What are the most popular costumes for college students?

Halloween has arrived. Are you ready?  Have you picked out a costume yet? If not, all of the really cool ones at the store may be gone already. That means you’re going to have to get creative and make one.

Don’t despair. We have several ideas to share with you. You might find something on this 2011 list of the most popular Halloween costumes for college students from Student Advisor.

If you’re a young woman, you might consider going as Flo from the Progressive insurance commercials. (No, Progressive is not paying us to plug them. We just think this costume is cool and easy to make.)  Progressive even offers a downloadable logo, name tag and “I heart insurance” button for you to use.

For you young men out there, and if you’re feeling particularly daring, you could be the Old Spice guy.  Yeah, that guy. Grab a towel and show off those killer abs. In fact, Time magazine voted this costume one of the top 20 topical costumes for 2010.

If you’re thinking something a little more, well, disgusting, why not a zombie? It’s not hard, as you can see:

Good luck. If anyone takes pictures of you in your costume, why not share them with us so we can all see how awesome you looked?

Still looking for a Halloween costume? Try one of these ideas.

Today’s post comes from, yes, you guessed it, our intern Alicia, who’s all excited about Halloween.

Halloween is right around the corner and like some of us you’re probably still looking for something to wear. Have no fear. I have a few suggestions for you. Earlier this week, our Student Activities Council sponsored a Halloween Costume Fashion Show, where students made their costumes with regular things around the house.

Some students have some pretty creative costumes. We had a black cat, a bunny, a woman dressed for a ball, and a victim of extreme sunburn.

Still looking for ideas? Here are some cheap costume ideas:

  • Facebook profile page. When I was in New Zealand, we went to a theme party where all the partygoers were to dress up in something beginning with the letter “F.” One guy was a Facebook profile page. The “wall” was his shirt, and people could sign it. Around his face was the box with his face/profile picture and info. Materials: paper, markers and imagination
  • Sunburn victim. This costume is really simple. Put on your bathing suit and cover yourself in red paint. You can get creative with this one though. For example, trace your hand or something you’d usually fall asleep with on you while sunbathing. Materials: paint, bushes (optional), bathing suit.
  • Anything boxy. Gather some cardboard boxes from any office. Using the box, you can be a car, rocket ship, bus, house, refrigerator, Lego block, etc. The box can easily be decorated to your liking. Materials: cardboard box and markers/crayons.
  • Dress up like a celebrity. You can dress up like Ellen Degeneres by wearing Chuck Taylor’s jean and a sweater over a button-up shirt. Comb/brush you hair the same way. You can mimic many people by just using your own wardrobe. But remember that step two to imitation is getting that person’s mannerisms memorized.
  • Black cat.  The woman who was the black cat in the event wore an all-black outfit that she found in her closet. The best part, her ears were made of duct tape! Creativity strikes again. Materials: clothing matching the kind of cat you want to be and duct tape.
  • I hope these ideas get the brain juices flowing on what you’ll be for Halloween.Happy Halloween folks!On Monday, we’ll give you even more ideas.

Your son or daughter is homesick. What can you do to help?

You dropped your son or daughter off to college and you think everything is A-OK. Then, you get a phone call, email or text. Your son or daughter is sad, is feeling homesick and wants to come home. Now what do you do?

Both the CollegeBoard  and the College Parents of America offer several suggestions on how you can help your child cope with homesickness:

  • Let him or her vent.

One of the most important steps in working through homesickness is to talk. If you think your child needs to talk, provide encouragement. But, if he or she doesn’t, don’t push.

  • Suggest that your son or daughter talk to someone on campus.

Colleges typically have many people on campus who can help students deal with homesickness, whether it’s a resident advisor, a student leader, a faculty member of a counselor.

  • Tell your son or daughter that homesickness is normal.

Make sure your child knows that he or she is not alone; many students have times when they feel homesick.

  • Encourage your son or daughter to stay on campus. 

It’s more difficult to adjust to campus if he or she isn’t there. Frequent trips home won’t help his or her homesickness problem.

  • Communicate often.

Everyone likes to get an email and or a letter of package in the mail. You can include clippings from your hometown paper or even home-cooked treats.

  • Encourage him or her to get involved on campus. 

Our guest blogger, Alicia Hooks, said staying active on campus helped her deal with homesickness.

Have you dealt with this before? If so, if you have any suggestions please let us know.

You’re homesick? Here’s what you can do about it.

Today’s post comes to you from our friend and awesome intern Alicia Hooks, a business management major from Washington, D.C.  

The first years of college can be tough, especially if you’re going to school away from home. Believe it or not, many students experience homesickness in one form or the other. I know I did. And even as a senior, I still occasionally miss home. I go to school about six hours away from where I live, which means it’s not always easy to load up my car and head home. So, I’m going to give you a few tips on how to deal with homesickness.

  • Call home.

                Sometimes it’s just as good hear their voice on the other line.

  • Teach your parents to text.

        While this can come back and bite you in the rear, it’s one of today’s easiest communication methods.

  • Download a free online communications program.

                You can download Skype, ooVoo, MeeboMSN Messenger, etc. These messaging services allow you to connect with your family for free. It’s also VERY helpful for when you or your parents are in different countries and need to communicate for FREE.

  • Write letters/email. 

        We live in a day and age where it’s easier to turn on a computer than it is to open up a letter, but sometimes sending things via “snail mail” helps you to feel more connected.

  • Make new friends.

        These people can help take your mind off of what you’re missing about home. At the same time, they can also be your ticket home.

  • Talk to your resident advisor.

        This person is also a student on campus, has gone through the same thing you have and are known as campus leaders.

  • Join clubs and participate in student activities.

        My freshman year, I joined so many clubs that I was too busy to think about what I missed by not being home.

  • Get off of campus.

        My friends and I used to frequently take trips to the reservoir just up the road from our campus, or we’d go on nature walks. Depending on how close you are to the bordering state/country, you and some friends can plan a trip. You can also go out to eat in the town/neighboring towns. This gives you the opportunity not only to see the area but also  the chance to relax and let go of campus stressors.

Those are some of my suggestions.  I hope this will help you get through the next phase of your life.

Red Cup Olympics

Our hard-working intern Alicia Hooks seems to have become the “Olympics reporter,” having written accounts of the Laundry Olympics and the Safe Sex Olympics. Today, she writes about the Red Cup Olympics.

 On Wednesday, the Office of Residential Life and Housing on our campus sponsored the Red Cup Olympics. The goal of this event was to educate college students on the dangers of drinking games, which cause binge drinking, and the dangers of driving under the influence and/or texting. More than 100 students attended.

Students participated in many activities:

  • Root Beer pong
  • Flip Cup
  • Jenga with alcohol statistics
  • “Pour Me a Drink” where they learned how much liquor, wine, malt liquor and beer equaled one legal drink and how to estimate correctly using a solo cup
  • Taking the danger of texting and driving pledge, promising not to take part  in distracting activities while driving
  • DUI prevention
  • Viewing drinking and driving crash photos from the state of Pennsylvania
  • Watching a video of what happens during a car crash (“How fast you can die”)
  • Trying to talk while wearing drunk goggles

We were also surprised to see the Student Activities Council’s evening musical guest, Augustine take part in the games. Augustine is a band from Florida that is seen on MTV’s “As Told by Liz.”  The performers casually joined in with the students as they danced to the Cupid Shuffle and even played a few games.

It was a very exciting experience. Check out the video below to see just how much fun we had.

How to avoid procrastinating – Wait, we’ll tell you tomorrow

We wanted to write about procrastination before but, well, we kind of put it off. We all procrastinate at times. However, regularly putting things off can create undue stress. And, since we’re talking about mental-health issues this month, avoiding procrastination seemed liked a good topic to address.

You’re probably well aware of what procrastination is. You have a paper due on Monday and waited until Sunday night to start writing it. You’ve known for weeks about a test on Friday, but you put off studying for it until Thursday night, maybe even Friday morning depending on the time of your test. 

You’ve probably done some of these things in an effort to avoid doing what you need to do:

OK, we all know what it is, but how can we overcome it? Mary Coller, director of our Academic Advising Center,offers ways to beat what she calls “a student’s worst nightmare.”

How do you overcome procrastination? When you’re done cleaning off your desk, making a cup of coffee, playing with your cat (or dog), finishing a book, going for a walk, texting your best friend, watching TV, and updating your Facebook status, tell us about it.

Your nest is empty. Now what?

So, you’ve sent your son or daughter off to college and now you look around and … there are no more children in the house. You’re feeling a little sad, a little lonely, a little sense of loss. You’re experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome, and you’re not alone.

What can you do about it? Plenty.

Get a pet. If you’re feeling the need to take care of something, a pet could do the trick. And, if you choose one from the local SPCA, you’ll be giving an animal a much-needed home as well.

Learn something new.  It’s never too late to learn something new. Take a class. Learn to dance. Try your hand at painting or woodworking. Take your new-found time and explore your interests and passion.

Travel. Many parents held off on trips when their children were home. Now, you can choose a destination and leave that empty feeling at home.

Enjoy the peace and quiet. Remember when you wanted to read a book but your children were playing their music too loud. Or, you wanted to watch something on television but they needed you to take them to soccer/football/dance/cheerleading/band practice? Enjoy this time.

Prepare while the nest is still full. Start thinking about and preparing before your son or daughter goes to college and enjoy the process of his or her starting to leave. 

Revisit your dreams and goals. Remember all of those things you wanted to do but put off when you had children? Now is your time to revisit them and do some.

Find something meaningful. This may be a good time to help others. Volunteer at your local church, library or school. Put your special talents and skills to work for others.

Reignite or begin new friendships. You may have put some friendships on the back burner when your children were home. Reach out to them. Or, make new friends. Socialize. Get out there. 

Here are some other suggestions:

Of course, if you have any suggestions to share just let us know.