College: The Limbo between Childhood and the “Real World”

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When you leave for college, it beings to feel as if you’ve truly entered into the adult world. You’re off on your own, you can make your own decisions, and you’ve finally mastered how to do laundry.

The harsh reality- that even I, as a college student, hate to accept-is that this is far from what the “real world” is like.

 

 Dorming 

One of the most exciting parts about going away to school is living on your own. Parents have no control about how you decorate your dorm room, what you stock your fridge with, or where you are at any point of the day. There are challenges to living away from home, though.

For one, you have to clean everything on your own. This could range anywhere from just your bedroom, or, if you live in suite or apartment style living, a living room and the dreaded bathroom. Life lessons for when you one day own your own house are definitely built during your time dorming, but it  does not highlight the major struggles of truly living on your own.

In most cases, parents are the ones paying for your dorming. Having your own place becomes a little less exciting when you realize that you have to pay rent every month or a mortgage. And rarely does a house outside of the magical land of college include utilities and security instantaneously and without an added fee.

Dining

   Another appealing aspect about going away to college is the food options. You aren’t stuck eating the one meal that was prepared at home; instead you have a wide variety of dining options. Just as in the real world, you have to watch your budget when spending money on food. Using the meal plan that most colleges offer is a good way to learn that.

But, in reality, after leaving college, you probably won’t be swiping away with your credit card every night to purchase food at different eateries. You will wind up full circle, eating a single prepared meal, just as you had at home, but instead cooked by you.

Focusing in on Your Preferences

Picking classes for each semester of college can be a thrilling experience. You can take classes that focus solely on your interest, instead of taking pre-picked classes, as in the case in most high schools (because how does Algebra really relate to becoming a lawyer when it really comes down to it). You may also choose what time to take these classes. You have the option to not even wake up until 2 for your 2:55 class or have Fridays off if you so choose.

As wonderful as this is, having a full time job will actual follow more closely to your high school schedule with having to wake up early 5 days a week. Most jobs follow the 9-5, Monday through Friday schedule. There aren’t really many jobs that allow you to sleep until 3pm every day.

Balancing It All 

College can be a serious balancing act. You may have to take classes all day, work at night, and then wake up early for your internship the next day, while still making time for homework, friends, and clubs.

Adulthood includes the challenges of balancing everything, as well. Unfortunately though, balancing all these things will affect more than just a gpa, but also your livelihood which your family depends on.

          College is a wonderful time to learn life skills that you will use for the rest of your life. But it’s really only a little taste of the real world. College can be a sort of paradise in limbo; one where you can enjoy many aspects of living on your own without as many burdens or penalties that may come along with it in the future. As they say: “These are the best years of your life.”

   

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Halloween Costume Ideas

pumpkin

October has finally arrived and the most exciting part about this month-Halloween- is approaching!

You’re most likely spending these first few days of the month trying to decide on the perfect costume. It can be difficult to decide on a costume that is fun, looks good, and will catch people’s attention. Here are some tips to finding a Halloween costume that is perfect for you!

Looking Good

One of the worst traps to fall into during this time of year is to pick a costume simply because it looks “sexy.” Most of the time these “sexy” costumes come with the least amount of fabric for the most expensive price. Not to mention October is the month that the weather begins to get chilly and freezing your butt off just to look good is not worth it.

I’m definitely not saying that you shouldn’t try to find a costume that makes you look good! There are definitely a lot of flattering costumes out there with a little more material to them. Some nice ones I’ve seen are Roman goddesses and some of the superhero costumes.

Saving Money

Halloween costumes can be extremely costly. It seems kind of unfair that costume stores charge $50 for an outfit that you’re only going to wear once. The best thing to do when you want to save money is to make your own costume!

Some suggestions I can make include:
1. Flapper- If you have a black dress and black heels, all you really need to do is by one of those flapper headbands with the attached feather and maybe a pair of long gloves. You can find these items in a Halloween store for $5-$10 each!

2. Hippie- The boho style is in right now, so most people have a few hippie-like accessories already in their wardrobe. Bootcut jeans or boho loose-fitting pants would be good to wear if you have them. Also wear a headband or ribbon across your forehead. A cropped tank top or a shirt with a peace sign or flower will also pair nicely with sandals.

3. Cowgirl- You can wear a plaid shirt with the ends tied in a knot with cowboy boots. If you have these items, all you need to do is head over to a costume store to buy a cowgirl hat for around $10.
Can’t Decide?

Picking a costume can be challenging when there are so many options out there. You also don’t want to fall into the trap of picking the same costume that everyone else is wearing.

A good place to start to spark some costume ideas is to write down a list of your favorite movies or TV shows. Many will have costume options that you can find at either a costume store or online, or else you can make your own! Some unique entertainment-based costumes I’ve seen are the female version of Edward Scissorhands, minions (from Despicable Me) , and Lucy (from I Love Lucy.)

Group Costumes

Group costumes can be a lot of fun to do with a close group of friends! If you and your friends are up for it, I suggest the gang from Scooby Doo, the characters from The Wizard of Oz/Wicked, or The Avengers. This could also make it easier to find friends if you’re separated at at party.

scooby doo

(Photo taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Cmglee?rdfrom=commons:User:Cmglee)

A Little Overdone

The one request I make of you is to not chose a costume that has been worn year after year by everyone.

 

– Princess costumes are cute, but seen a little too often. To mix it up, maybe try being a Disney villain, such as Ursula or Malificent.

– Almost every female has been a school-girl or nerd at least once in their life. This is hardly even a costume, since many girls just use parts of their actual school uniform for the costume. Let’s leave the plaid skirt for the classroom.

-Ladybugs and bees are also an overdone costume. The appeal in these costumes is a little odd if you think about it, since most people are disgusted by bugs.

-Animals are also very popular, but usually have very little effort put into them. Most animal costumes remind me of the costume party scene from Mean Girls. 

mouse

(Gif taken from:http://vegetarianbaker.com)

 

The most important thing to keep in mind when picking a Halloween costume is to be comfortable. You only get to dress up once a year, so have fun with it!

Fashion Comebacks: A Look Through the Decades

History always repeats itself. We fight the same battles, remake the same movies, and even wear the same clothes.

Fashion is always changing, but certain styles manage to push their way through to new people in future decades. Trend-setters may  make some changes to them, but the concept of the pieces we wear today are far from original.

It may surprise you to see how much of your wardrobe was inspired by the styles of other decades!

 

60s 

Fringe was trending in the 1960s. The style concept at this time was most likely influenced by the dresses of flappers from the 1920s and the clothing of the Native Americans, who wore their fringe in thin leather strips. Unlike in the 1960s, fringed clothing today is usually made of a cheaper cotton material and is most often seen on the bottom of tank tops and cardigans.

fringe

To find out more about the history of fringe, read here! : http://www.beyondretro.com/en/blog/2013/04/25/a-brief-history-of-fringe-benefits/

70s 

One notable style that has returned in the past few years is high-waisted jeans. This style originated in the 40s, but reached its peak of popularity in the 70s. During the disco decade, high waisted jeans flared at the bottom, unlike today, where almost all women wear high waisted skinny jeans.

70s                 image-5

We’ve modified the style to fit in with the tight, form fitting trend that has taken over the 2010s, but similarities can definitely be seen between the high waisted pants of then and now.

80s 

Acid washed jeans and denim jackets were huge in the mid 80s. Now the style has resurrected itself. Acid wash is seen on any kind of denim material from skirts to vests. This rough, worn out look pairs nicely with plaid shirts and combat boots.

acid wash                          Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 6.07.59 PM

( 1st Photo provided by: http://stopwiththetops.blogspot.com/2013/05/jean-jackets.html)

( 2nd Photo on right provided by: http://heijastuspinta.blogspot.com/)

Find out more about acid wash: http://www.liketotally80s.com/2006/10/acid-washed-jeans/

 

90s 

The 90s have acted as one of the biggest fashion influences as of recently. So many styles that were popular during this time, when many of us were only children, are making a comeback.

 

402349_2600161321077_708324399_n Overalls are one of the biggest comebacks from the 90s. We wore these as kids, and 10 years ago, we would have associated them with famers. Yet, in 2014, they are hitting runways and even seen on celebrities. If worn correctly, overalls can actually be very stylish. To avoid that farmer look, I would suggest either buying overalls as shorts or buy them to be form fitting to your legs. Baggy ones may appear sloppy.

 

To read more about the overall trend, click here!: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/denim-overalls-making-comeback-chic-fashion-options-article-1.1719684

plaid

 

Grunge styles have also gone through a revival phase.This trend, associated with heavy metal from the 90s, has been adapted to fit a variety of styles, from rocker to girlie girl. Plaid, a major grunge pattern, is used not only for loose fitting button ups, but also for dresses and skirts.

 

Plaid pairs nicely with Doc Martens, another trending piece that was big in the 90s. Although basic black Docs work well with almost any casual outfit, the company now makes them in lighter colors and even in floral patterns. Punks aren’t the only ones who can make Doc Martens work.

docs

 

It’s unbelievable how styles go through a continuous cycle of in-fashion and out-of-fashion. We wouldn’t dare wear the clothes we wore 10 years ago, yet here we are, wearing the same styles that our parents, maybe even grandparents, wore. We better start saving our clothes now… who knows if our kids might be wearing the same pieces one day?

 

Share your opinion!

 

Does What We Wear Say Something About Who We Are?

question

There are over seven billion people in the world, each with their own unique personality and, though we don’t think of it as often, style. Every day we walk down the streets and see hundreds of different people with a variety of looks. You’d probably be lying if you said that you didn’t judge or assume something about at least one person you passed by in the past week. Regardless of whether your thought about the person was good or bad, you were putting a label on someone that you have never even spoken to.

Is there any validation in these actions? What can we really tell about a person from what they wear?

 

It Matters 

“When people don’t put effort into the way they look, they’re sending the message that they don’t care what people think of them,” Gabrielle Wasserstein, 19, of Hofstra University stated.

The way we dress asks for a certain level of attention. Not many people dress up for a night out in the hopes that they will go unseen. And on the other side of it, you wouldn’t wear sweatpants to a party, unless you were suggesting that the event does not matter to you. Dressing a certain way can act almost as a public service announcement: “Where I’m going right now matters to me” or “I don’t really care about how people perceive me right now.”

That, of course, is not to say that wearing sweatpants is always unacceptable. Hanging out with a group of friends for a movie night is the perfect occasion to dress super casually. Just don’t wear sweatpants for a job interview.

Clothes can also be worn to attract specific attention. A band T-shirt could be worn so that a person may find others with interests in the same kind of music. On the other hand, going to a sports event and wearing the T-shirt of the opposing team will attract the wrong kind of attention.

“People who dress practically are usually practical people,” Victoria Rotondi, 19, of Rutgers University stated.

Clothing can also express what matters most to a person. When going on a camping trip, it can be pretty easy to tell by the way someone is dressed whether they know what they know and are prepared for the trip or if they instead care more about the way they look.

Clothing can say a lot about a person.

 

It Doesn’t Matter 

“Certain people are attracted to certain colors and styles because of what they like. There’s no other explanation,” Amanda Bahn, 20, of Hofstra University stated.

Just because someone dresses a certain way doesn’t mean that they’re completed defined by their style. I can attest to this, as my friends often joke that I always a wear bright colors and floral clothes, yet I love dark movies that involve psychopaths and murder. You would never be able to guess my interest based on the clothes I wear.

Assuming something about a person based on what they’re wearing is judging a book by it’s cover. This is a bad habit to fall into. I, myself, have inferred that a person was tough and menacing just because he wore dark clothing and had many piercings. It turned out that he was really nice guy. Just because a person is fond of a particular style, doesn’t mean they’re personality matches it.

Making false conjectures about people just divides us all. We may never give people a chance if we automatically assume we are different than them, without ever speaking to them.

 

Answer the poll below and share your opinion regarding whether or not the way a person dresses says something about them:

Fall Essentials

Summer is over.

School has started. The sun is setting earlier. The weather is getting colder. And it’s time to put away the shorts and flip flops and switch over to fall clothes.

Fall is a fun season for fashion because it is the transition period between summer and winter, allowing one a lot of freedom when choosing an outfit. Although there are tons of huge trends this fall, there are certain pieces that should be in everyone’s wardrobe.

 

1)Cardigans  image-4

 

Now that the weather is wavering in the 60s, you’re going to need a little more than just a T-shirt. Cardigans are a light enough to wear inside, but heavy enough to keep you warm when walking from building to building. They are made in so many different styles- from lace to aztec print- that anyone can find one to suit his/her style. They are also easy to find in stores. My recommendation is Forever 21 (where the one in the picture was purchased) for a wide variety and a reasonable price.

 

2) High-waisted jeans image-5

High-waisted jeans have come back in style within the last few years. This flattering wardrobe piece usually rises to the belly-button, or just below it, and accentuates the hip area. High-waisted jeans look good with almost any style of shirt. They make crop tops appear less revealing, yet they also looked good with a longer shirt tucked in. And if you don’t like wearing jeans, many jeggings are made high-waisted as well and look just as flattering.

 

3) Combat boots image-6

As I stated in my previous post, fashion is all about taking trends from other places. I don’t exactly know what made fashion trend-setters think to steal the combat boot style from the military, but they made it work! These boots are comfortable and fashion-forward. They can be worn with almost any outfit- from dresses to jeans- and will look great whether in the classroom or at a casual party.

Do It Like a Dancer

dance

Ballerina buns, harem pants, tutus, and leg warmers: these fashion trends, which are seen all over the world today, have been worn by dancers for ages. Although these types of clothing are sold in retail stores for style purposes, dancers wear these looks for their accessibility when dancing at the studio or when performing on stage. Hofstra Dance Majors, Amber Bennett, Sierra Sharratt, and Nora Steinkamp, shared that some of these pieces, such as leggings, leotards, and tights, are even required for some of their dance classes.

“It’s a little weird,” stated Bennett when asked what she thought of dance attire being worn for fashion purposes. “Sometimes I see people wearing these things, and I assume that they’re dancers because they’re wearing our clothes,” agreed Steinkamp. Their reactions are understandable, as these outfits are to them a type of uniform, which express who they are with pride.

But, as the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. “I’ve always thought that it was cool that our art affects society,” stated Sharratt. “It’s kind of nice to know that our style affects society, as well.”

We may not be able to move like these dancers, but emulating their style almost makes us feel like we can. Mimicking styles is simply what society does best. It makes one wonder what the military thinks about army jackets and boots coming into style.

(Originally posted for the Hofstra Chronicle)