworkers for helping you celebrate your big day. This is especially important to make acquaintances and others you may not know well feel appreciated.


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Social Media Professionalism

Photo courtesy of Rosen Georgiev/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of Rosen Georgiev/freedigitalphotos.net

Social media has the public on the edge of its seat waiting for the latest update. Whether hard news or merely a social status, there is no limit to the information that can be published on the Internet. Now, it is time for every tech-savvy co-ed to think of social media as less of a diary and more of a tool for self-promotion.

According to the 2013 Associated Press Stylebook, Americans are dedicating a quarter of their time spent surfing the web on various social media outlets. With businesses chomping at the bit to expand their brands through websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., proper social media etiquette is more relevant than ever – and not just for businesses.

To discuss tips on social media professionalism, College Lifestyles ™ sat down with Lindsay Shoemake, Founder of That Working Girl, a successful blog geared toward career-driven, aspiring media and public relations practitioners. In addition to TWG, Shoemake manages several companies’ social media pages as an intern at an Atlanta PR firm and is a freelance blogger. To successfully promote both herself and the brands she represents, there are many standards she must uphold.

Photo courtesy of Master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of Master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

Here is a list of simple and smart tips on how to professionalize your social media:

1. Have good grammar, and please, no curse words!

Grammar is not a subject you left at the door of your English class; it is a skill that should be applied in every aspect of life from here on out. Brush up on your basic concepts like punctuation, subject-verb agreement and past, present and future tense. Stand out in the land of abbreviations by editing every post with future employers in mind.

Modern society has reached a point where personal life is not so personal. With that said, leave curse words behind and keep your posts classy! The moment any post, tweet or photo is uploaded to the Internet, it has the ability to either make you or break you professionally.

2. Be consistent.

“Consistency is what’s going to get you far. Having consistent content that’s on brand and getting it out there regularly is key … Don’t disappear. Make sure you are always in their mind.” – Lindsay Shoemake

Consistency is referring to how often you are posting on social media. Whether you are representing yourself or a company, try posting regularly. Follow users in your same niche, and keep up with who is following you. Interact by commenting, sharing or retweeting posts. Giving your followers a consistent daily update will keep you on the professional radar and relevant in the eyes of the public.

Photo courtesy of jannoon028/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of jannoon028/freedigitalphotos.net

3. Do your research.

If you want to upgrade your social media from juvenile to professional, start researching. What is the public interested in? More importantly, what are you interested in? Then, filter whatever you are writing with those preferences. Study professional bloggers or companies that have a large influence, and take note of the ways they communicate with their audience. Researching whom you aim to please, or attract, will help keep your content consistent, and also relevant.

4. “Be on brand.”

Have you ever heard the term, “personal branding”? Think of your “brand” as the type of label the public would place on you based on your social media content. Having done the research, you should be well versed and up-to-date in your particular subject matter. This will enable you to establish a brand for yourself and start to maintain that role.

5. “Every outlet has a different voice.”

…So find your own!

It is one thing to post what you believe the public wants to hear. It is another to filter your content according to your personal interest and style. For businesses, social media helps give their brand personality. For example, CL is all about keeping it classy, confident and chic – and is unafraid to use an exclamation point every now and then! Remember, you don’t have to lose your personality when you professionalize.

Social media can be a useful tool if it is used the right way. Set yourself apart with these strategies, and you can turn your online status updates into your professional portfolio.

Photo courtesy of bplanet/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of bplanet/freedigitalphotos.net

For more professional development articles, check out these fabulous reads:

Snag-a-Skill: Social Media

Why Networking Works

Top 5 LinkedIn Profile Slip-Ups


Bring Confidence to Your Interview

Photo courtesy of Simon Howden/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of Simon Howden/freedigitalphotos.net

Classy. Confident. Chic. Is there any other way to walk into an interview?

This summer, College Lifestyles ™ has broken down several key aspects of the interview process to prepare every co-ed for a successful experience. Topics like, “How to Interview Your Interviewer” and “What is an Informational Interview” will help you shine through a pile of monotonous applications and land the job of your dreams.

Now, CL would like to polish off a season packed full of advantageous career tips by giving you the recipe for bringing confidence into an interview. Every ingredient plays a part in the preparation and proper execution, and if handled with care, will render a noteworthy interview. Co-eds, it’s time for a little home cooking!

Confident Interview Recipe

Prep Time: Like any good recipe, you have to put in the time and energy to get the results you want. Proper preparation includes an adequate amount of research on the company and position you are applying for. Questions like, “Tell me about your work experience” are to be expected. Therefore, brainstorm responses that demonstrate your strengths and qualifications and practice stating them clearly beforehand. Do not get stumped; take advantage of the questions that are meant to give you full bragging rights.

Cook Time: An interview can last anywhere between 10 minutes to one hour. The duration depends on the level of the position, nature of the company and the number of people interviewing. No matter the time frame, these minutes are all you have to show the potential employer why you are a perfect fit. So, turn off your phone and have necessary materials ready. Nothing will break your confidence faster than scrambling for a document or an inappropriate ringtone coming from your purse.

Ingredients:

1 Professional outfit

1-3 Résumés (copies)

1 Strong set of background knowledge

8 Hours of sleep

1 Confident smile

optional:

1 Business card

1 Portfolio (with 1-3 work samples)

Directions:

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

1. Professional outfit: When dressing for an interview, formal business attire is a must. Like a recipe, there are several staple items you must have on hand: dress pants or a dress skirt, a solid colored blouse that covers your shoulders and chest, and a blazer. Make sure each clothing item is the appropriate size and length for your body. In formal business attire, aim for solid colors, like black, brown or navy blue. Add a small pop of color to give your interviewer “a taste” of personality, but general rules of thumb include no skin, minimal jewelry, tamed hair and light, natural makeup to prevent any distractions. Select an outfit that you feel stylish and sophisticated in to present your most confident you.

2. Résumé: A résumé is one document jam packed with every relevant accomplishment and success of your professional career thus far. A well-written and organized résumé speaks volumes for a qualified candidate, especially if it includes numbers.

“We have to remember we are not the ONLY individual interviewing for a job/internship.  At College Lifestyles, I review over 100-200 interested applicants per semester. From there, we cut down to 60-75 to interview. By the 10th interview, you hear the same responses to each question. What applicants have to start doing is setting themselves apart, and the best way to set yourself apart is by the use of numbers. Don’t say, ‘I was a writer for the newspaper.’ Instead, say, ‘In my time at the newspaper, I wrote (number) articles.’ Impress me with your work! That is the way you get the job!”- Shelly Marie Redmond, College Lifestyles™ EIC

3. Background knowledge: Walking into an interview with a good understanding of the company and/or your position is a key ingredient. You can equate this to the “servings” aspect of a recipe. Know whom and how many you will be serving, speaking and working with, etc.

Photo courtesy of winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

4. Sleep: Beauty sleep is no joke. A recommended eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is the proper amount to make for a productive workday. Any less, and you will sit down in front of a possible employer feeling sluggish and cloudy. Start the day feeling fresh and it will carry directly into the office.

5. A smile: A smile is every ounce of confidence you can muster painted onto your face – show it, girl!

Photo courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net


5 Guys You’ll Meet at Work

Photo Courtesy of imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net

Throughout your career, you will encounter co-workers of all sorts, and it may come as no surprise that some of these co-workers are, in fact, guys.

We have all seen an episode or 10 of “The Office,” the comical, often lyrical television show filled with witty remarks and practical jokes. Could it be that the personalities, habits and ethos of these over-the-top characters actually embody our real-life male colleagues?

Well, maybe not exactly. However, co-workers of all personality types will be present in the work place – some distracting and some degrading, some hurtful and others helpful.

College Lifestyles has narrowed it down to five guys every co-ed may run into at work:

Photo courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

1. The Friendly Guy

Whether it is your first day on the job or your one-thousandth, this guy will be in the cubicle next to you with a smile on his face. He will log in the man-hours without complaint and will keep his mind on the mission at hand. His positive demeanor will keep you encouraged through stressful moments and motivated under pressure. What can we learn from him? Be this guy.

2. The Inappropriate Guy

Sadly, not all of your male co-workers will be quite so kind. It seems that every office has at least one person that inhibits smooth sailing. This guy has been known to overstep boundaries and cross a few lines. He will speak out of turn in meetings, disturb the silence and make comments that are not so called-for.

What can CL readers learn from him? Don’t be that guy! It is of the utmost importance in the workplace to remain poised and practice your professionalism. Being professional includes respecting your peers, as well as those who hold positions above your own, by honoring their time commitments and responsibilities. Chron.com sheds light on the availability of company policies and procedures. Study these to ensure both the company’s and personal productivity.

3. The Cute Guy

This guy may be better identified as “The Distraction.” Going hand-in-hand with appropriateness and professionalism, there may be a colleague of yours who will have you staring at him and not at the assignment due by 2 p.m.

In these instances, it is important to maintain your focus. Constantly remind yourself of your personal career goals and never cease to set more. Setting goals that are attainable yet challenging will keep your head out of the clouds and on point.

4. The Condescending Guy

Unfortunately, you may come across someone who wants nothing more than to build his own confidence, and if that means stepping on toes or hurting feelings, then so be it! As intimidating as anyone who puts you down may be, don’t let them stifle your drive to perform at your best.

Often times, there is something new to be learned from your most competitive co-workers. According to “Business Insider,” a competitive person “can be a positive force that pushes you to do your best work.” Humble yourself, ask questions, and if he keeps at it, remain confident and focus on your performance. Nobody wants to be the black cloud of the boardroom. Don’t be condescending…confide!

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

5. The Lazy Guy

There will always be someone in the workplace, and also the classroom, that turns in their assignments late or incomplete. This guy will find the simplest ways to go about any obstacle and is counting down the minutes until lunch.

So, what can we learn from him? Take advantage of every minute and opportunity given to you. A 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday can be long. Use these hours to your advantage, and leave the idle moments for the weekend. Stephanie Timmons, an AP Language Arts teacher at Brookwood High School in Georgia said, “Never half-do anything. If you are going to take the time out of your day to work an assignment, it should be done to the absolute best of your ability.”

No matter the man, these tips will help keep your focus on the prize and your professional relationships classy.

Photo courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

For more career tips, check out these CL articles:

Top 5 Resume Mistakes You’re Making

Tips For Making Recruiting Tools Work For You

How to Write a Thank You Email


Our Best Etiquette Articles 2012

 

Here at College Lifestyles™, we are all about the classy co-ed, and this includes 21st century etiquette. Here are our top 10 etiquette articles from 2012 to help you kick off the New Year with class:

10. This table-setting article by CL intern Rachel Crocetti is perfect for any classy dinner.

9. Holiday parties are fun, but can get noisy fast. Here’s how to tell your neighbors to tone it down a notch, courtesy of CL grad Serena Piper.

8. Now that you finally have a break from textbooks, kick back and relax with a classy book from CL grad Chelse Hensley’s list.

7. Going to be a bridesmaid in 2013? Learn more about your role now.

6. You’re going to meet new classmates next semester – handle them with class, thanks to CL grad Brittany Lavenski.

5. Bringing the boyfriend home for the holidays? Learn the dos and don’ts from CL intern Emily Lamielle here.

4. You should always display class at family meals. Learn table etiquette with CL grad Tiana Blue.

3.  Out and about this busy time of year? Travel with class and CL intern Maya Devereaux.

2. Begin the New Year right with your roommate. Check out these tips, again from Ms. Devereaux.

1. And our etiquette guide wouldn’t be complete without an introduction to our Professional Development/Etiquette Editor/Features Writer Martha-Raye Adjei – say hello here.

Read away, ladies and gentlemen, and share how you plan to keep it classy this New Year’s Eve in the comments below…


Etiquette: Do I Buy My Boyfriend’s Parents a Gift?

It can be hard enough to buy gifts for your own parents, but what about your boyfriend’s parents? You want to appear genuine and sophisticated, but don’t want to go overboard and seem like you’re trying too hard. Of course, what you choose to get them, or whether you buy them a gift at all, depends on how long you have known them and the nature of your relationship. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all rule of thumb for when buying the parents a gift is appropriate; it’s just one of those situations where you have to go with your gut.  Here’s how some fellow co-eds handle the yearly dilemma.

“We do Secret Santa since my boyfriend has a pretty big family. This year the parents have joined in the fun, but I think I will still get them both a little something in addition.” –Debra S.

“I usually get them a little something and they get me something as well. We don’t see each other on Christmas but have spent the last five New Years together so we exchange then.”- Stephanie C.

“I love making crafty gifts for my boyfriend’s family. DIY crafts are generally more affordable for a college student, and are still very thoughtful.” – Emily L

“I usually try to buy something the whole family can enjoy. Edible arrangements, specialty cookies and other treats make great gifts!” -Kimberly A.

My take? If they are inviting you over for a meal or holiday event, you can’t go wrong with bringing a classy hostess gift like a bouquet of flowers or nice seasonal scented candles. In other situations, consider simply asking your boyfriend what he thinks; after all, he knows them best!

Do you buy your boyfriend’s parents a gift? Who else will you be buying for this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!


Etiquette: Holiday Table Manners

Whether it’s Thanksgiving turkey-sharing or Christmastime eggnog drinking, table manners are a must. Without them, a friendly gathering of family and friends can quickly turn into screaming matches and flying utensils. Feast your eyes on a step-by-step guide to keeping the holiday spirit alive and well.

Care To Share?

Dinnertime is best when everyone’s engaged in active conversation. Use the holidays to update loved ones on how interesting (or not) your chemistry class is or how cute (or not) this boy is in said chemistry class. People bond over a good meal and good ol’ fashioned story telling.

                       What not to do…

Save The Sass

It’s something about the holidays which makes unnecessary comments so much more harmful. And there’s nothing like rudeness to squeeze out the holiday cheer. Be thankful for the food you’ll be blessed with, the family—big or small—who loves you, and it should keep the arguments at bay.

 Say Cheese!

Thank you, Facebook, for putting too much value on photos. The thought of uploading your favorite picture of you and grandma will encourage more picture snapping! Photographs are fantastic keepsakes when you’re missing a loved one, and it gives someone (likely Mom) something to scrapbook or frame.

Dress Classily

A well-dressed woman turns heads and—in the holiday spirit, of course!—makes gatherings less dramatic. Keep your sense of style, but if it must be refined, at least do it around this time of year. This way, gossipy relatives won’t have anything to talk about.

Test Those Taste Buds

As you may have learned from living with roommates, being open to new experiences is essential. When it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, try flavors and a little bit of anything you haven’t dabbled in before. If your Aunt cooked up a peculiar looking crumb cake, initially try only a small portion. If it’s less than tasty, there will be nothing left to throw away, which would leave your aunt embarrassed. Unless it’s slimy looking…then you have our permission to step away.


What Students Should NEVER Post on Facebook

We’ve heard it all before – for some of us, it is engraved in our minds. Many of our professors, our advisors, our mentors, and even our sororities are constantly reminding us to keep our Facebooks in check. If you wouldn’t want your mother to see it, then take it down! What you put on your Facebook may not only come back to haunt you later, but it may also prevent you from getting hired.

In our day and age, employers across the globe are using Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram to investigate new job candidates. What are their likes and dislikes? What do they look like? But mostly, is what they’re posting inappropriate. Some students are even being asked to log onto their Facebooks in front of the employer during their interview! Seems like a breach of privacy, no? I’d agree with you, but it does not stop them. With that in mind, consider the following when monitoring your Facebook. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

Avoid hatred, negativity, and even threats. Words are words, but words can get you into a lot of trouble – especially the hatred or threatening kind. Employers don’t want to see that you vented about your previous job on Facebook or Twitter – is it possible that you will feel that negatively about them? They also will not take threatening words – even if it was meant in good humor – lightly. Take those statuses, comments, or picture captions down – they’re unnecessary.

Avoid oversharing. While Facebook and Twitter are places to express yourself, there is a fine line between expressing yourself and revealing too much. If you wouldn’t tell every single person you met something you’ve posted, then it probably isn’t meant to be on there. Avoid drama and fights with your boyfriend or mother on Facebook. Private things are meant to be private.

Avoid your approximate location. Even in the Facebook/Twitter era, stalking still exists. It is so important to make sure that you aren’t revealing your exact coordinates on a map! A status like, “At the mall!” is perfect. But a status like, “Home sweet 110 ABC Street!” is not okay.

Avoid curse words and derogatory terms. Regardless of how old you get, cursing is still considered inappropriate. I understand that as we get older, it becomes more accepted, however these are not words that anyone would ever use in a professional setting and if employers were to see terms like these used frequently on your social media page, they might be a little turned off.

Avoid excessive and extreme use of alcohol. We all go to parties. It is understood that if we are 21, we might have a glass of wine or two when we are out to dinner. However, it is not acceptable to be putting pictures up of you and your friends doing keg stands, taking shots, playing pong, or double fisting. Keep it CLassy and avoid those types of photos at all costs.

Avoid promiscuity and anything promoting sex. Racy photos are not in any means CLassy – just trashy. Once they’re up, you will never be able to get rid of them. People save photos, send photos, and share photos! Be careful!

DO NOT PUT ILLEGAL THINGS ON FACEBOOK. For reasons I still do not understand, some girls seem to think that it is all right to post illegal activities on Facebook. Just don’t do it. As I said before, once these things are up, you can never get rid of them.

Above all, be safe. Facebook and Twitter are fun! Nobody will ever deny that. But it is so important to make sure to stay safe. Make your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram private. There is a value in having a little bit of mystery to you; if not, then everyone can know who you are without ever meeting you – and that’s no fun!


CL’s Guide To: Practicing Good Etiquette On Public Transportation

 

Keep these things in mind the next time you catch the bus or train so you and everyone else around can have a happy trip.

  1. Don’t put your feet on the seat. Kicking your heels up on the seat across from you not only takes up space that can allow a standing person to sit, but it is also just icky. Your shoes are now making a clean seat dirty, where someone might want to sit.
  2. Give your seat up for an elderly person or pregnant woman. We classy co-eds are still young and fit, so let those who really need seats sit down.
  3. Let people off before you board. It makes no sense for you to try to squeeze your way through a handful of people that is getting off so you can get on the train first. Allow all those who are leaving the train car or bus to exit before you enter (Also, don’t hover right in front of the door leaving them nowhere to go!)
  4. Lend a hand to someone who may need help. If you see someone who has to drag three suitcases onto the train platform, help him or her. The same idea applies if you see someone who has to board the bus with a baby stroller and a load of groceries. 
  5. Don’t take up more space than you need. If the area is crowded, don’t hog two seats so your backpack can sit comfortably in its own seat.  Also, don’t make fellow commuters step over your legs just because you feel like stretching your them out, thereby taking up the aisle space. Be considerate, and give yourself and those around you enough personal space!

 

 

Get another take on public transportation with Diane’s commuter interview!


Sorority Chat: Avoiding Drama in the House

During the process of Panhellenic Recruitment, one of the most exciting times is getting to see all of the houses. You get a taste of their personalities; see how they express themselves and you get to connect to something intimate in their life. One of the questions I both got asked the most and got asked when going through recruitment on the other side was, “When can you live in the house? I really want to live in a sorority house!” The answer varies for all sororities, but it is a possibility for all.

Houses all over the country are different. Some of them are practically mansions and others are essentially dorm buildings, only occupied by members of the sisterhood. Whether the house is located on a “frat row” or somewhere randomly on campus, there are both positive and negative aspects of living in the house. While this sounds scary, this is true for all situations in life.

Yes, the perks are great – different closets to choose from, friends to talk to all the time – but don’t be fooled,it has the ability to get messy. Women are known to be dramatic by nature. So, what steps can we take to avoid drama in the houses we are living in?

 

Save the drama for your mama: Literally. Keep your concerns to yourself until you can call your mom or someone that you can trust. Remember, people never forget the words you say, so use them wisely.

Don’t sling the mud: For most women, words are the male equivalent of throwing punches. But unlike men, women don’t get over things so easily. Men can throw a right hook one minute, and then be shaking hands the next. Keep in mind, words hurt. They easily cut to the core of young women whose self-esteem is still developing. Keep it to yourself and like I said, call your confidant.

Keep it classy: like Coco Chanel said, “A woman should be two things: classy and fabulous.” If you consider yourself a classy woman, you should not let your anger get the best of you. Take a deep breath, count to 10 and handle whatever drama comes your way with class.

 

Whenever you’re feeling like you just need to let go, go for a run, read a book or go turn on music. Getting caught up with drama in the house will not end well for either party. If you choose to stay out of it, no one can say anything mad about you. Stay neutral, stay positive and focus on the perks and be happy with your sisters!

For more articles on how to keep it classy within your sorority and in general, check out these incredible College Lifestyles articles: How To: Live Your Ritual Everyday and How To: Call Your Landlord with Problems. If the pressure is getting to be too much, make sure you check out this CL article on keeping your mental health positive. Drama can get to the best of us. Make sure you’re keeping yourself healthy!


My First Semester: Parental Contact

     You’d think being off at college meant you wouldn’t talk to mom and pops until you needed money for food or gas. Heck, you’ll see them over Thanksgiving break–you can chat then. Well, that’s definitely not going to work. You’ll have worried parents at your dorm door in no time. Keeping in touch with your parents will keep everyone at ease.

Set a time to talk to your parents. Doing this each day will help you to remember to call and will leave your parents more at ease. The walk between classes is a great time to chat. It won’t be too long of a conversation but just enough to fill your parents in on your interesting professors.

If you’re doing something fun or interesting, send a picture! They’ll be glad to know you’re happy and enjoying new-found freedom. They’ll be excited you can cook a meal without burning the dorm down and doing laundry without having your clothes shrink. Your parents will be so excited they’ll probably email the photo you send to them to the entire family.

Saying goodbye to your parents for the first time can take a lot of adjusting. Open communication with your parents will make the transition so much easier. You can be  independent without completely shutting them out. After all, they are the reason you’re off at college in the first place.



How to: Keep it CLassy and Fabulous on Facebook

Even Ron Burgandy wants you to be classy. Photo credit: google images.

These days Facebook has become more than a pseudo MySpace. It’s a place where you can promote your work, reconnect with people after high school and college and most importantly, it is an open portal for outsiders to see right into your life. Along with Twitter, you can essentially know what anyone is doing at any given time. In order to use your Facebook to positively benefit your life and career, keep it clean and professional. Before you post that risqué comment or picture on your page, be sure to ask yourself these questions.

Photo credit allposters.com.

Would you want your grandparents to see the content on your page?

So your best friend snuck that picture of you dancing on top of a table with a red solo cup onto Facebook. If your cute little grandparents saw that, even if you have a fabulously open relationship with them, would you be slightly embarrassed? If your answer is yes, where do you go from there? Recently, Facebook has been upgrading their privacy policies. If a friend posts a photo of you that you aren’t happy with, you cannot only remove the tag, but you can also ask them to remove the picture. Remember: just because the picture isn’t shown on your page doesn’t mean that it’s removed from Facebook.

My friends and I being classy in Portugal!

Would you want a future employer or a university admissions office to see the things on your page?

Let’s get real. No one wants to change their last name on their profile while they are applying for a job or to college. There are many options to hiding the “incriminating” things in your picture. I love using the retouch feature on my photo uploader. It is easy to blur things out that I wouldn’t want an employer seeing. While a red solo cup doesn’t necessarily have alcohol in it, one usually assumes that that’s the case. So just to be safe, I blur those out. Another option is to just not upload the picture! If that one picture is more important than a college acceptance or a potential job offer, put it up. If it’s something that you can keep for yourself and take it out later in life and laugh, then that works too.

Photo courtesy of google images.

If your current employer saw your Facebook page, would you be embarrassed to face them in the office on Monday?
Look, at some point in our lives we all play hooky, fake sick and head to the beach for the day. If you’re calling in sick, make a point to not upload pictures of you feeling phenomenal on social media websites. Some employers have been known to check on their employees, just to make sure they aren’t wasting the company’s time and/or money (if you get paid vacation). Just keep your secret to yourself! Don’t forget: being sneaky is only fun if you don’t get caught. Check out this article on how to keep in professional and classy on a job interview!

 

So make sure that when you’re on Facebook, you’re keeping it classy, fabulousand professional. Facebook is just another fad like the rest of these social media sites. Would it be worth it to alter someone’s perception of you or lose a potential employment option? The decision is yours. Use the web wisely!

 

You can find more ways to stay classy and fabulous without breaking a sweat here and here!

Allison Cohen is a Sorority and Lifestyle Writer. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, a lover of hiking, running, and traveling, and is obsessed with her weenie dog, Maverick.


Welcome Back! Returner Social Media Intern Courtney Smith

Welcome Back, Returner Social Media Intern Courtney Smith

Name: Courtney Smith

Position: Social Media

College/University: The University of Memphis, Go Tigers GO!

Year in studies: Senior

Major/minor:  Fashion Merchandise/Marketing (http://www.memphis.edu/univcoll/courseinfo/family_consumer_descriptions.php )

Organizational involvement: L.A.C.E.  (www.Uofmlace.com )

I show my school spirit by: wearing paw prints on my face, and wearing tiger ears with a tail.

 

My favorite thing about Fall is: fashion

For Halloween I will be: a tiger

Neon pants – yay or nay? Yay, I want to step outside the box and wear some.

Twitter or Facebook? Facebook- Courtney Melissa Smith

I love Pinterest because: of the different ideas I get from other people such putting designs on your nails or crafty jewelry.  (http://pinterest.com/cmjnes12/ )

My favorite color is: Red

Super tiger fan at the football game.

My go-to accessory is: small earrings if I am not going any wear and big earrings if I am trying to dress up.

My favorite store is: Dollar Tree

My favorite food is: sweet potatoes.

My favorite movies/TV shows are: Selena, Titanic, Transformers, Courageous, Fireproof, and Taken are my favorite movies/ Pretty Little Liars, Awkward, Teen Wolf, Grimm, Smash, Glee, and The Lying Game (once it comes back on tv).

My favorite book is: The Bible

My favorite magazine is: Seventeen

Flaa

My pet is: Beta fish

 

My favorite quote is, because: “Things happen for a reason”, because when problems or joy happen in your life and you don’t know why.

My role model is, because: God because I want to live my life according to His will.

I spend my weekends…: going out with friends or staying at home playing with my siblings.

I take a break from studying by…: watching TV or just breathing for a moment.

I de-stress by…: praying or letting some of the unnecessary things go.

My secret talent is: I love sewing, and I can make anything if I put my mind to it and I love singing.

My friends describe me as: Trustworthy, goofy, and talkative.

My favorite College Lifestyles article is: CL Olympic Games 1,000 AB Challenge”

 http://collegelifestyles.org/2012/08/cl-1000-ab-challenge/

Why I am excited to be an intern for College Lifestyles: I love that I get to interact with so many people across the world,and being involve with a magazine is so much fun. 

At my house, ready for church.

My definition of a classy co-ed: is someone who does not look for attention from all the wrong places, keep her head up high no matter what, dress like a lady, giving back, and your words are not hurtful.

 

  Courtney Smith is a senior at The University of Memphis. Follow her at @prettygirlupfro. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

 


Etiquette 101: Public Transportation!

College Lifestyles has decided to touch upon a topic close to all of your hearts – the unwritten rules of public transportation. At one point or another, it is inevitable many CLassy co-eds will be using public transportation for your awesome new internship, your first day of class, or even for your newest big girl job! We were able to talk to 5 CLassy co-eds and create this guide for some pointers, but most of all, to stay safe!

All in all, one thing’s for sure – don’t forget a pair of headphones and your phone to keep yourself busy during the long, boring commute!

Louis Venturelli: NYC Subway; Columbia University; Grad School

Mark Gilmartin: NJ Transit Bus, NYC Subway; Citifield; Summer Internship

Nicole Moffa: NJ Transit Bus; NYC; Work

Taylor Monico: Metro North Train; Grand Central Station; Internship

Lauren Yaconis: NJ Transit Bus; Times Square; MTV Internship

CL: What is your take on talking on the cell phone on a train/bus ride — especially in the morning? (Or… the group of loud women chatting loudly?)

MG: I think early in the morning you should be mindful of other people on the train and should not be talking on the phone and if you are talking on the phone keep it short and quiet.

TM: Hearing loud conversations or noises in general first thing in the morning is always less than desirable, howeverI try to keep in mind that Metro north does provide a “quiet train” option that I could take advantage of if I really wanted to. It’s also important to remember that the train is a form of public transportation and having complete silence for one’s daily commute is somewhat of an unrealistic expectation.

LY: I think people who talk loudly on the bus to another person or on their cell phones are very rude. After a long day I would like to just relax on the commute home rather than listen to someone else talk loudly.

CL: What do you do to keep yourself busy on a long commute?

LV: Instagram! I make sure I load up on pictures before losing service on the subway. If not Instagram, then probably reading a magazine or book.

MG: I normally keep to myself on public transportation. I listen to my iPod and go on Twitter and Facebook on my phone.

NM: Listening to music and checking social networks keeps me occupied on the bus.

TM: If I don’t have a book or magazine to read, I usually plug my headphones in and listen to music or use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) on my iPhone.

LY: I read on the bus (so far have read 7 books this summer).

CL: What was your worst experience on public transportation — STORY TIME!

LV: Falling asleep on the train late at night… waking up in Coney Island.

TM: My worst experience on the train was getting stuck in Bridgeport, CT on my way back from New York. There was a brush fire near an upcoming stop so the train had to stop, forcing all passengers to get off of the train and find their own way of getting back to New Haven.

LY: have had to wait on line for an hour or more on some days where there is a long line for my bus in the evening. It is absolutely miserable standing in line with cranky people for an hour! I have witnessed yelling arguments of people accusing others of cutting or letting someone else cut! I have even had elderly men fall asleep on my shoulder before!

CL: Has public transportation ever made you late to work/class? How did you handle this situation?

LV: Yes, I have had my share of detours, service interruptions, etc. Fortunately most people in NYC ride the subway so they understand that these things happen. To avoid being late for class, I started leaving home at least thirty minutes earlier than necessary.

TM: No, public transportation has never made me late to work, but that’s because I always give myself more than enough time to get to where I am expected to be.

CL: More for the women: being on public transportation often requires being comfortable. What do you do to make sure you’re comfortable, but still professional for work?

NM: Usually the air conditioner is blasting on the bus so I either bring a jacket or a sweatshirt with me to keep me warm.

TM: I always make sure that if I choose to wear heels, I pack a pair of dressy flats in my bag in case my feet start to bother me at some point during the commute. It’s always smart to pack a cardigan as well in case the AC is on too high!

CL: Has anyone ever been robbed?

LV: No! But my mother constantly reminds me not to take out my “cellular” on the train late at night.

TM: Fortunately, I have never been robbed. However, a woman on the train rushed by me in a panic one night and asked if I had seen anyone go by with her purse. Apparently, when she fell asleep, someone grabbed her purse off of the seat.

CL: Has anyone ever encountered a “smelly” situation?

LV: Yes, switch carts, IMMEDIATELY.

TM: YES, but I always try to avoid the bathroom cars and being near people with smelly food!

CL: If you could give one piece of advice to a new commuter, what would it be?

LV: Have your Metro Card ready before getting to the subway station… Otherwise, risk missing the train while rushing to find your card.

NM: Do a test run before your first day of work or your internship.

TM: Give yourself MORE than enough time to get to where you are expected to be. Pack lightly. Be alert. Expect noise. Expect to stand if you’re commuting during peak hours!

LY: Try to come into work earlier and leave earlier because after 5:30 Port Authority becomes a mad house. Also drink lots of water and carry Advil! I get headaches frequently from commuting.

Diane Ferrer, Sorority Life and Relationship Writer at College Lifestyles, is a Senior Advertising Major at Quinnipiac University that wants to see the world. She enjoys dancing, sunshine, laughing, the beach, new adventures, and Kappa Alpha Theta.


The Sorority Recruitment Series: Values

With back-to-school shopping in full gear and move-in right around the corner, it’s time to start prepping for our favorite time of the year – RECRUITMENT!

Unfortunately, at Quinnipiac, sororities only hold formal recruitment in the Spring. In order to be eligible for Greek Life, students must have a specific GPA. Considering a majority of our potential new members are freshmen, this process seems to make the most sense. However, as I’m entering my senior year, I’ve been through my fair share of recruitment periods, and I’m here to help!

My beautiful littles and I on the last day of recruitment!

This week, I want to focus on values! Look back at my article from a few weeks ago and use it as a guideline. Reflect on your values and recall why it is you picked your chapter to begin with! In addition to it being summer, between the formals, the philanthropy events, and other fun activities, we often lose sight of what’s important.

After a long summer away from your sisters, your chapter, and your ritual, values are probably the last thing you’re thinking about. But with recruitment coming up, it should be fresh in your mind. The ladies you speak to throughout recruitment could potentially be your newest sisters! These ladies could one day be wearing your letters and sharing your secrets, so it is important to choose wisely. Always keep in mind the goals, the values, the esteem, and the standards your chapter holds because these ladies will soon become its future.

In order to get the best of each woman, here are some pointers to maximize your conversation with PNM’s!

Eta Xi’s mom excited for our 2012 new members on Bid Day!

1. Why is she there? What do they hope to gain from this experience? This is an obvious, but necessary question that will get her talking with ease.

2. Ask about high school! Some of your natural born leaders and brightest bulbs will come out and shine in this easy conversation starter.

3. Ask them about NOW! What’s their major? What are they already involved in? What are they passionate about?

4. Tell her a little about yourself and your chapter! And make sure to answer every question she might have.

5. Ask them who or what inspires them. Girls can really get to talking when this is brought up! You are able to truly see a person’s passion through this question.

Hope these tips are able to help you out, especially for the newest recruiters! It may seem nerve wrecking and intimidating, but it’s important to remember that most of these girls are actually intimidated by you!

 

 

 

 

Diane Ferrer, Sorority Life and Relationship Writer at College Lifestyles, is a Senior Advertising Major at Quinnipiac University that wants to see the world. She enjoys dancing, sunshine, laughing, the beach, new adventures, and Kappa Alpha Theta.


College Class Etiquette: 3 People You’ll Encounter in the Classroom

It’s two days before the final and your professor is going over the material you need to know to pass the exam. You’re trying your best to take eligible notes and stay focused on the lecture, but all you seem to hear is chatter, snoring and an intense game of Angry Birds™ going on behind you. Frustrated and annoyed, you can’t help but to think to yourself, “…these kids are in college?”

It’s sad but true, CL fam. As unbelievable as it sounds, you’re going to encounter more than one college student who makes it difficult to focus during class and causes you wonder why he or she even came. As tough as it is to deal with, CL wants you to be prepared when you find yourself in a similar predicament. Here are just a few of the personalities you’ll sometimes encounter during class and how to calmly diffuse the situation as soon as possible.

The Talker

Unless it’s about relevant class material, keep all chatter to a minimum. The students who come to class to take notes and learn don’t care about last night’s wild party or this weekend’s agenda. When politely dropping hints to the person doesn’t work, it’s okay to move or ask the professor to keep an eye on that person the next time class is in session. No one likes to tell on someone, but your education and grades should never take backseat to an inconvenient class conversation.

The Gamer

Photo Credit: Angrybirdsrio.com

It’s hard to do anything when you see the bright screen of the week’s most popular iPod app flashing furiously out of the corner or your eye. Whether it’s Angry Birds™ or Draw Something™, it’s easy to get wrapped up in someone else’s gamer status instead of being absorbed into the lecture. If you know a student has a track record of fooling around with noisy, bright games and apps, avoid sitting next to him at all costs.

The Jammer

Your professor is about to go over information vital to the final exam, and all of a sudden Lil Wayne is blaring in your ear. Who let him in? No one. Although the student beside you sits quietly in class, you feel like you’re at the club and can’t concentrate on anything but a familiar beat coming from a pair of adjacent over-sized headphones.  If the professor hasn’t already called the student out for his or her rude behavior, feel free to move or politely ask the person to turn down the volume. Being confrontational is never fun, but your education should always be the first priority in any classroom.

If you’ve encountered any of these people in the classroom, CL wants to know who and how you dealt with the situation. Comment below and share some of your classroom horror stories!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 Brittany Lavenski is a Fashion & Living writer at College Lifestyles ™. She enjoys studying PR and Political Science and is President of her university’s Chapter of PRSSA. When she’s not working, you can find her walking her dog or eating sushi and chocolate with her friends.

 


Who is an Appropriate Wedding Date?

Courtesy of The CW Network

It’s wedding season and CL has covered the basics by now – DIY wedding gifts, bridesmaid etiquette, and wedding shower etiquette… But how about your +1? If you are like me and do not have a significant other, who is it you should bring? Should you fly solo? Maybe bring a friend? Here are some tips to pick a fabulous and fun wedding date!

Someone pleasant – sounds easy right? Right. Really though! You want someone who will be able to adapt to every situation without a problem. Someone who won’t mind if you leave his side for a few minutes! 

Someone easygoing – if he can hold a conversation, then you’ve got a winner! Since you’ll be spending the entire night with him, conversation is crucial. Awkward silence is the worst, don’t you agree? It’s definitely a plus if he can keep your table occupied as well!

A good dancer – a huge portion of wedding time is also spent on the dance floor. Now he doesn’t have to be Antonio Banderas, however it would be nice not to get your toes stomped on all night! Someone with rhythm will be able to keep you busy and will also impress the entire party!

A friend, over a “crush” – From my personal experience, going to a wedding, or any sort of event, with a friend is always a lot more fun! You are ensured a good time! There is no tension or stiffness involved. No pressure to flirt or getting to know your date better; rather a carefree night with a good friend. Events like this often even bring you closer!

Diane Ferrer, Sorority Life and Relationship Writer at College Lifestyles, is a Senior Advertising Major at Quinnipiac University that wants to see the world. She enjoys dancing, sunshine, laughing, the beach, new adventures, and Kappa Alpha Theta.


Interview With The College Prepster

Hey there classy co-eds!

courtesy thecollegeprepster.com

 

CL has the scoop on all things prep and collegiate from The College Prepster herself, Ms. Carly Heitlinger!

Carly just graduated with a Bachelors in Marketing from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In addition to her main blog and Closet blog which feature personal posts (my favorite is  her Outfit of the Day feature!) Carly has  give aways from stores like Jack Rogers and Peapod. Carly also sends out a weekly motivational email called Prep Talk, acts as Editor in Chief for Sweet Lemon Magazine, keeps up with Twitter, TumblrPintrest, and she’s an author!  Carly is so put together and organized I knew she’d be the perfect role model of a classy co-ed. I was so happy to ask her about advice she might have for our readers.

 

 

 

College Lifestyles: How would you define a “classy co-ed”?

Carly Heitlinger: To me, a classy co-ed is someone who stands by her morals no matter what. She can go out and have fun with her friends, but she also values her education. She’s confident with who she is!

CL: As a recent graduate, what do you think are the most important skills for a college girl?

CH: I think it’s extremely important for girls to be able to balance. This is something that I frequently comment on in my blog posts and Prep Talk newsletters. Balance is important in every aspect of a college girl’s life. Balancing staying connected with family back home and breaking away and building independence. Balancing studying hard and having a good time with friends. Balancing a healthy diet and indulgences (like my obsession with Swedish Fish).

courtesy thecollegeprepster.com

Carly also had some fabulous advice on etiquette.

CL: What is one rule of etiquette you’ve found most important to live by?

CH: I love this Plato quotation: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I have learned that being patient and friendly and just plain ol’ nice to people makes everything move faster and it’s a much more pleasant experience. Being kind is super easy; a smile, some please & thank yous, and a friendly demeanor is really all you need.

I often ask myself, if each person I meet had to write one page of my biography what would my biography be like? This prevents me from “snapping” at the slow cashier or getting angry with the bank teller.

courtesy goodreads.com

As I mentioned, Carly is also an author! She wrote The Freshman 50(on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for just $9.99) which is described as “1 part memoir, 1 part survival guide” and “A must read guide for every high school graduate before they begin their freshman year of college.” In her book, Carly details everything she wished she knew as a new freshman in college.

In addition to being an incredible inspiration, Carly is human too!  I asked how she manages to stay sane amidst all of her activities, classes, and projects.

CL: How do you deal with stress/ how do you de-stress?

CH: I get stressed out really quickly and easily. I generally take on a lot more than I can handle so I’m constantly stretched for time. During midterm and final seasons, I would try to schedule fun things so I had something good to look forward to. It would also serve as a little break to get my mind off studying! (I will say, however, that I work really well… arguably better… when I’m under a great deal of stress.)

Carly shared some of her favorite summer activities and recipes, add these to your to-do list if it’s a bit empty on fun.

CL: What is/are your favourite (healthy) summer recipes to make or eat?

CH: I’m a vegetarian and I love how fresh vegetables are during the summer! My mom makes an amazing corn salsa!

CL: What is your favourite outdoor summer activity?

CH: Swimming! (I go through bottles of sunscreen!)

courtesy thecollegeprepster.com

As a fashion blogger I asked Carly her thoughts on Summer 2012 trends and her tips on prep style.

CL: As a fashion blogger, what is the most asked question you field from readers?

CH: I am always asked where my monogrammed bracelet is from. I get the question between four and six times a day! (For the record, it’s from DKM Accessories!)

 

 

OOTD | critter shorts (Taken with Instagram)

courtesy thecollegeprepster.tumblr.com

 

CL: What are your favourite trends for summer 2012?

CH: Chino shorts! I wear a pair practically every day.

CL: Prep style is generally on the more traditional and conservative side, how do you keep your look fresh and fun?

CH: I tend to wear lots of basic clothing. Solid polo shirts or button downs are my favorite. But I like to accessorize with bright bangles!

CL: Prep style can get quite expensive for some, where would penny pinching preps shop?

CH: One of the misconceptions is that you have to wear “name brand” clothing. You definitely DO NOT. You can, of course, but you can get the preppy clothes just about anywhere. Target and Old Navy are great places to start. (If you’re a seasoned Ebay shopper, you can score great deals on clothes and shoes!)

I feel so lucky to have advice directly from Carly and to be able to share it with all of you. I admire her for being so approachable, her fantastic drive and resume, and her  keen fashion sense . Follow Carly on her blogs, read her magazine, and buy her book!

 

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photo courtesy Louis Jezsik

 

Jessica Randall is a Health & Fashion Writer. She is currently pursuing studies and a career in health policy.
She likes critter shorts, bright oxfords, and her well loved Sperrys.

 


Bridesmaid Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

 

Courtesy of bigsharker.blogspot.com

 

You are one of the few, the proud: the friend chosen to stand by your bride’s side on the most important day of her life. You are a bridesmaid. But this position comes with responsibilities. Listen up as these College Lifestyles’ classy interns dish on their bridesmaid do’s and don’ts.

The Bridesmaids’ Thoughts:

Do encourage the bride to not stress/sweat the small stuff that could be a bridesmaid’s job. Don’t cause stress to the bride by showing up to rehearsals late, ordering the necessaries late (dress, shoes, etc.) and not making appointments (nail, hair etc.)… I think the main thing is don’t let your feelings/ideas overshadow that the day is really about her!!” – Brittany B., 21, Central State

“I have been a bridesmaid before and my advice is: DO keep a positive attitude, provide encouraging words, come prepared to assist, and support the bride by any means. DON’T, let your ideas, feelings, and etc. overshadow the bride. For that time period, it’s her world you just live in it. Sorry love, it’s the price you pay to bare the ‘bridesmaid’ name.” – Shaniece Sanford, 20, Old Dominion University

If you’ve seen “Bridesmaids” – you know the don’ts/Courtesy of asadhandwrittenbook.tumblr.com

The Bride Side:

“…Our main thing is to try not to be stressed. Like I’m planning my wedding myself. And a lot of what I decide, my bridesmaids may not like or think looks good. (I still ask their opinion; I mean, they are my friends). However, don’t control the bride, suggestions are nice, but don’t tell her what you are or are not going to wear/what looks good on you/or etc…Whether you like it or not, it’s the BRIDE’S day. And if you’re a good friend, you will know where to draw the line.

As a bridesmaid you should be there for the bride – but don’t bog her down with what YOU think HER special day should be like/courtesy of luxereduxbridalboutique.com

“Another problem I’m having so far is getting my bridesmaids together to pick out a dress (for them). What I’ve had to do is hear one million stories about how this day doesn’t work or I can’t get there or why do I have to meet with all the other girls. (Well that’s how that works, unless they want ME to pick a dress for them….keep in mind with them paying for their own dresses, they need to try to be available, not to say the bride says jump and they say how high, but don’t keep things waiting too long).

“…Pretty much the last thing I’m dealing with right now is accessories….I’m having each of my girls wear a camo bow/sash that hangs off their hip, well for them to keep it, they have to pay for it…and most of them don’t want to pay before we order them, they want me to pay (probably because then they are paid for whether they pay or not)….Like Shaniece says, ‘it’s the price you pay to bear the name’…Sure if you don’t like something, then tell us, but don’t be demanding….and understand we, the brides, asked you to take part in OUR special day, don’t be over-demanding and unbearable to work with” -  Kaci Hall, 21, Southern Arkansas University

Sticking to these guidelines may be difficult, but you must remember that this is your friend’s big day – not yours – so please don’t be a bridesmaidzilla and keep it classy.

Hosting a bridal shower? Read College Lifestyles’ shower etiquette tips!

Not a bridesmaid but attending a wedding this summer? Find your perfect dress here.

Engaged?  Check out these beautiful wedding dresses.

 

Debra Schreiber is a recent graduate from Duquesne University with B.A.’s in Journalism and Spanish. She is just about to take the plunge – the bridesmaid one – and hopes these tips will help her and all the other classy bridesmaids this summer! She is an Editor/Features Writer for College Lifestyles.


College with Confidence: Dos and Don’ts of Party Etiquette

College parties can be a blast, but making the wrong moves can score you a night in the hospital or a disgraceful video  appearance on Youtube.  Check out these party etiquette do’s and don’ts so you don’t end up being THAT girl!

Do go with someone you trust:

As safe as your campus may seem, there could be dangerous people out there. Go out with someone you trust. Don’t let each other leave with strangers no matter how “nice” they may seem. Go together, leave together!

Courtesy of NYDailyNews.com

Do be outgoing:

You won’t always know everyone at a college party, but don’t let that intimidate you. You won’t have a good time if you sit in the corner staring into space. Smile, dance, make a joke or even offer to be the beer pong referee.

Do BYOB:

Many college students don’t have money to supply all their party guests with drinks. Even the classiest co-eds have the right to enjoy a margarita or a Bud Light, but make sure to throw down some money or bring your own drinks if you plan on enjoying some (responsibly)!

Tip: If you don’t drink, don’t feel like you have too. It’s healthier to be 100% sober and you can still have a blast.

Do keep an eye on your things:

When you’re chatting it up with the cute guy from calculus, it wouldn’t hurt to slid e your hand into your purse and feel around for your belongings. Check on your things every hour or so to make sure your possessions don’t get lifted while you are off-guard.

Don’t start a fight:

Courtesy of heatherlcorner.blogspot.com

Fighting is one of the quickest ways to dawn a not-so-cute Jersey Shore nickname and a night being questioned by the police.  Be classy and walk away.

Don’t show too much:

There’s a huge difference between wearing a fitted skirt that covers you well and one that doesn’t. There’s no shame in accenting your curves, but leave some visualization for the imagination. No one likes someone who lets it all hang out. 

Don’t get trashed:

If you decide to drink, make sure you know your limit. The closer you get to being trashed, the more vulnerable you are to dangerous situations.

Tip: Don’t be the girl who can only have a good time if you’re drunk. Sometimes parties can be awkward, but don’t let that be an excuse for you to go overboard on the alcohol.

Courtesy of thebridescoop.com

Don’t drink and drive:

Call a friend or catch the night bus, but do not get in the car with someone who isn’t 100% sober.

Don’t do anything you’ll regret tomorrow:

If you’re anti-alcohol, don’t let someone pressure you into drinking. If you’re anti-kissing strangers, don’t let someone pressure you into kissing a stranger.  Find your inner confidence and remember who you are and what you stand for.

Attending a college party is every student’s rite of passage. Follow the basic do’s and don’ts of party etiquette and you’ll be one step further to obtaining your college confidence!


Maid of Honor Do’s and Dont’s

Maid of honor.  As the “leader” of the bridesmaids, you are considered the bride’s right-hand woman, the one she feels she can lean on during the stressful wedding-planning period and count on for tips and advice when an inevitable crisis comes up.  Taking on the role of maid of honor comes with its share of do’s and don’ts.   Will you be a maid of honor this summer? Take a look at some of the things you need to know before the big day.

DO get organized

As maid of honor, you will be responsible for planning and putting together events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Get a special “maid of honor notebook” (this one from Barnes & Noble is chic, inspirational and fabulous) and keep a running list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of the women in the bridal party.  Tally up who has chipped in for events and who still owes money.  This way, you won’t get stuck paying more than you have to for events, food or decorations.

DON’T think this job is an easy one

Each bride is different, and yours may want your input regarding every aspect of the wedding.  She may ask for you to sleep over at the hotel with her the night before the wedding, take her phone calls on the big day and run out to pick up last-minute items. The day of the wedding, plan on being by her side from the moment she wakes up until the moment she walks down the aisle.  This way, you’re prepared for anything the day might throw at you!

Helping to fix shoe

The maid of honor is there to help out every step of the way, from planning the event to the big day itself. Photo Credit: Google Images

 

DO stick to a budget

Communicate with the bridal party and set a budget for events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Find a number you all can agree on, and stick to it.  This will prevent people from backing out of paying or arguing about having to chip in for a gift or event.

 

T-Shirt

Don’t forget to get a customized t-shirt to show off your maid of honor pride! Photo Credit: Google Images

 

DON’T be afraid to speak up!

Disagreements and misunderstandings happen.  If you are being alienated or disrespected by the rest of the bridesmaids, feel overwhelmed or are encountering a lot of issues and conflicts that you don’t think you can handle alone, don’t be afraid to talk to the bride.  Being a maid of honor does not mean you have to internalize your feelings; keeping things locked up will only create more stress for both you and the soon-to-be-newlywed.  By expressing your concerns, you will help create a stress-free environment for everyone in the bridal party.

DO plan a speech

The best man gets his time to shine with a speech – you deserve your 15 minutes of fame, too! Think about your relationship with the bride as well as some highlights from your friendship and the first time you met her fiancé. If you need some inspiration, incorporate a romantic quote from a novel, movie or song into your speech.

Most importantly…

DO have fun.

This is a special day for both you and the bride.  Try as hard as you can to not let it pass you by.  Everything may not go according to plan on the big day, but embrace the flaws and roll with the punches.  Laugh. Take pictures.  Meet new people.  Dance until you get blisters on your feet.  Enjoy every moment as maid of honor!

Kate and Pippa Middleton

Pippa Middleton, the ultimate maid of honor! Photo Credit: Google Image

 

CL Intern Casey’s “maid of honor” movies!

Need a little wedding inspiration? These flicks will have you laughing all the way down the aisle!

Movie, “Made of Honor”

Movie, “Princess Diaries 2, Royal Engagement

Movie, “27 Dresses”

Movie:“The Wedding Date”

Movie: “Bridesmaids”

Movie: “Bride Wars”

Casey Galasso is a Health & Lifestyles Writer for College Lifestyles. She will be a junior at Marist College in Poughkeepise, NY this fall.  Her hobbies include running, increasing the size of her DVD collection and baking. She is looking forward to a relaxing summer filled with friends, family, warm weather and good books.