If you are like me, the next 2-3 weeks of school will be the most stressful time of the semester. Professors like to cram every important thing that is due for the week before finals, which means the word relaxation is no longer in your vocabulary until winter break. On top of that, finals are coming up soon AND the weather is becoming chillier by the day. So what’s the solution to all of this stress? Delicious food. Here are some easy comfort foods and drinks you can whip up to warm your belly and your heart (and maybe take the stress away for a moment).
Pumpkin Chili (or any chili): This recipe is easy because all you really need to do is throw all the ingredients into one pot. Using ground turkey in the chili is a healthier option to ground beef (so you can eat more of it.) The pumpkin adds extra flavor, smoothness, vitamins, and is perfect for the season.
Hot Chocolate: This one is pretty obvious, but there are ways you can spice it up to make it even more comforting. I like to add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg for a cozier flavor. Also, my roommate and I discovered that putting in a little bit of flavored coffee creamer (pumpkin spice, French vanilla, peppermint, etc.) is the easiest way to make delicious flavored hot chocolate.
Minestrone Soup: In my opinion, this is the soup of all soups. Its filled with tons of healthy vegetables and beans so your body will thank you for eating it. Not only is it healthy, but it’s delicious and filling in all of its Italian glory.
Lasagna: You can’t go wrong with a good lasagna. its filled with melty, delicious cheese and hearty meat sauce. All you need is ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, ground beef, and shredded mozerella. Cook frozen spinach and add it to the ricotta mixture so you can get your vegetables in.
Grilled Cheese & Tomato soup: This is the definition of comfort food. It’s like a hug in food form. And there’s tons of ways you can spice it up. Add some ham or turkey to your grilled cheese for extra protein. For an Italian grilled cheese, use provolone or mozarella cheese and add spinach.
Apple Crisp: Definitely one of easiest, coziest desserts out there. Not to mention it will leave your kitchen smelling like heaven. And its healthy if it has apples in it right? 😉
Remember that your mental health is always more important than your school work. Hopefully these foods can help you to relax and put things back into perspective.
Tis’ the season for getting plump!
You will give so many presentations in college that hopefully they will become second nature to you. If you’re not a fan of them, unfortunately for you, there is no avioding them. As an aspiring teachers, I have had to learned to embrace presentations as a way to practice being comfortable in front of a classroom. Being able to present and speak in public is an incredibly valuable skill. I’ve put together a few tips to make your presentations run smoother.
- DON’T READ OFF YOUR SLIDES (notes, board, etc.). Biggest pet peeve ever. Your audience can read! They will fall asleep if you don’t give them new information to listen to.
- Look at the class. Looking at the class instead of your presentation will make you appear more confident and will keep your listeners be more engaged.
- Keep PowerPoints short. Your PowerPoint is just there as a visual aid. Loading it with words and information just makes it visually unappealing and overwhelming to readers. Supplement what is on your PowerPoint wtih your own words.
- Speak Slow, Move Around. If you tend to get nervous for presentations, you also probably tend to speak fast. This will run you short on time and make you hard to follow. Take a deep breathe before you begin each sentence to make sure you don’t rush through it. Also, moving during your presentation, even if it’s just your hands, will keep your audience engaged and help keep your energy up.
- Look Spiffy. If you like nice, you will feel more confident. If you feel more confident, you will present better. Simple as that. Your audience will also admire how great you look.
- Speak naturally. This is hard to do when you’re in front of a large group of people, but it’s the best way to come across like you know what you are talking about. Someone who is stiff does not look like they are comfortable with the material they are presenting.
No one is a perfect presenter and it is certainly not expected of you to sound like a world leader when you get up to speak. However, you can always refine your skills. The best advice I can give is to be the person presenting that you would want to listen to if you were in the audience.
Good luck and I’m routing for you!
Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to know that you made a positive impact on Benedictine’s campus? That something you helped to change on campus will help those who attend Benedictine long after you graduate? For some, this might seem like too difficult of an effort to even try. However, it’s much easier than you think. Here are some things you can do around campus that will have a long-lasting effect.
- Start a club! Are you passionate about a hobby or topic and want to share it with your community? Benedictine is famous for having ambitious students who want to start clubs in order to change the world around them. With some paperwork and a few presentations, you can start something that will benefit the Benedictine community for years to come. Recently, two of my teammates are in the process of starting a Theatre Club and a Feminist Club. Both of which would bring something new and exciting to our campus.
- Start a petition! Don’t like the way something is done at Benedictine? It doesn’t have to stay that way! A petition with enough signatures cannot be ignored. Maybe you are like my friend who wants to start a petition to make Benedictine a smoke-free campus or a petition to make more parking spots for commuters. You can help change your community with just a signature.
- Do research! Ask your professor about working with them on a current research study. The findings from these studies can end up on the walls of campus and contribute to our schools outstanding representation for research. You can also share it with the community and, who knows, maybe save a life.
- Talk positively about our campus. This is the easiest thing you can do to help our campus. The more you talk positively about out campus to individuals you come across outside of school, the more people take us seriously. With this positive word out there, we will attract better students and better donors to give even better resources to our school.
- Give your recommendations to Student Senate. Don’t disregard them when they ask for suggesstions. They have the power to help change the things you want altered on campus.
- Talk to Food Services. Don’t like some of the food options at Krasa or Coal Ben? Want healthier options or more variety in what you eat? Talk to Food Services on 2nd floor Krasa and give them suggestions so that future students won’t have to suffer with bad food.
The great thing about our small campus is that making a difference is easy. In our close community, you can make changes that have a long lasting effect.
People tend to severely underestimate the pure awesomeness of Halloween movies. They provide just the right amount of fun and fright. They can also be ridiculously cheesy, but that’s what them so fun to watch. This is a great excuse to take a break from homework and have a movie night with your friends. Halloween movies come in all shaped and sizes, so I have taken the opportunity to separate them by category for you.
Fun Halloween Movies!
- Hocus Pocus*
- Casper the Friendly Ghost
- Halloweentown (1, 2 and 3)
- The Addam’s Family
- Edward Scissorhands
- Harry Potter Movies
- Ghost Busters
Animated Halloween Movies!
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- The Corpse Bride
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Scary Halloween Movies!
- The Shining
- The Exorcist
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- Cabin in the Woods
These movies should all be accompanied by a halloween treat and big fuzzy blankets. And a few friends as well. You’re never too busy for a halloween movie!
One of the many advantages of being an upperclassmen on campus is that your living arrangements tend to improve significantly. Gone are the days where you have to share showers with your entire floor in a building filled with only one gender. As a junior here, I have lived in Jaeger Hall, Neuzil Hall, and now currently am residing in Founder’s Woods. This means I have seen it all in terms of Benedicitine living situations. Many students wonder if it is worth it to make the jump into the apartments their junior and senior year. Here are some things that could help you make your decision.
- Founder’s is a VERY significant update from Neuzil. If you don’t know already, Neuzil is one of the oldest buildings on campus. This means that not everything is up-to-date, especially the bathrooms. Also, instead of sharing a bathroom with 4 other people, In Founder’s only 2 people share one. You also share a washer with only 4 other people, not an entire building.
- You will have a further walk. One blessing of Jaeger is that you are right in the middle of campus and and have a 5 minute walk basically to anywhere you need to go. Founder’s is located in the back of campus, so Kindlon and Birck are fairly short walks, but Scholl and Rice could take you a while. This means athletes like myself need to plan ahead and give themselves more time to get to practice.
- You will need to learn how to cook! Most people who live in Founder’s do not get a meal plan with their tuition because each apartment is equipped with a very nice kitchen to cook with. This could be a problem if you don’t know how to shop for groceries and what to do to make a meal with those groceries. You will have electric burners and an oven, a microwave, a sink, dishwasher, and cabinets and drawers for storage. Some apartments choose to make a cooking schedule (each person chooses a night to cook dinner for eveyone). This can save you money. But, if your roommates all have varying diets like mine, you might just choose to make your own food. You DO NOT get a kitchen garbage can, so buy one. I recommend splitting up the kitchen utensils and necessities amoung your roommates. (One person bring silverware, another plates and bowls, another pots and pans, another tin foil and tupperware, etc.)
- Alcohol Permit. If three out of four members of your apartment are 21 and over, you have the option of obtaining an alcohol permit so that those who are over 21 may drink in the apartment. The cost for this permit is about 100$ or 25$ per person.
- It will cost you a little more. Founder’s is a little under a $1,ooo more than the freshman dorms and around $500 more than Neuzil. However, this balances out if you don’t get the meal plan associated with the dorms, which is $1,340. So, if you are a smart shopper and can cook on a budget, you can actually save money by living in Founder’s. Washing and drying is also free and is conveniently placed in the kitchen behind a door.
- Mail is different. You will no longer have a mailbox in the basement of Krasa. Instead, your small mail will be placed in the clubhouse in your mailbox and everything must be addressed differently. Packages are still picked up from Krasa mailroom just as before.
Hopefully this information will help you decide whether Founder’s is right for you! I know my experience has been a positive one thus far.