5 Natural Sunscreens We Love

As an editorial intern for KIWI magazine, this is a piece I did for KIWI’s website suggesting safe and protective sunscreens moms should use, according to the Environmental Working Group.

5 Natural Sunscreens We Love : KIWI magazine5 Natural Sunscreens We Love : KIWI magazine 2

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15 Low-Key Things About Studying Abroad

Though I was studying abroad in London for the spring 2015 semester, I decided to take this amazing opportunity and blog about it for HerCampus. My first post was about the ins-and-outs of living in London. This post here is my reflection of a semester abroad, pointing out 15 things that might not come to mind when you hear ‘study abroad.’

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With this weekend marking only a month left of studying abroad, I’ve been reflecting on my experience. Thinking back to my acceptance and preparation for the best four months of my life, it was actually really stressful! Not only are you packing your life away, you have to register for the right classes and meet new people. Ironically, abroad is a lot like being a freshman again. (Especially when you’re living in a dorm…shoutout to Nido.)

The most stressful thing about packing is making sure you have clothes that are versatile for the different types of weather you’ll experience. You have to make sure you get the right converters so you can charge your phone and not blow up your curling iron (true study, it actually happened.) Stock up on your make up and cleansers because chances are you won’t be able to find it, or it’ll be too expensive.

Then there’s the pressures of being abroad, like seeing everything in the city you’re studying in and traveling to as many countries as possible all while trying not to get homesick from your friends’ Instagrams and SnapStories. I’m already mentally preparing for Quals and Little 500.

So for you people studying abroad, have studied, planning on it or just want some insight, here is a list of 15 underrated things about studying abroad:

1. You’re always tired, hungry and dehydrated

2. WIFI = LIFE

3. You can find a good panini anywhere in Europe

4. If you didn’t Instagram your travels, did it really happen?

5. St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin = an IU day-drink, swapping in green for the cream and crimson

6. If it has a TripAdvisor sticker in the window, it’s a go

7. You always put your travels/experiences over schoolwork: you’re here to see new cities and cultures, not get a 4.0

8. You will wear the same clothes over and over and over again, so much so you will throw them out at the end of your time abroad

9. Eating/drinking your way through Europe is the only way to do abroad right

10. Getting a new stamp on your Passport is actually the best feeling in the world

11. Hola is the reason you’re up-to-date on your American TV shows and can watch Friends on Netflix

12. Your flights to other countries will only be at the most awkward times ever. Thank you Ryanair and EasyJet for giving us cheap flights at the worst possible times.

13. Remember your best friend from high school’s boyfriend’s teammate’s camp friend? You will run into he/she at a pub crawl. Or Abroadfest #Opium

14. Abroad is a bunch of weekend vacations within a semester-long vacation

15. It’s sappy, it’s cliche, but it’s true: you really do grow as a person

Then suddenly you only have a month left and you’re sitting in your room with your roommate depressed, reliving the last three months like it happened years ago. Because whether you’re nailing your British accent in London, eating your way through Florence, partying it up in Barcelona, getting super tan in Tel Aviv, enjoying summer in Australia or freezing your butt off in Prague, these low-key things only partially make up a semester we’ll never forget.

P.S. A HUGE shoutout to parents everywhere: the real MVPs.

Online Etiquette Tips

As a contributing writer for the Ed2010 branch at Indiana, Ed@IU, I wrote a piece on proper online etiquette from e-mails to Facebook posts. Here is another article I wrote for Ed@IU on fashion editors to follow.

EdIU

Our lives are like the movie The Truman Show–everyone is constantly watching us. Okay, not always, but with the social media boom of Twitter, Facebook, and of course e-mail, people have the ability to watch others easily.

This is the case for our future employers, Edsters. We have all been told to keep an eye on our Facebook page, what we tweet and Instagram, and how we come off via e-mail to others. It is important to watch what we do on social media because in the end, you may not have a job because of it. Here are some helpful tips on proper social media and e-mail etiquette!

Social Media:

Facebook and Twitter:
We’re all addicted, even our grandparents. Especially being a college student, it is easy to let a picture be posted that contains red solo cups or beer cans. Sometimes, even a bad wall post or tweet can happen. Here are some things you can do to avoid bad Facebook and Twitter etiquette:

1. Don’t have any illegal activity
If you’re underage and have a red solo cup in a picture, it is a red flag for employers. You could always argue, “You don’t know what’s in the cup,” but we all know. I suggest you go through your FB photos and just untag yourself from the pictures that contain illegal activity. It’ll only benefit you in the end! For Twitter, read through all of your tweets and delete the unnecessary ones. Have Tweets that have purpose and reflect your personality and thoughts.

2. Privacy Settings
Change them! My FB profile is on private, which ultimately makes me feel safe in the end. This way, you can make certain things public to others, like major accomplishments, blogs you post, or videos you share that mean something to a possible employer. Set your Twitter on private if you feel the need to as well.

3. No Negative Content
Please, don’t do this. Don’t mouth off any employers or friends or anything! (Aka, no subtweeting!) If you have a problem, take it up with that individual directly. No prospective employer wants to see this.

E-Mail:
E-mails can sometimes seem like a text message, but I like to think of them as a professional text message. I cannot tell you how many times my professors have called out students for e-mailing teachers and AI’s in an unprofessional way. Here’s some helpful tips that you can use while e-mailing teachers, future employers, and even family and friends:

1. The Subject Line
Never leave the subject line blank. When people check their e-mails, the subject line is the first thing that they see. Have a clear and direct subject line that tells the receiver of the e-mail what it is about.

2. Dear (insert here),
Start off the e-mail with the person’s professional name, like “Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc. Never use a person’s first name. Using the person’s first name makes the e-mail seem informal and makes you seem sloppy.

3. Keep It Brief
Do not write an essay for your e-mail! Keep it short and to the point. This way, you will come off as someone who knows what they want and you won’t waste anyone’s time.

4. Sincerely,
Always have an ending. Simple ones are sincerely, from, thank you, etc. Once you do this, sign your full name, not just your first name!

Want to learn a bit more? Here’s an article Real Simple posted about social media etiquette!

-Hannah Lavine

6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Spring Break at Home

My first post for Her Campus IU was in the spring of my freshman year. As an alternative for the cliché spring break of partying, I gave readers six ideas of how to make the most of their spring break.

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6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Spring Break at Home

Posted  Mar 14 2013 – 01:18pm

Is it just us, or did the first half of this semester fly by? It feels like we just got back from winter break a few week ago and already it’s spring break! I mean… we’re not complaining though and we’re sure you’re not either. It comes to a point where we all just need a break, whether that’s getting your tan on in Florida, or chilling on your couch back at home.

While a lot of you are enjoying spring break on a beautiful beach somewhere (lucky you) some of us are choosing to spend our spring break at home with our dogs, home-cooked meals, and a spot on the couch in front of the TV. If you’re looking to spice up your spring break at home, we’ve got some ideas for you! Spring break is a time to relax, catch your breath for a bit, and do things you normally wouldn’t do! Here are some things you could do while you’re relaxing at home:

1. The Mani/ Pedi

It’s been a while since you’ve had your nails done, and in the words of Karen from Mean Girls, “my nail beds suck!” Getting your nails done at College Mall isn’t the most glamorous of all places to go. So naturally one of the first things on your list is to grab a Starbucks, and then head to the nail salon. Spring is right around the corner, so choose something fun and flirty, like mint green, peach, or jade! Not to mention, these colors go well with all skin tones. Another hot accessory for your nails is nail art! The chevron and floral prints are so on trend this season, and you can never go wrong with adding some sparkle on the ring finger for some extra style. Though color doesn’t matter, it’s always smart to have your nails cared for and manicured to perfection. And who knows, maybe mom and dad could pay.

2. Splurge!

Spring break is the perfect time to catch up on your wardrobe. We’re at that awkward stage in between winter and spring, but it’s the perfect opportunity to shop for some cute clothes and accessories for spring. This spring, we’re excited for stripes to be back in style, pops of red, the chevron pattern, and the peplum. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to mix and match winter and spring styles… a sweater with shorts and combat boots and don’t put that infinity scarf away just yet! Not only will it look adorable, but it’ll save you some cash.

3. Try something new!

Grab some of your friends that are also home for break and make plans to do something fun and new! Road trip to somewhere you’ve never been, start a new television series, see a new movie at the theater, or go mini golfing. Spring break is a week of nothingness to some people, and you don’t want to become a couch potato the whole entire time. On our to-do list? We plan to see the new movie 21 And Over, it looks hilarious and it doesn’t hurt that the guys are adorable!

4. Finish that…

…thing you want to do! From organizing your closet to finishing that scrapbook of senior year to finally reading that book… quit putting it off and get to it. Now is time to add those checks on your to-do list. Summer consists of catching up with friends, lying in the sun, and working, so why not enjoy the time you have now to finish an activity. Choose one to two things you want to finish up and do it because now is the time.

5. Plan for summer

Some people have it figured out and some don’t, but that is ay-okay. Now is the perfect time to settle down and figure out what you want to do this summer. You can figure out if you want a job or a volunteer opportunity, or even plan for the future. I mean, how else are you going to afford those cute sandals you’ve been eyeing?

6. Daycation

What is a daycation you may ask? Well, it is a day where you take a vacation. Go to a neighboring town you may have never been to and see what’s there! Walk around the town, go into different shops, and just enjoy a day out of your hometown. It’s fun to experience new things with your family or friends, so why not? Besides, I’ve never heard of anyone who would turn down a roadtrip!