Archive for the ‘College Life’ Category

How to Buy, Sell, and Rent College Textbooks like a Pro

Categories: College Life

The school year is quickly approaching. Not only does this mean school supply shopping, it also means textbook shopping. There are many different ways that you can go about this seemingly ominous and expensive task. Don’t worry, our tips below will help make it easier and cheaper for you!

used_textbooks1. Buy used from your campus bookstore.

Most campus book stores offer students the option to buy used books. Book stores will run out of used books quickly, however, so get in there early so you’re not forced to buy new. If you can’t make it to the book store in person, buy from your online campus book store if available.

2. Share with a friend.

The cheapest alternative to book buying is to share. Split the cost with a friend or classmate and share the book between the two of you. As long as you trust your book partner and can arrange study schedules that allow both of you to use the book for the appropriate amount of time, you cannot lose with this option.

3. Utilize hand-me-downs.

Before thinking about going to the book store or splitting the cost of a textbook with a friend, reach out to all of your school friends and see if anyone has taken the class before. If they have, ask if they would be willing to loan you the book or sell it to you for cheap.

4. Check the library.

The campus library or your local public library might carry some of the textbooks you need, especially novels and other books required for liberal arts classes. Renting from the library can save you a lot of time and money…just be sure to renew them as needed to avoid any overdue fees.

5. Utilize book buyback programs.

Many campus book stores will buy back your books after the end of the semester, quarter, or trimester. These programs usually take place on specific days only, so be sure to mark your calendar so you don’t miss it. Once the date passes, campus book stores usually will not buy books back. Though you won’t get full retail value back through these programs, it feels good to have a little cash in hand once you complete a class.

6. Rent online.

This is generally a cheaper option than buying or renting from the campus book store. There are many different online companies you can rent textbooks from, but make sure you return them on time.

7. Buy and sell online.

Do some research online to find the best price for your textbooks. You might be able to find a used version for cheaper. If applicable, be sure you’re purchasing the latest edition as some websites might try to sell an older edition that might be out-of-date. Once you’re done with your books, you can re-sell them online to help out other students like you and even make a profit!

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10 Cool Dorm Room Accessories to Make You Feel at Home

Categories: College Life


Who says you can’t make your dorm room look cool? There are a ton of both awesome and practical options that can make your dorm room or apartment feel like home. Here is a list of a few of our favorite dorm room accessories that can help your transition into dorm life be a good one.

1. Traffic Light Lamp

Want to brighten up your dorm with an interesting light? What better way to start a conversation or liven up a party than with this Traffic Light Lamp? It’s a good bedside piece that adds some flare to any dorm.

2. Colorful Compact USB Laptop Speakers

Lights will brighten up a room, but what about some awesome tunes to go along with them? These Colorful Compact USB Laptop Speakers have seven mood-changing LED lights. It’s a great way to use your music to relax after a long day of classes or get excited for the weekend, whatever your pleasure.

3. Decorative Wall Organizer

This Wall Organizer combines decor with organization. You can write friendly notes to your roommate, use it for your to-do list, pin up ticket stubs or pictures, and more.

4. Dry-Erase Board Refrigerator

Do you want a boring fridge, or one that you can stick magnets on and write on with dry-erase markers? This Dry-Erase Mini-Fridge is both practical and fun. Cover it with your favorite quotes, notes to your roommate, homework reminders, or fun artwork. You can even use it to keep track of what belongs to who in the fridge and keep any hungry roommates from eating your leftovers.

5. Wall Art is Always Fun

Who really wants plain white walls? Add some simple art to your walls to spruce up your dorm room and find your style. Posters are a popular go-to, but why not try a Hanging Tapestry to add color, or a cool Wall Decal for a classy feel.

6. Hanging Photo Display

Another way to decorate your wall is with this Hanging Photo Display. It’s a great way to hang your favorite pictures or magazine clippings, and you can easily move or add new ones when you need a change. This will help fill the room with the pictures of the people and things that you love and make your room feel comfortable like home.

7. Colorful Chairs

Now that the walls are covered, we have to have a place to sit, right? Why not sit in style in these Colorful Chairs? The set comes with three chairs in different colors. Not only do they provide additional seating for your friends and roommates, they also make a room pop, and you can even match these chairs to your wall art.

8. Crazy Pillows

Throw one of these Scented Microbead Pillows on a chair or your bed. Not only are they super colorful, but they also smell good! Choose between a cupcake pillow that smells like vanilla icing and a gumball machine that smells like bubblegum. What could be better?

9. Paper Lamp Shade

Above your bed you might want to add a little extra flare. Why not hang up a paper lamp shade? This Paper Lamp Shade has an interesting pattern, but there are many others out there that require just a standard light bulb.

10. Fishbowl

A colorful, low-maintenance fish, such as a betta, can certainly add a personal touch to your dorm room. Since this particular fish is very easy to care for, a small fishbowl is a great addition to a dorm room. This Waterfall Globe Aquarium not only has a light, but also has a unique, real waterfall element that can help you relax and focus during those difficult study sessions.

Find these items and everything else you need for your dorm room here at Amazon’s Off to College Department. What are your favorite dorm room accessories?

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5 Time Management Tips for College Students

Categories: College Life

Everyone always tells you to manage your time wisely, but do you ever really listen? Most of us would rather spend our time with friends than doing homework. If you’re a student, however, somewhere in the back of your mind you must know how important your studies are too. The reality is that you can — and need! — to do both. Making time for school, work, internships, extracurricular activities, and a social life all at the same time can be hectic and at times may seem impossible, but, believe me, it can be done. I am living, still breathing, proof. Based on my personal experience, I’ve put together some tips that I hope will help you.

dorm-room-organization-calendar-idea1. Use a calendar.

You can always use an old school paper calendar, the planner your college gives you at orientation, or make your own. You can also use your phone! Check out the cool free calendar app Cal. If you’d rather keep your information on your computer, check out Windows Sticky Notes, Google calendar, or iCloudDon’t want to spend all of your time on your phone or computer? Use good ol’ sticky notes! (I love these fun Days of The Week Sticky Notes.) Any of these options can help keep your important dates organized and easily accessible.

2. Sleep sometimes!

Some might say that being a “real” college student requires constant all-nighters, but without sleep you will be a walking zombie and are sure to forget something. You will need way too much coffee and energy drinks, and while they may “give you wings,” believe me, they won’t give you brains. And who has enough money in college to buy a bunch of energy drinks and coffee anyway? Sometimes you will have to stay up late writing papers or studying for big exams, but try to get at least four to six hours of sleep each night so you are refreshed the next day and your head is clear enough to take that exam or concentrate during class.

3. Leave open spaces in your calendar.

No matter what your schedule entails, be sure to fit in time to relax and to hang out with friends. This down time will also allow you to recuperate and relieve stress. Always, I repeat, always expect the unexpected. Make sure to also leave open space in your schedule for those unexpected things, such as a last-minute trip home or a project that takes longer than expected. Take things as they come, but leaving open spaces in your calendar or planner will make these curve balls a little easier to cope with.

865104134. Exercise and eat right.

If you exercise, you’ll release endorphins and feel better about yourself. If you feel better, you’ll have more energy to keep up with your hectic schedule. Exercising also helps clear your head, which allows you to concentrate for longer stretches of time and tackle all those things on your to-do list. Eating right will also help your body and mind feel better, but if you want to splurge, do so only once in a while. Plan a weekly pizza or hot wing night with friends and make that your “cheat” day. Feeling sluggish won’t help you get things done any faster. It’s not about being perfect, it’s just about making sure your body is properly nourished so your mind can flourish

5. Always look ahead!

Once you’re done with your homework for the current week, look ahead to see what is due next week and get a head start on it. Check out your class syllabus to see what’s coming up and work ahead when possible. If you utilize this resource, it may become your best friend. Also, this tip will allow you to plan for fun getaways. If you know what’s due and what your schedule will be for the entire month, you can plan trips or other activities in advance based on your availability. Looking ahead can do nothing but good for you and your sanity as a college student.

Share your time management tips the comments below!

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