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Alyssa Grossman

More by Alyssa Grossman

3 College Women Who Had Breast Cancer Share Their Stories


You may already know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What you may not realize is that breast cancer isn’t just for women in their 40s and 50s or older. Her Campus spoke with three young women who prove that this disease does not practice age discrimination.

“Breast cancer is on the rise for younger women,” says Tricia Laursen, director of 15-40 Connection, a cancer advocacy group for the younger – and most overlooked – age groups. Even more alarming, survival rates for ages 15 to 40 have remained relatively stagnant since 1975, as cancer is most aggressive in younger women. 

Many of us push personal health down the priority list, buried underneath homework, extracurriculars, and that oh-so-essential social life. We rationalize that pain or fatigue and when we do pay the doctor a visit, we tend to take his or her diagnosis as the final word rather than trust our own bodies. After all, who doesn't want to hear that they're perfectly healthy? Adrienne, Janice, and Elissa, three college-aged breast cancer sufferers, could have rationalized, too. But they advocated for their health and are likely alive today because of it.

Adrienne Harlow, Purdue University
Diagnosed: Age 19 

Study Smarts: 10 Tips and Tools for Getting Back Into School Mode


“Back to school” may be one of the most dreaded phrases for students of any age – and with good reason. The end of summer means trading in magazines for textbooks, and typing out lecture notes instead of texting friends about beach plans. As college students, we're in our last few years of hearing this phrase, so why not make the most of this time of year and get a head start on making the grade? Whether you're an incoming freshman or going into your senior year, read on for advice and tools that'll make that first month of classes a bit easier.

1. Plan ahead:
Make recording assignments that much nicer by jotting them down in a stylish planner, like this one from Vera Bradley. Somehow, that reminder to study for biology becomes much less threatening inside a pretty patterned agenda. Two other stylish options are the color-a-month Moleskine.

Surprise Exercise: 5 Calorie Burning Activities You Already Do and 5 Routine Tweaks to Burn Even More


Get off that treadmill and listen to this: Sure, it's important to burn calories, but your exercise routine doesn't have to be so... routine. Turns out, there are tons of things we already do that count as mini workouts. So whether you're bored of the gym or don't have that half hour time slot each day to complete those typical calorie burners, we have a list that'll make you feel way more accomplished. Plus, learn how to tweak your schedule to work off even more.
What You're Already Doing:
Walking Upstairs: 10 Minutes
Calories burned: 92
Live on the second, third, or fourth floor of your dorm? Skip the elevator and take the stairs instead. A few trips up each day could be just the thing to counteract those late-night pizza deliveries. For girls who live at the top of their residence halls, try getting off the elevator a few floors early and climbing the rest. Who knows? Maybe you'll make some new 9th floor friends (or a cute guy) on your way to the 12th.
Washing Dishes: 20 Minutes
Calories Burned: 51
Tired of cleaning up after those messy roommates? Well, it's time to look at their dirty dishes as more than a constant frustration. Grab some soap and a sponge and scrub away the calories, and take pride in the secret fact that they may be making the mess, but you're getting the reward. Best of all, everyone gets a dorm or apartment free of grimy cups and dishes.

What Time Of Day Is Best to Work Out?


It's common knowledge that working out daily is a great way to boost your energy and stay in shape, but there may be another, less expected factor to the exercise equation: time of day. Does hitting the gym in the a.m. boost your metabolism? Does a p.m. jog around the neighborhood help you sleep better? Turns out, the answer isn't as straightforward as you may think.
Meet the expert: Jake Lauffenburger is a personal trainer at Work Out World, a New Jersey-based health and fitness club. Prior to training at Work Out World, he was a strength and conditioning coach for college basketball and soccer teams.
The Basic Breakdown:
According to Jake, the best time for you to work out depends on three things:

From Beaches to BBQs: A Pick it or Skip it Guide to Healthy Summer Food


Summertime means boardwalks, beaches, barbecues, and all those high-calorie foods we love that come with them. Before long, we find ourselves trapped between the temptation of a warm-weather treat and the necessity of still looking great come those weekend nights or lazy days spent in a bikini.  Though most would agree that depriving a girl of her Frappuccino or funnel cake all the time is bad news, some simple knowledge could help you enjoy everything the season has to offer while still staying in shape. Read on and snack at your own risk.
At the Boardwalk or Beach

Let's face it: spending a day in the sun works up a serious appetite. Just as your tummy starts to rumble, the scent of fresh cut fries and funnel cake wafts through the air and calls out your name.
The worst choice: Funnel cake averages around 760 calories and some stands offer toppings like sugary fruit preserves or chocolate, making this fried dough even worse (see tastier). Even without the extras, this will be kinder to your taste buds than your bikini body.
Runner-up: French fries. Seven ounces is over 600 calories with 31 grams of fat and 63 grams of carbs. Grab some friends and share the greasy goodness to cut down on calories.
The “on occasion” choice: Caramel apples average around 350 calories, taking into account that the amount of caramel and size of the apple always varies. While there may be fruit inside, you're also getting 5 grams of saturated fat (a quarter of your suggested daily value) and about 80 grams of carbs.

Engaged or Married in College: Four Girls Share Their Stories


So many of us think of college as that time before “the real world” sets in. But what happens when grown-up life and college life combine? Mastering that crucial balance of academics and social life is hard enough. Now, meet four girls who chose to throw engagement or marriage into the mix. All have slightly different stories, but these newly engaged and newlyweds agree on one thing: This is not the average college experience.

Christine Klein, Colorado State University
When Christine and her boyfriend of two years, Rob, went to Disneyland this past March, she had no idea she'd leave with a fiancé. Rob planned ahead and made reservations at a Pirates of the Caribbean themed restaurant, talked to the wait staff ahead of time, and even made a plan with the park coordinator. “The coordinator came over and asked if we wanted her to take a picture of us,” says Christine. “I posed for the picture and as soon as she started taking pictures, he got down on his knee. I was laughing because I had no idea.” Everyone, even riders on a nearby ride started clapping and cheering.
Even though she's only 20 years old, Christine says that she's completely ready for marriage. “We really wanted to live together, but we both come from a conservative background,” she says. Still, she and Rob also know that academics are a top priority. They plan to get married next year while still balancing school.

How to Turn a Guy Down Without Being A B****


As if finding the right guy isn't hard enough, letting down “Mr. Not Quite Right” or even “Mr. Totally Wrong” as nicely as possible is a whole other feat that even the most savvy girl can get tripped up by. Unfortunately, rejection is a necessary part of life. We've all been the victim of it at one point or another, which sometimes makes it even harder to deliver the bad news to someone else. I talked to girls whose approaches range from passive to positively aggressive. Then I talked to an expert on the subject to find out what strategies have the best success rate.
Meet the expert: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is a Psychologist and author of two books: The Truth: (I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything) and Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I'll Tell You Mine ... Maybe. She knows a thing or two about the challenges of growing up, including the daunting task of rejection.
“We do so many unintentional minor hurtful things already,” says Dr. Holstein. “Things that we can think about, we should try to think about.” She believes that the number one guideline when it comes to guys is knowing yourself well enough to navigate any rejection situation with confidence. “Be true to yourself and don't get swept away in the group dynamics,” she says.
That said, read on for the tactics some college girls have executed.
Keep it Short and Keep it Sweet:

Creative Study Techniques That Actually Work


S-T-U-D-Y. This time of year, those five letters are looming over every college student's head. With so much emphasis placed on final exams and projects, it's easy to let that daunting task make you totally crazy. But there is a way to fight back. Whether you've got senioritis or just can't stop daydreaming about summer plans, we've got some equally crazy and innovative tips to help you make the grade.

Savvy Study Tip #1: Reward yourself.

While good grades are a great reward, sometimes you need something more immediate to keep you going.  “Sometimes, if I finish a chapter of a textbook I'm studying from, I'll reward myself with a piece of chocolate or an improv dance session,” says Her Campus writer Aylin Erman. “It keeps things exciting and keeps me motivated.”

Why it works: Colleen Roberts, a tutor at Kumon Learning Center, says that rewards are a great way to keep you going. The idea of indulging after a job well done works for all ages. At Kumon, kids get “money” to spend on prizes if they answer practice questions correctly. And few would argue that chocolate is a pretty sweet reward.

Savvy Study Tip #2: Get hypnotized.

Most people think of hypnosis as a form of entertainment — most hypnosis performances involve making people moo like a cow or act out a scenario for an audience. But hypnosis can actually help boost your GPA.

The Dangers of Texting While Walking: From the Strange to the Life-Threatening


You've heard about the risks of texting while driving. But what about texting while walking? Even the most skilled texter has probably had one or two near run-ins with lampposts, walls, or even parking meters (the parking meter one hits close to home). We wander around campus with our thumbs glued to our cell phone keypads, often completely oblivious to both people and inanimate objects around us. While the average texting-related injury does more damage to our ego than to our physical health, sometimes the stakes are much higher. Most phones allow 160 characters in a text message. Out of curiosity, I timed myself to see how long it takes to write a message of this length. The result? 50 seconds. That is more than enough distraction time to do some serious damage. Yikes.

According to an article on, this past July, Alexa Longueira, a 15-year-old Staten Island girl, fell into a manhole while sending a text. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's own list of serious texting injuries includes a girl who fell off her horse while typing a message and another who tried texting and cooking noodles simultaneously, burning a large portion of her body. Even President Obama's aide, Valerie Jarrett, was too occupied by her Blackberry to notice the curb in front of her. She was so distracted by typing that she fell off a curb in Chicago and twisted her ankle. Stories like these may sound extreme, but they are all too true. Fortunately for us, many of the hidden dangers of texting can also be easily avoided. Read on to see what the experts, and some clumsy students, have to say about the new drunk driving: text walking. (No disrespect to the seriousness of drunk driving of course.)

Hidden Danger #1: Neck, Back, Thumbs, and Wrists

Identity Theft and College Students: Why You May Not Be As Safe As You Think


There's no denying that safety is a hot topic on college campuses everywhere. It's one of the first things parents ask about on tours and only gets more ingrained in our minds once we actually move into the school of our choice. Don't walk alone at night, lock your doors, don't leave valuables in plain sight. All of this is common sense. You're a smart girl. Crime only happens to other people. Well, it's time to face the facts. College students are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to identity theft. You may be thinking, “But I barely have enough money in my bank account to buy a latte, why would anyone ever want to steal the identity of a poor college student?” Well, that attitude is exactly why you're the perfect victim. describes identity theft as “the crime of obtaining the personal or financial information of another person for the purpose of assuming that person's name to make transactions or purchases.” While many credit card companies use humor to promote their identity theft services, like this one from Citibank, this crime is no laughing matter. It often takes years to get your identity back. Though credit card theft is one of the most common forms of this crime, overlooked things such as creating a simple password, leaving documents out in the open, and being overly trusting of companies are all potentially dangerous decisions.

Ask yourself these questions: