Tagged: winter break

Life Hacks: 5 Favorite Life Hacks

By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer

Something nice to have in your dorm via Life Hacks./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Adriana Akrap

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break that was ultimately way too short for my tastes. I spent mine with two crazy adorable little girls, so I can’t say it was too bad. Hopefully you all had equally wonderful vacations.

Does anyone else find it annoying that we have to come back for about two weeks? It’s honestly the worst because I can practically feel winter break, but of course, there are the dreaded finals to worry and stress over.

Instead of giving you all tips and tricks to study better (because let’s face it, if you don’t have the skills to study by now…well, good luck), I’ve been inspired to write about the name of this blog.

I find it extremely ironic that I haven’t written about actual life hacks throughout the course of this series of posts. So, without further ado, here are my top five life hacks that I think are worth mentioning:

1. Scrambled eggs 

For freshman, the only way we can even dream of getting scrambled eggs is by either going to the dining hall or going to the McDonald’s down in Kenmore. I offer you a solution that will let you stay within the comfort of your own dorm.

All you need is a coffee mug, eggs, cheese, milk, and non-stick cooking spray and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. The coffee mug is a staple you should already have in your dorm room, and the salt and pepper can be found in packets at the GSU. Yes, you’ll have to buy the eggs, cheese, and milk but scrambled eggs (I feel as though that’s enough of an explanation).

Bon appetit!

2. Make-shift TV

No TV? Never fear. This one is for those of you who have tablets, or iPhones if you can deal with such a small screen.

Remember those nifty little 3M hooks your mom bought you at the beginning of the year? Take two and stick them on the wall so that your tablet can rest on them and voila! Lay back, relax, and enjoy your favorite TV shows on your new makeshift TV.

If you don’t have the hooks, you can buy them at CVS.

3. Chip bowl

Imagine you have a bag of chips. You get to the point where you’re coating your arm in flavoring because the chips are at the bottom of the bag. What to do.

Of course, there’s a life hack for that. Simply roll the bottom of the bag so that the bag itself becomes a bowl. You can refer to this infographic for more information.

This eliminates the need to get unnecessarily dirty and the need to get a bowl. A win-win situation.

4. Fairy lights

This hack automatically makes me think of Ellie Goulding’s Lights or Peter Pan due to the whimsical look of the jars.

These jars can act as a night light for when you get back to your dorm late at night, when your roommate is sleeping. This will allow you to see where you’re going without waking up him or her up.

Take a mason jar, glow stick and diamond glitter. Cut open the glow stick into the mason jar and sprinkle the diamond glitter in it. Put the cap back on, and shake thoroughly. That’s all there is to it! This is a great alternative to the Christmas lights that most people put up.

5. Dorm-made coffee

Without the coffee maker. That’s right – it is possible to make coffee without a Keurig. Although it does seem primitive in comparison, when you’re broke, you got to do what you got to do. Am I right?

Here are the instructions. The best part? Absolutely nothing about this can get you in trouble with an RA. Get your coffee fix for cheap. You can even make scrambled eggs and have a full blown dorm breakfast.

If you do decide to try these life hacks, let me know how they go!

And there it is, folks – the last post from yours truly for 2013. It’s been wonderful (hopefully) helping you all become savvier young freshmen at BU. Have a wonderful winter break, and hope to see you all in the new year. Don’t go too crazy!


How to score cheap holiday flights

By Amira Francis, Staff Writer

Cheap holiday flights

Money flies during the holiday season/ IMAGE VIA gizmodo.com

It’s almost Christmas time, and with the comforting allure of cookies and presents beckoning, you’re probably excited to hop on that plane or train and high-tail it out of here. You’ve already purchased your tickets home, right? Well, for those of you who haven’t (and I would be among them, if my parents weren’t such life-savers): you’re not out of luck…yet. There is still some time to redeem your ticket-buying habits and there are still methods you can use to knock down the price. Here’s some advice to ensure that you score the cheapest ride home, and a few tips for buying tickets next holiday season.

Prepare to be uncomfortable: You aren’t going to cut costs by resolving to fly first class, at 1 p.m., from the airport nearest to you. You’re going to have to get ready to tough it out. This means compromising: you’re going to sacrifice some sleep, spend some difficult hours catching the T and transferring to airport shuttles, and devote a good chunk of time scouring the internet for inexpensive flights.

Don’t Count on Sleep: The most inexpensive flights are – guess when! Right smack dab in the awkward hours of the night. Whether you’re waking up at 4 a.m. or staying up until 11 p.m. to catch that dumb plane, you’re going to have to drink your double espresso latte, grit your teeth, and bear it. When you’re searching online, those are the times that you should be looking for.

Dismiss Your Hopes of Buying a Direct Flight: The cheaper flights are the challenging ones. If you could fly straight to your paradise-of-a-home in California, that would be too easy (and expensive). Somewhere along the way, you’re going to have to switch flights and undergo the hassle of sprinting from terminal to terminal in an attempt to catch a close connection.

Compromise on Airport Location: Some of the least expensive flights may be a little ways from your starting point and your ending point. It’s going to take a bit more planning, but it might be cheaper in the long-run if you settle for taking a flight that ends up farther away from your destination. You can then search the web for a train or bus ticket that will take you the extra mile, which leads me to my next point…

Get Ready to Comb the Web: Take your web surfing skills to the next level when looking for a flight. Check all travel and airline sites. Be ready to settle for an airline that you don’t normally take. Look at all options: different dates, different times, different cities – even keep an eye out for buying two one-way tickets instead of a round-trip ticket. When looking for a cheap way home, you can’t afford to be picky. You have to be okay with making this a bit of a research project.

I hope these tips help you hook a ticket home for a refreshing break before second semester. Next holiday season, if you have time, try to book your tickets in advance. That way, you can hopefully get the flights you want for the right price. Safe travels!