8 Healthy Junk Food Alternatives

8 Healthy Junk Food Alternatives

Healthy = delicious.

Who doesn’t want to implement a healthier lifestyle? Not only can it have huge benefits physically, but mentally as well (brainfood!). Whether you avidly add 30-60 minutes of exercise to your day, or have recently doubled up on your fiber intake, simply making some subtle adjustments to your daily routine can lead to huge health benefits. Unfortunately, its easy to stray away from a strict diet and exercise schedule – especially as the semester gets busier, so we’ve come up with a healthy and delicious way to swap out your favorite junk foods for better alternatives. We’ve put together a list of top 7 favorite healthy snacks and meals to substitute your preferred junk foods and meals, proving lifestyle changes don’t necessarily mean you will go hungry:

 

Chip Lovers

Alternative: Kale, Zucchini, Apple, or Sweet Potato Chips

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Who doesn’t love that crave that satisfying chip crunch? Luckily, there are many literally delicious healthy alternatives that deliver the same amount of crunch and flavour. Get 16 healthy chip alternative recipes here.

 

Wing Lovers

Alternative: Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

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When you just ~need~ buffalo wings, try this easy and healthy alternative to get both the flavor and the crunch of your favorite wings. Not a buffalo fan? Switch the sauce to your preference! Get the recipe here.

 

Chocolate Lovers

Alternative: Avacado Brownies

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I won’t insist that chocolate lovers switch to 70% cocoa chocolate (although delicious,  it’s not actually that healthy) because I’m here to help innovate your diet. For something completely different yet equally satisfying, try chocolate avocado brownies. You can eat these babies guilt free. Get the recipe here.

 

Popcorn Lovers

Alternative: Coconut Oil Popcorn

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A personal favourite, this is a great healthy (and cheap) alternative to junk food for when you’re on the go. Feel like spicing it up a bit? From chilli powder, lime powder, and salt & pepper, to traditional popcorn seasoning or vinegar, this snack is both quick and customizable. Get the recipe here.

 

Peanut Butter Lovers

Alternative: Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

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Peanut butter lovers, I get you. I could eat spoonful after spoonful, and you probably can too. Aside from simply switching over to natural peanut butter, another health-ish recipe to satisfy any peanut butter craving is dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Made with cocoa, coconut oil, and natural peanut butter, these are suitable for your healthy (and even ketogenic) lifestyle. Get the recipe here.

 

Pizza Lovers

Alternative: Cauliflower Pizza

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Why yes, there’s a healthy alternative for all of you pizza lovers too. With an abundance of veggies and healthy fats, cauliflower pizza is a personal pizza. Get the recipe here.

 

Candy Lovers

Alternative: Ketogenic Gummy Bears

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When you get a serious sugar craving, these gummy bears will help you get through the day. Get the recipe here.

 

Ice Cream Lovers

Alternative: Frozen Yogurt

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This healthy junk food alternative may seem basic, but I prefer calling it timeless. In a rush? Simply freeze your preferred type of yogurt add your favourite fruit, nut, or topping for the perfect snack. My personal favourite is strawberry greek yogurt with sunflower seeds. Get the recipe here.

 

No excuses! Try one (or all)  of these healthy alternatives to your favourite junk foods today. Share you experience with us in the comment section below.

10 Hacks to Make Life Cheaper

10 Hacks to Make Life Cheaper

Save that money!

Let’s face it, being a student with a limited income helps you realize how truly expensive life can be. We know that a few monthly expenses can quickly, and little savings can go a long way. Luckily, we have a compiled a list of tips and tricks to make your life a little bit cheaper.

 

Student Discount

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It’s everywhere... you just have to ask!

 

Thrift/Online Shopping

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Changing your shopping style may just be key! Check out some of your city’s best thrift stores and try out shopping online in the sales sections. If you’re okay with waiting for about a month for your stuff to come in head to Allie Express, and if you’re just into some cheap duds check out the sales sections at both Urban Outfitters and Miss Guided  (you’re welcome).

 

Eat for Cheap

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Try buying groceries rather than eating out, or find the cheapest eats around your city. Many places commonly have $5 food such as El Furniture Warehouse – with many locations across North America.

 

Capitalize on your Government Benefits

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Check to see if you’re eligible for any government benefits- for example, if you’re a student in Canada, you can get benefits simply from living away from home as a student, if you’ve paid your rent on time. Find out more here.

 

Find the Discounts

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Make sure to check out the discount apps and grocery stores to always capitalize on the saving potentials.

 

Pay with Cash

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It’s scientifically proven to be a factor in money saving because physical cash is perceived as more scarce to consumers than paying with plastic.

 

Use a Water Bottles

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Get your own bottles ready; this is an easy way to save buying drinks while on-the-go, and a practical way to ensure you stay hydrated (and green!).

 

Starbucks Hacks

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Coffee is a necessity (we get it), so never forget about these Starbucks hacks!

But also …

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Take this into consideration.

 

Take Matters into Your Own Hands

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Break something? Try fixing it yourself with the help of FixItClub.com; a website that will show you how to fix anything step-by-step.

 

Save on Dryer Sheets

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Never buy dryer sheets again!

 

What are your favorite money-saving hacks? Share them with us in the comment section below.

5 Reasons to Take These 5 Types of Courses

5 Reasons to Take These 5 Types of Courses

Let’s get learnt.

 

With the abundance of available courses and electives available to university and college students today, it can be hard to narrow down exactly which courses you should take when you have a glorious time slot calling for an elective.

 

Science Courses

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  1. It is important to know about what makes the world work.
  2. Gaining a basic proficiency in research and how to make logical arguments only makes your more credible and knowledgeable regardless of your primary field of study.
  3. Science is everywhere. In fact, if it wasn’t for the bonding of very specific elements, we wouldn’t even be here. By taking science courses, you will have a newfound appreciation for these facts.
  4. By taking science courses, you will learn to block out noise from the media, politicians, the internet, etc., and only truly consider the fact as evidence. If everyone did this, the world would surely be a better place- take a science course as your first step to helping humanity.
  5. Worst case, take an animal bio class and spend your time hanging with some critters.

 

 

Computer Science Courses

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  1. Technological proficiency is more valuable today than ever.
  2. A basic proficiency of computing is not just valuable, but beginning to become required in the digital age – you will surely be more employable if not now, in the future.
  3. Computer science is diverse. From engineering, math, problem-solving and logic to psychology, humanities, and the arts, computing is truly the cross roads of so many skill areas, making it a great asset and endeavor no matter your skill set.
  4. You will gain practical knowledge of how our world and technologies have progressed to where they are today.
  5. You will be a little more prepared for the inevitable artificial intelligence world take over (have you seen Terminator???).

 

Business Courses

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  1. You can be a business person no matter what field of studies you choose.
  2. It will help you stand out in the job market upon graduation, regardless of your chosen industry.
  3. You are sure to make some great contacts.
  4. Students from all different faculties work together, fostering a creative and innovative environment.
  5. Learn how to determine and sell your personal value proposition – again, a skill that is guaranteed to make you stand out in the ever growing pool of new graduate job seekers.

 

Political Science Courses

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  1. It is important to understand how your country’s political system works.
  2. You will become a more informed and knowledgeable citizen in general.
  3. You will gain a basic understanding of how the world hierarchy and international society works.
  4. You will make an educated decisions and become an informed voter by the time the next election cycle rolls around.
  5. You will gain a basic understanding and new appreciation of how the programs and institutions tax payers fund actually affect our society.

 

Psychology Courses

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  1. Understanding the science behind people’s actions can be leveraged no matter your field of studies/work.
  2. You will better understand yourself and your behaviors.
  3.  You will be able to better gauge peoples’ reactions.
  4. You will be able to better communicate with people – again, a useful asset no matter your industry.
  5. You will be #Woke.

 

Did we miss a. filed that you think should be on this list?

Study Abroad for Free!

Study Abroad for Free!

Pack your suitcases, ladies and gentlemen. 

Every student dreams of spending a year abroad; studying in another country, learning a new languaging, experiencing a new culture, what’s not to love! So much so, that earlier this year we did a piece on the top 7 places for students to study abroad in 2017. That being said, a big roadblock for most students dreaming of a embarking on a year abroad is the financial burden. Not only are plane tickets and accommodations costly requirements, but many universities hike up their tuition prices for international students. Unfortunately, this stops many students from living the unique and amazing experience of studying in another country. However, being in 2017, progressive governments around the world have begun to recognize how important education is not only for a country’s economy but for global progression in general. Keeping that in mind, many governments have mandated cheaper education

However, being in 2017, progressive governments around the world have begun to recognize the importance of education for a country’s economy and global progression alike. Keeping that in mind, many governments have mandated cheaper tertiary education for everyone. Today, there are places you can study abroad for free or very cheap. We have curated a list of the top 5 locations to spend a year abroad with cheap tuition, guaranteeing you an amazing experience without breaking the bank!

 

Iceland & Norway

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These countries are famous for more than just their amazing spas! The Scandinavian economic model has a strong focus and heavy expenditure on social programs, including public education. They do so with the hopes of achieving an educated workforce, greater economic development, and thus economic prosperity. With such policies, it’s no surprise that these countries offer free tuition for EU nationals. However, unlike their Nordic counterparts such as Sweden and Denmark, Iceland and Norway extend their waived tuition fees to any foreign-born student that would like to study in their country.

 

Germany

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Most famously, Germany recently rolled out a program calling for free tuition within their education system. This policy has waived tuition fees for all interested national and international students alike. With a world-class education system, strong yet inviting culture, gorgeous and timeless architecture, and free tuition, we’re already packing our bags!

 

Austria

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Austria is yet another European country that houses extremely cheap tuition for tertiary education. The country offers the same educational rights to national and international individuals alike, consisting of two free semesters for all students. After that, students pay approximately $385 USD per semester to study in Austria. I know what you’re thinking… that barely covers textbooks in North America! Needless to say,  you AND your wallet can benefit from the enriching experience of studying abroad.  

 

France

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Although this European destination is not globally seen as a leader in free education, France’s tuition rates are extremely affordable. Their programs consist of countless free courses, with others coming in at a very low cost. In fact, French, EU, and international students can all equally enjoy receiving their degrees for anywhere from $195 to $1000 USD per year. Compared to the $10,000-$60,000 per year range often found in Canada and the U.S., France is definitely housing an economically reasonable educational system.

 

Brazil

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Brazil is yet another country that realizes the value in offering students free education, with many of the country’s universities choosing not to charge tuition fees. However, English students are required to pay a small registration fee for taking courses in English rather than Portuguese.

 

With so many great options, we’ve definitely been bitten by the travel bug. Will you look into studies in one of these 5 countries? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Top 7 Places to Study Abroad

Top 7 Places to Study Abroad

Where would you go?

Studying abroad is a great experience. From being exposed to a new university and culture, to the compassion and independence gained while traveling, choosing to move studies out of the country has plenty of advantages. That being said, with many factors to carefully consider before making the move such as education standards, safety, and the price of living, the decision becomes increasingly complicated. Luckily, there is an entire website dedicated to helping students pick a destination. In accordance with the mass amounts of data collected over the past three years, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 study abroad destinations.

 

Barcelona, Spain

Although an extremely popular destination, Spain is not only home to tons of culture and gorgeous architecture (and… Ibiza!!)., but also many great educational institutions with the capacity to hostthe abundance of students from abroad

 

Sydney, Australia

 

 

With the sun, ocean, and wildlife, Sydney Australia is the perfect destination for those seeking some adventure, while remaining remarkably safe with tons of friendly locals.

 

Hong Kong, China

If you want life in the fast lane while also enjoying a mixture of local and modern traditions, Hong Kong is your place. As a city-state with remarkably quick economic growth, this city is an ideal destination for economics, international relations, and international business studies. As one of the world’s most densely populated areas, Hong Kong is home to seven of the world’s top universities according to the QS World University Rankings. Dreaming of a big city life? In Hong Kong, you’ve got it.

 

Dubai, UAE

Culture, culture, culture. Dubai is the perfect mix; by intertwining lavish life and modernized architecture with traditional middle eastern culture, food, and interior design, this city is an intriguing destination. Not to mention Dubai is home to countless expats – meaning you’ll meet people from all over the world, and has an incredibly low crime rate. Oh, and did we mention the Lamborghini cop cars?

 

Munich, Germany

Germany is a great location for studies. The country as a whole offers a world-class education with incredibly competitive international business, hard science, and German studies disciplines. Beer lover? Good, because Germany hosts the annual Oktoberfest; world class beer to complement world class studies (of course). 

 

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is just really cool. From K-pop to real Korean barbecue, Seoul is the perfect merging of Easter and Western culture. Nicknamed “The Special City” for its diversity, this is the premier destination for students looking for a pop-culture filled, high-tech destination, that’s also home to countless historical sites such as Buddhist temples and palaces. Not to mention, this city harbours world-class educational institutions and an extremely educated population of young people. You’ll fit right in!

 

San Jose, Costa Rica

Vacation, adventure, and urban culture collide to make a truly unique study abroad destination. This fiscally-savvy destination is not only easy on the wallet (and eyes), but is the perfect destination to learn Spanish. Biology student? Costa Rica is home to many rainforests with some amazing wildlife.

 

 

 

We have the travelling bug now, don’t you? The world is full of amazing places waiting for you to experience. If you had the choice where would you go? Let us know your top study abroad destination in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips To Increase Your Motivation

We all know it takes a special set of skills to motivate yourself to study. And by study I don’t mean checking your phone every 2 minutes or endlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed until you decide that  5-minute-turned-45-minute ‘study break’ is over. Without any further due, check out our suggested tips.

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  1. Challenge yourself
    No, not with ice buckets. While you may not be very fond of a specific topic or don’t see how you could sacrifice even only 10 minutes of your time for today’s homework, it helps to understand the importance of general knowledge in the bigger picture. Sometimes a little change of perspective already does the trick. As plain as it sounds, positive thoughts and a positive mindset will take you places.3631831
  2. Set (realistic) goals
    The smaller, the better. And again, same applies here: not “hashtag relationship goals”, but the actual meaning of the word. In order to avoid disappointment and set-backs, you should set achievable goals. Also, do not try to embrace everything at once, but rather aim to become an “expert” in certain fields and areas. If that 25-page paper is overwhelming you in a way that you don’t know where to start, don’t focus on the final number, but break it down into small sections.No-Meme-The-Office-03
  3. Avoid distractions
    Learn to say no. There is a time for everything in life and sometimes what has to be done, needs to be done. Period. Real friends will understand, Netflix won’t go anywhere either, only that WhatsApp group of yours might (and will) explode meanwhile. A simple key to success: determining priorities, ranking assignments in the order of their importance, devoting more energy towards those that have the greatest impact on your course work and grades. Your time is precious, so the right management is crucial.5e72f2466ff0514a43c0bdb65351396f
  4. Look for support
    Whether it is in Ryan Gosling, strangers on the internet or a motivating article ( like this one for example 😉 ). Your family, friends and mentors are also there to give you guidance. However, if you feel like you’re not getting enough encouragement from them, you can always join or form study groups. For some this is the best way to stay focussed, develop new skills and share ideas.

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  5. Reward accompishments
    Yes, even the smallest ones. Your fellow students might not face the same difficulties when it comes to studying than you do. Once you’ve figured out the right motivators for yourself, the rest comes easy. Always have the bigger picture in mind and turn each step into an achievement.

Top 5 Montreal-Based Instagram Accounts To Follow

We all have our favorite Instagram accounts we check out daily, but what about those other aspiring bloggers with less then 500k followers? Enough of the same old #throwbackthursday, #goodhairday and #instastyle posts. We’ve seen them all. Don’t miss out on new potential, fresh ideas and bright inspiration. Here are the latest top 5 Montreal-based Instagramers that share their eye candies on fashion, lifestyle, travels, food and photography like you’ve never #reposted them before.

  1. @inayali – Posts: 3,447 – Followers: 92.6k – Category: Lifestyle
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    Ali, a photographer, promoting café culture in Montreal and snapping beautiful shots of hidden corners in the city (and beyond).


  2. @d.construct – Posts: 2,177 – Followers: 1,287 – Category: Fashion
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    Dominique, a Texan-born Fashion Marketing graduate from LaSalle College, with the aim to make fashion and art accessible for everyone.


  3. @sabrinalabar – Posts: 164 – Followers: 4,472 – Category: Foodie
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    Sabrina, a lawyer, passionate about preparing and arranging colorful and often fruity munchies. Special feature: All recipes are 100% vegan!


  4. @doiseecolor – Posts: 36 – Followers: 558 – Category: Architecture/Photography
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    Neil, a Communications and Marketing student at Concordia/JMSB. His Montreal-focussed posts visualize his interests in popular culture, photography, fashion and music.


  5. @mevallieres – Posts: 643 – Followers: 6,301 – Category: Travel
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    Marie Eve, a Montreal-born and raised full time travel blogger, sharing her snapshots of architecture, landscape and meals of Europe and beyond with the world.


Make sure to follow us @dormbooker for more updates, dorm decoration tips and student hacks 😉

 

Leave Your Dorm Properly For The Holidays

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It’s not a secret that any student that lives on campus can’t stay in the residence halls during the winter break. It’s also no secret that residents must check out with their assigned Resident Assistant before they leave for the holidays. Before you lock your doors for the last time for 2015, here are some suggestions to make your checkout a lot faster and easier, for both you and
your RA:

Just like a student, RAs and faculty would like to leave & start their winter break as fast as possible, so preparing your room to avoid maintenance charges or documentation helps smooth out the process, especially if you’re trying to fly out of town.

The charges are not in place because the residence wants to make your time living on campus difficult. There are charges because we want to keep the residence halls in the best condition as possible so you can continue to live comfortably and keep it nice for the next person who moves in.

Therefore, if there’s a maintenance issue in your room, tell your RA or submit a maintenance request. This includes anything that is broken, damaged, or has stopped working in your room. If something is damaged and it has not been reported, then you will take responsibility for that damage. It’s not a good feeling to charge someone for something that they were not responsible for, so before you leave, make sure you look around your room and see if anything needs to be fixed.

Remember, your room is one of many to be checked by the RA before they head out for break too. Please do your best to be prepared for your check-out time so the process is efficient.

Please clean your room before you check out. Your parents will be proud and your RA will be grateful. You can be documented for a messy room if it is a perceived health and safety violation.

When thinking about checking out, a good rule of thumb is to plan your checkout time about an hour before you plan on leaving, again, especially if you’re trying to make it to the airport. This leaves enough time to clean up whatever might seem unsatisfactory or allow time to fill out any paperwork.

A common question that is asked around this time is “do I need to pack up my whole room before I leave?” You don’t have to, but be sure it’s nice and clean for when you come back.

Check and double check that you have everything because there’s a slim-to-none chance that you will be let back into the building before we come back from break. During break, you are not allowed to return to the building, so make sure you have everything with you.

Tips To Help You Do Your Laundry In A Dorm

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Living the college dorm life is not easy.  However, doing laundry in a dorm takes it to a whole new level of hardship and annoyance.  Here are some tips to help you get your laundry done without too much of a hassle.

BRING ENOUGH CHANGE

While some washers/dryers will be free, most will not be. Some dorms have a payment system where you can actually use your room key or a laundry card, others have coin-operated machines. No matter what type of payment the machines require, be sure that you have it.

Before you go to do your laundry, make sure you have enough change/money on your card to do so. There’s nothing more annoying than someone asking you for spare change, or waiting around to steal someone’s machines.

KEEP TRACK OF TIME

Probably the biggest laundry faux-pas you can make is leaving your clothes in the washer/dryer long after they’re done.  Not only do you have to make sure you have enough time allotted BEFORE starting your laundry, but you also have to make sure that you keep track of how long your clothes have been in the machines.

There are other residents that need to do laundry too, and if you’re holding up a machine because you didn’t get your clothes out in time, you’re going to frustrate a lot of people.

DON’T BE IMPATIENT

I can’t stress enough how important this one is.  More often than not, clothes are left sitting in a washer/dryer — done, but their owner hasn’t removed them yet.  As tempting as it may be, do not remove them.

It’s simple enough really: you wouldn’t want anyone touching your clothes, so don’t do it to others. Maybe someone has items that can’t go into the dryer that you’ll ruin by doing so, or maybe you’ll leave before they get back so they don’t know where their clothes went.

If there aren’t any available machines and someone’s clothes are done, but no one’s claiming them, it doesn’t matter. You’ll have to wait for the next available machine, and hope that the owner comes in quickly.

DON’T BE OBNOXIOUS

When you’re doing laundry at home, it’s perfectly fine to separate your clothes into several loads, taking over the machine for the day because other family members don’t need it.

This is not okay when you’re using a communal washer/dryer.

There’s always going to be another person that needs to do laundry, so using up a machine all day long because you’re washing clothes individually isn’t acceptable.

So group clothes together where you can (mix darks and whites if possible, or combine clothes and towels/sheets) to save yourself time and to save some machines for others that may need them.

If you find that you need to do multiple loads, spread them out during the week. It’s much better than monopolizing one machine all day long, as you never know what times the laundry room is going to be busy.

BE CONSIDERATE

Whenever possible, be considerate of others. Bring your own money, soap and dryer sheets, change loads when the machine is done, and don’t spend more time than needed at any given machine. Basically, follow the rules and you’ll be fine.

Doing laundry in dorms/apartment buildings can be a real hassle, and many people aren’t aware of the basic laundry room etiquette that everyone should know.

But now that you do, follow the rules and be considerate of others, and also help those that may not know. It just might save you some time some day.

6 simple, yet affordable DIY winter decorating ideas for your student dorm

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As hard as the life of a student might appear at times, your decoration for the winter season does not necessarily have to look like this. Here are some time and cost saving, yet pretty alternatives to channel your inner do-it-yourselfer.

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1. Vases filled with salt

As simple as that: fill a glass, bowl or vase (or whatever you come across while trawling your dorm room) with salt and add some branches or baubles to it. If you like to get even more creative, you can also color the salt with chalk beforehand. The vases will look great on shelves or nightstands.

 

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2. Glitter Mason Jars

Glam up your windowsill with flashy mason jars. Generously cover them with glue before dipping them in glitter (available at any dollar store) and let the jars dry for a couple of hours, at least. Finally, light up some tea lights and put them inside of the jars. Same works for old cloth or magazine paper.

 

 

 

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3. Fairy Lights
Make your room the coziest place in the entire dorm by simply adding perfect lighting. Tinker tiny lampshades out of see-through cloth or old table tennis balls, wind them around a string of light and put it on the wall over your bed. You will never want to leave this place again.

 

 

 

 

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4. Paper Snowflakes

Yes, this will remind you of kinder garden, however everything you need in order to turn your dorm window into winter wonderland is already part of a student’s basic equipment: Paper, scissors and adhesive tape. Crafting paper snowflakes is definitely the cheapest, quickest and pottiest way to adorn your student dorm.

 

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5. Cinnamon Stick Candles

Why bother buying scented candles, when you can easily make your own? And not only do they smell good, cinnamon stick candles also add warmth and a cozy charm to your tiny space.

 

 

 

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6. Wine Glass Candles

The ultimate décor for the clumsy and uninspired: wine glass candles. Arranging these will take you the least effort, but will still look pleasingly subtle. Any glass will do, although a wine glass does have its romantic flavour. What really counts here is what you put inside the glass. In case of doubt, fill them with chocolate or other snacks that get you through long study nights.