Category Archives: Lisle Area

Free Movie Night at Ogden 6

What’s better than a free movie on a Friday night!? Well this Friday, November 7th, bring your student ID to the Ogden 6 Movie Theatre to get into any showing after 6pm for free! Also, you can ask for your student drink and popcorn special. (There is also a dollar store near by to stock up on some yummy candy shhh….)

Movies Available:

The Best of Me: 7:15
Fury: 7:00, 9:50
Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible Day: 7:40, 9:35
Dracula Untold: 9:50
The Judge 6:40, 9:40
The Boxtrolls: 6:45
The Equalizer: 9:00
Guardians of the Galaxy: 6:50, 9:30



Shopping on a Budget

As college students, we all know how it is when it comes to money. Budget, budget, budget! Here’s some tips and tricks for shopping smart while looking trendily-fabulous!

– Never buy something full price. There are always coupons in the newspapers and the internet!
– Emailing list will be your best friend. For all the stores you shop at, register with your email online and they will send you deals of the week and coupons.
– Try shopping at places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls where there are name brand items marked down.
– When signing up with your email, make sure to add your birthday if asked because the stores send great coupons just for you on your special day!
– Outlet Mall!
– Always ask for a student discount (never hurts to ask)
– Cyber Mondays, sometimes it is more beneficial to shop online because they have better deals than in the stores.

Great Unknown Vacation Spots!

Most people think of beaches, the ocean, waterparks, and getting tan when the word “vacation” comes up during the summer, but there are quite a few beautiful places in the US that offer amazing sights and even a little culture information.

These cities include, but are definitely limited to the following:

If you are more interested in nature and exploring, rather than laying out and swimming, look into

  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota: This Park is covered in grassy, rocky terrain houses bison and rainbow-colored rocks to explore in its 110 square miles. While North Dakota can be pretty chilly the rest of the year, the summer brings warm temperatures with cool breezes that make taking a hike very pleasant and enjoyable. There are trails to walk, campgrounds to stay at, and even tours that can be given at an additional cost. The cost to enter the park is only $10.00 and admittance lasts for 7 days, which is an ample amount of time to explore quite a bit of its attractions. There are also several locations available for lodging near the park, most of which are very reasonably priced.
  • Assateague Island, Maryland/Virginia: In this little-known beach just outside of Ocean City there are a world of discoveries to be made, whether it is the free-roaming ponies, salt marshes, or the forests. This secluded gem offers little in the way of crowding from the locals or tourists looking to lay out and tan, but offers a lot in the areas of nature and wildlife. Since this park occupies two different states, there are slightly different fees and hours for the different locations, and the Maryland location seems to offer better hours, but both states offer equally beautiful amenities. Camping is offered on the Maryland side of the park and fees range from $16 to $30 depending on the time of year and the amount of people.
  • Lake Chelan, Washington: Visiting this beautiful lake is free of charge, although the amenities that are offered nearby are not. There is a variety of shops, wineries, restaurants, water parks, and so much more down the road from the lake itself. Even in the winter, the lake offers exciting events like sledding down the mountainous terrain.
  • Monhegan Island, Maine: This secluded rocky island is ten miles from mainland and is accessible by boat only, offering a serene and beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life. This out-of-the-way haven offers prime fishing spots and great places to take a breath-taking hike to explore nature, as well as Swim Beach: the only safe place on the island to swim, although the cold waters and rough currents may not appeal to everyone. It is important to understand that the terrain is not easy to hike, the resources of the island are limited, and that it is essential to book boat fare and hotel stays ahead of time. Many people enjoy a short-term visit here in the middle of the summer, but the optimum time to hike the island is either late fall or early spring when there is less of a chance for the mosquitoes, ticks, and poison ivy that threaten every hiker to appear.
  • Barringer Crater, Arizona: If you like a scientific vacation, it is a great opportunity to go see the Crater, even if you are just passing through. During the summer, the visitor center is open 7am to 7pm and offers a great presentation and tour of the crater for $16 dollars (adults),  $15 (seniors), or $8 (children 6-17) with children under 5 having free admission. If you would like to take a longer stay, then there is an RV campground that is offered for various prices depending on the length of stay and amount of people.

If you do love the beach and swimming aspects of going on vacation, look into these hidden gems

  • Orange Beach, Alabama: Orange Beach is a city in Alabama that is a location included in Gulf Shores, but offers four different vacation locations that are covered in sand and ocean water. Three of the beaches offer free parking and one beach (Gulf State Park) has a $6 day-long fee for parking. Two of the beaches have access to restrooms and showers, and all of them offer sights of sea oats, surfing, or relaxing in the sun. Gulf State Park is a natural beach that has many sand dunes and air-conditioned restrooms, as well as private showers, a snack bar, and even a fireplace for the cooler nights. The city’s website even has a live stream video of a Wolfbay Osprey Nest that is being kept warm and ready to hatch, with the parents taking turns sitting!
  • Tybee Island, Georgia: This little area lies at the edge of the Georgia Coast offers various attractions besides the beach and ocean water, including the boardwalk Pier that leads to a beautiful Pavilion, two lighthouses, the Marine Science Center, and several historical sites. There are also activities, and although they do cost money, offer tons of fun and entertainment! These include renting jet skis, bikes, mopeds, going deep-sea fishing, seeing dolphins, and island tours. There are campgrounds and RV parks located on the beach, as well as several nearby housing options for your stay. Also, as one of the top 10 city beaches in America, Tybee also offers wedding services on the pier and on the beach itself.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia: Virginia Beach is actually very similar to Tybee in that it is filled with exciting and fun activities, loads of nearby hotels and resorts, and that there is a long line of stores along the beach for fun-filled days of shopping and being a tourist. Since Virginia Beach is a little more crowded than the other hideaways listed here there is also a larger variety of activities, whether you want to hit up the nearby amusement and water parks or spend time on the water parasailing, surfing, fishing, or lounging on a boat. There are also many options if you are looking for a more reserved vacation or you enjoy learning about culture you can take a stop into one of the local spots that offer a band playing music, visit one of the the many theaters to see a play, get your laugh on at a comedy club, or check out a museum. There are also many festivals during the year, whether it’s the art scene, strawberries, beer, kites, or music there is sure to be something going on that will interest you! And for all of you sporty people, there are sand tournaments in soccer and volleyball, as well as a few locations to go golfing. This is a great spot to go if you want a vacation filled with variety, people, and excitement!
  • Carolina Beach, North Carolina:
  • Perdido Key, Florida: Since “perdido” means lost, you might be able to understand where this getaway got its name a while back. When Florida was occupied by the Spanish, this little strip of sand was hidden for quite a long time from by the Native Americans who originally lived in the area. The average temperature is 75 degrees, is almost always sunny, and can be accessed by a short drive from both Florida and Alabama. With abundant parks and wildlife areas, it is nothing short of simple to get lost in the wonder of the nature, and there’s always the typical dining, shopping, and water activities offered. Places like this seem to offer a quieter and more peaceful vacation than those that have a higher rate of tourism, and it lets you uniquely explore the wildlife of the area.

Overall,  I hope that these are some good ideas if you are looking for a place to travel to this summer, or other  times during the year! With the variety in the types of locations, it is my goal that there is at least one that is tailored to your personal interests and that you find a locations that fits for you.

Have a great summer!

Staying Emotionally Stable

College is so many things: fun, exciting, nerve-wracking, joyful, stressful, annoying, scary, and unpredictable. It’s easy to get swept up in all of the chaos that is college and get blindsided by the stress, but there are several ways to prevent the negatives from outweighing the positives. During the first few weeks in a new school, we do what every other student is trying to do: rush to make friends quickly and easily in the hopes of finding a place where we belong. What many people fail to realize is that having a bunch of superficial friends isn’t enough to get and stay happy because there is no guarantee that these people are going to stay with you for the long journey that is your college career.

Everyone has heard about the devastating suicide of Madison Holleran,which was caused by her feelings of being overwhelmed by classes, despite her active role in athletics and her numerous supportive friends. It is so very easy for stress to get the best of you and to begin feeling like your best efforts just aren’t good enough, but it is important to know that you are important and it is going to be good enough. As said in various reports, she told her parents that she felt extremely pressured by her classes, yet refused the offer to transfer to any other school that could reduce her anxiety. If you are unhappy at your school, seek help from anyone who will give it: friends, a teacher, your coach, or even the school’s psychologist, because getting your emotions under control and having the right mindset is essential to fighting off the thoughts that tell you are done.

In the case of Madison, she did what most students are too scared to, she let her parents know about her change in emotions and thinking. While it seems like the best thing to keep your feelings in, but letting your family know you are struggling is essential to let someone in your family know so that they can get you any help you might need. Madison’s parents offered many things, including a transfer from school, and got her to see a therapist. Unfortunately, despite their great efforts, she chose to go back to the same school, which is where she took her life and left everyone in her life heartbroken.

Most people don’t realize how much they truly impact the lives of those around them, which is what makes people so emotionally unstable in the first place. If you think your friends don’t care, just remember that they might just be going through something themselves or that maybe they be really distracted. That friend who seems happy all the time might just be the same person who relies on your advice and support. If you feel overwhelmed by the expectations of your teachers, it is so easy to go talk to them.

If your problem does have to do with your classes or amount of homework, go visit your teachers during their office hours or send them a quick email and let them know that your are having problems. Teachers really do care about your welfare in their classes and will often work out a plan with you to help you get and stay on track. Teachers are very versatile with meeting your needs and are eager to help you in most ways. If you feel like you aren’t retaining the information, ask about tutoring opportunities and possible meetings with the teacher to go over what you are struggling with the most.

If you are struggling emotionally and feel vulnerable and overwhelmed by everything going on in your life, make sure you talk to someone and get help to resolve any issues you are having.

Why You Live Here

With the weather being the way that it has been lately a common question I have heard people say, and have said myself is: “Why do I choose to live here?!” Yes, the weather sucks outside, more right now than normal, unless you are a Polar bear, this might not be your ideal climate. I want to focus on Illinois’s redeemable qualities.

First off, the most obvious reason, Illinois has Chicago. If you live in the area and have not visited Chicago yet, I really do not know what you are doing with your life. Chicago is so much fun, it might be a bit pricey, so not really an every day thing for a college student, but once and a while it’s defiantly worth it. It has everything that anybody could want. It has Navy Pier, Millennium Park, a beach (which might be sorta lame right now when it’s 25 degrees out but it’s still there), a zoo, wonderful restaurants, theaters, concert venues, and so much more, all compacted into this wonderful city that you can easily spend a day there without being bored for a moment.

I know that when I can see the Willis Tower, that is pronounced “Sears”, I know that I am home.

On the contrary, if you haven’t been to Southern Illinois yet, you need to go. Take a drive south on the highway and get off in a super small town. Me and some friends got rid of the maps and GPS’s for a while and just drove out there and discovered this little town called Mark where only 500 people live, and it was absolutely gorgeous. We found this basketball court and looked at stars and you could see all of them. You cannot do that anywhere near Chicago. It is defiantly a sight to see.

Illinois is a wonderful place when you really think about it. Any place is great actually, it’s really what you make of it. So stop complaining about the crummy weather and find some good friends and make the best of it that you can. You can enjoy Illinois just like any place else, you just have to wear a few more layers.