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Alicia Thomas

More by Alicia Thomas

How to Create a Personal Website for Your Career

4/11/2014

By now, you’ve mastered the art of the résumé, perfected your LinkedIn profile, and maybe even started your own blog, so clearly you’re on the path to success. But on top of all of those awesome professional tools, should you have a personal website, too? 

To Make a Site or Not to Make a Site?

Creating a personal website is becoming increasingly common among college students, especially those in more creative fields like communications, photography, film, music, or art. Collegiettes looking to show off their skills tend to be advocates of creating personal websites. 

Sara*, a student at Kenyon College, has a personal website that includes a homepage with a narrative introduction, a PDF of her resume, some writing clips, her LinkedIn page, her Twitter page, and a link to email her directly.

“I purchased the domain for three years for a little under $200,” Sara said. “To be honest, I had no concept of whether or not that was a good price, I just felt I was making an investment in myself.” 

Sara said her website has been extremely effective—in fact, she has already been hired because a company viewed her website! “I did not even reach out to them,” she said. “I’m graduating in just over a month and highly recommend having a website to any college senior who feels they can have one.” 

5 Signs You’re In An Unhealthy Relationship

4/2/2014

You’ve probably known someone—whether it was a roommate, a sorority sister, or even your best friend—who just wouldn’t leave that jerk of a boyfriend. He kept treating her like crap, controlled her every move, and made her feel horrible about herself. Or maybe you were that someone. Either way, it’s clear that although we all grow up dreaming of that picture-perfect relationship with a guy who loves and supports us unconditionally, that’s not always the kind of relationship that we end up in. Here are a few signs that can help you determine whether the relationship that you’re in right now is downright toxic.

1. You’re obsessed with each other

It’s natural to wonder what your boyfriend is doing when he’s away from you. It’s unnatural to text him, Facebook message him, call him, and leave him four voicemails asking him exactly what he is doing at this very moment. While the two of you should have a part of your life dedicated to each other, you should also have (much larger) parts of your lives dedicated to yourselves.

It’s not always girls who are the obsessive ones, either—sometimes guys are the ones freaking out about where you are and whom you’re with.

“I had a friend on my abroad program this past fall that was in an unhealthy long-distance relationship, and I could tell because it was interfering with her everyday life,” says Jessica* from Skidmore College. “She always declined exploring the city or going out at night because she felt guilty if she didn't go home and Skype her boyfriend. Once, after she decided to stay out for dinner with us, her boyfriend even messaged another girl on the trip (whom he'd never met) and asked for her number so he could call her if he ever needed to know where his girlfriend was! After all of that controlling and guilt-tripping, he ended up cheating on her. It really took over (and took away from) her time abroad.”

6 Creative Ideas for a Date Night In

3/27/2014

Whether you’re unwilling to venture out into the chilly winter weather or you don’t have the money to blow on a fancy date night, there are some nights that you and your guy just don’t want to leave your cozy dorm or apartment. The next time you’re feeling a date night in but you want to do something more exciting than sit on the couch watching a few hours of TV, try one of these date ideas instead!

1. Be a Gamer

Guys associate video games with chilling out with their bros, so if you can pick up a controller and hold your own against him, it’ll be a major turn-on! Whether you’re playing Call of Duty on Xbox or you’re going old school with some Mario Party on the N64, if you can hit the right buttons, you’re in for a great night. Get some guy foods—wings, pretzels, chips, etc.—and show him that you’re just as much fun as a night with his friends! (Bonus: he gets to kiss you after the game’s over!)

2. Give Each Other Massages

Actually going out to the spa is crazy expensive, so why not get all of the pampering of a spa treatment in your own living room? All you need is to pick up a little massage oil from your local drugstore, put on some relaxing music, and light a few candles. Then melt his troubles away—but make sure he melts yours away, too! Check out this tutorial to become a master masseuse in time for your date night in.

3. Get in the Kitchen

Should You be an RA? The Perks & Pitfalls of Life as a Resident Assistant

3/27/2014

As spring semester draws to a close, you realize it’s time to figure out where you’ll live for the upcoming school year. So what’s it going to be? Renting an apartment with all of your friends and ignoring your weeping bank account? Or the sub-par supplemental dorm room, which may not be ideal, but is at least affordable?

It’s at this point that some of you smart cookies might snap your fingers as you realize—wait a minute!—RA’s get free room and board! That settles it. You’ll become an RA, and your housing woes will be no more. But hold your horses, collegiettes, because there’s a lot more to being an RA than just a free single room all to yourself.

Being a Resident Assistant is seriously time-consuming, and has the potential to be extremely difficult if you’re not in it for the right reasons (i.e., if you’re doing it to get the free housing). However, there are also a lot of things about being an RA that make the job an amazing experience! Before you sign up, make sure you know exactly what the position will involve:

1. You’re expected to be in your room pretty much all the time.

Excluding the time you spare for classes.  And the time you set aside for your extracurricular activities, although you’re not able to get as quite as involved on campus as you might want to, since your responsibility as a Resident Assistant is supposed to be your principal out-of-class activity. Any activity that could take you away from that needs to be approved by the RA coordinator before you sign up to join. Besides that, you can’t take any impromptu road trips when you’re supposed to be on shift, and any vacation time needs to be pre-approved by the RA coordinator way in advance.

10 Easy Ways To Make Money Over Spring Break

3/3/2014

Whether you didn’t go out of your way to make any money this semester or you just didn’t save the money you already had very well (even though there are so many smartphone apps that you could use to help you do so!), there’s a good possibility that your bank account isn’t looking quite as plump as you’d like it to. Don’t fret! If you’re not able to go away somewhere warm and sunny with your friends over spring break, here are a few super easy ways that you can fill up your wallet while you’re home over your mid-semester vacation instead.

1. Get on eBay

There’s a good chance that when you put together all of the stuff you have in your dorm and all of the stuff you have at home, you’ve somehow managed to accumulate a lot of things you don’t need. Instead of letting that stuff collect dust under your bed or stay shoved in the back of your closet, you could sell it on eBay like Bentley junior Christina Scandole. “I sell clothing, so jeans, shirts, skirts, dresses, et cetera,” Christina says. “Between my mom, myself, and my sister, we have tons of clothes that we don't want or that don’t fit.” You could sell items like this at a lower cost than retail stores—maybe pricing a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans at $15 when they would cost $40 at the mall—to make money off of them instead of leaving them untouched in your dresser drawer.

6 Ways to Make Your Job Application Stand Out

2/19/2014

You’ve learned time and time again what you’re supposed to write in a cover letter, how you’re supposed to structure your resume, and why you should get a LinkedIn account. The problem is, everyone else has learned those things, too.  Eventually every application is going to start to blend together in your prospective employer’s mind, so you need to make yourself stand out in comparison to the rest of the candidates.  Here’s how.

Tailor Your Resume

Though it makes perfect sense that you would have one professional, generalized resume on tap, that resume isn’t the one that you should be sending to companies along with your internship application. Instead, take a look at the internship posting and read over the description a second time to see what qualities and skills the company wants in prospective interns.

Take some time to compare what you have on this general resume to what the employer is looking for. Then think back on your past experiences in other positions to see when you may have exemplified a quality that they’re interested in.

“If you have strong organizational skills, a bullet point on your resume could read: ‘Created Excel database to track new client contacts resulting in a 15% increase in monthly sales goals,’” says Brianna McMeekin, a Career Consultant at the University of Pittsburgh. “The point is to be specific and clearly demonstrate the skills that you will bring to the company.”

What To Do When You Get Multiple Internship Offers

2/15/2014

Once you craft a perfect resume and a kickass cover letter that you’re sure internship coordinators will love, it’s pretty common to send the two out as bait to several potential companies to ensure that you’re able to reel in at least one internship. But what happens if more than one company takes the bait?

Michelle Lewis, HC's Senior Editor and a recend graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, faced this sticky situation her sophomore year.  She applied for three summer journalism internships, but since she had heard about how hard it was to get an offer, she didn’t get her hopes up.

“I interviewed for one position, and somehow during the interview when the editor was giving me a tour of the office, she started presenting me as ‘our new summer intern’ ...Even though I hadn't technically accepted the position,” says Michelle.

But Michelle was so excited to get an internship offer that she didn’t bother correcting the editor—or letting her know that she had applied for internships elsewhere as well. This didn’t work out well when Michelle was offered both of the other positions that she had applied for, one of which was her dream internship.

Making the Choice

Michelle was lucky enough to know which of the three internships she wanted the most, but what if you don’t know how to decide which of the opportunities you’ve been presented with is best for you?

Valentine’s Day Quotes: 27 Cute Things to Write to Your Valentine

2/6/2014

If you’ve ever tried to Google “Valentine’s Day quotes” to find something heartfelt to write inside of a card, then you know that most of the cheesy lines a search engine spits at you about “true love” are gag-worthy. Here are a few sweet nothings you can scribble in a love letter to your guy that won’t make him feel incredibly awkward.

If You’re Just ‘Talking’

You’re not dating yet, so you don’t want to come on too strong—so use one of these cheesy pick-up lines to make him smile.

1. “If you were a Transformer, you’d be Optimus FINE.”

2. “On a scale of one to ten, I’d give you a nine—and I’m the one you need!”

3. “Are you a banana? Because I find you a-peel-ing.”

4. “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”

5. “Are you a kleptomaniac? Because you just stole my heart.”

6. “Good thing I brought my library card, because I’m checkin’ you out.”

7. “If you were on paper, you’d be what they call ‘fine print!’”

8. “Do you have a band-aid? Because I skinned my knee when I fell for you.” 

If You’re Dating

He asked you to be his girlfriend. You’re having a great time together, and you care about each other a lot—but you haven’t said the “L” word yet. Stick to these lines to show him how you feel without saying more than you mean to.

9. “You should be kissed, and often, by someone who knows how.” –Gone With The Wind

7 Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas

2/4/2014

It’s so hard to come up with a plan for Valentine’s Day that doesn’t lean too far on the side of “we’re just friends hanging out” but doesn’t overstep the “we’re remaking a scene from a Hallmark movie” line. Here are a few V-Day ideas that are just the right amount of romantic.

- Go ice-skating! Get all bundled up and bring along thermoses of hot chocolate to enjoy after hanging onto each other for dear life for a few laps around the rink.

- Go on a picnic—but instead of braving the frigid February weather, lay down a blanket in your living room. Light some candles, cook a great meal, and enjoy your indoor adventure!  

- Since no one actually makes mixtapes anymore, create a playlist of songs that remind you of your sweetheart and put it on a flash drive. Bonus points if it’s a cute flash drive like this heart-shaped one!

- Instead of texting or iMessaging him your deepest sentiments, write them out in a poem or a love letter. He’ll love knowing that you care about him enough to actually sit down and pen your feelings for him, and it’s something he can keep for a long time.

- Pamper each other! Pick up some oil and candles, put on that Valentine’s Day playlist you made, then have a romantic night in giving each other sensual massages. It will make for a night he’ll never forget!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes For Two: How to Cook a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner

2/2/2014

Rather than brave the Valentine’s Day rush at a fancy-schmancy (read: overpriced) restaurant out on the town, you and your sweetheart have decided to stay at home for a much more personal V-Day dining experience.

While he’s thrilled that you’ll be serving him a tasty home-cooked meal, you’re frantically scrolling through your boards on Pinterest trying to find a recipe quick and easy enough for you not to mess up, but delicious enough that he’ll believe that you’re a master in the kitchen.

Have no fear- here’s an incredibly simple recipe for a perfectly scrumptious Valentine’s Day dinner for two that will make him want to kiss the chef!

The Appetizer: Bruschetta

This appetizer is almost universally loved, incredibly easy to make, and you can eat it with your hands—how sensual!

Ingredients

1 French baguette cut into 3/4 inch slices
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 can (14.5 oz each) petite diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions