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rachelkossman@hercampus.com

More by rachelkossman@hercampus.com

Her Story: I Quit My Job To Travel Around South America

8/10/2014

Over the last four weeks, I have straddled the equator line, zip-lined through a rainforest on the edge of the Amazon and climbed to 15,780 feet above sea level on Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. I took 80 hours of intensive Spanish, learned how to make Ecuadorian soup with shrimp and plantain "meatballs" and had my first fluid and coherent conversation in another language.

But six months ago, I was sitting in a cubicle at a desk job in relative misery, anxious, heartbroken and depressed. So let me start from the beginning.

I went to college at Northeastern University, a school I immediately fell in love with because of its co-operative education program: an opportunity to spend six months working full-time in your field in between academic semesters. As an avid writer with my heart set on a journalism career, I knew the key to success in my field was gaining all the clips and experience I could get.

So over five years, I participated in three co-ops – at a small neighborhood newspaper, an IT media company and for The Boston Globe’s Boston.com. On the side, I co-founded and helped run the Northeastern chapter of Her Campus and was in charge of the extensive tour guide program at my university. I was career-driven and determined to write as much as I could. I even gave up a traditional semester abroad (which I was dying to do) because I wouldn't have been able to interview for a senior year co-op position.

As the end of my college years loomed, I used my co-op connections to my advantage and started a job immediately after graduation at TechTarget, the IT media company where I'd done my second co-op. A few months later, a nightlife blogging position opened at Boston.com, and I took the blog on as my second job.

15 of the Craziest College Clubs

8/22/2013

Always wanted to go skydiving on the weekends? Have a hankering to wear a clown nose around campus? Are you an avid, but closeted, squirrel fan? While getting involved in normal school clubs like student government and the university newspaper may be your initial thought when you land on campus in the fall, why not branch out and join the weirdest club you can find? Every college student is unique, and these student organizations at universities across the country sure fit with that adjective.
Check out this list of some of the quirkiest college clubs we could find!

1. Happiness Club – Northwestern University

Always smiling? Always the perkiest one in your friend group? Glass half full type of girl? If you’re going to Northwestern, you’re in luck! The happiness club’s main mission is to spread happiness across campus in simple ways. They chalk streets, post funny pictures and give out free lemonade and hugs. It doesn’t get much better than that! Check out this great article about the club!  

2. Squirrel Club - University of Michigan

“The University of Michigan campus has some really big squirrels—like HUGE—and some students started a Squirrel Club to feed the squirrels peanuts every week,” explained Sarah Smith, a University of Michigan student and Her Campus writer. The group even had "Michigan Squirrels" t-shirts created in the same style as an athletic team, which drastically increased their popularity. Heading to the great lakes next year? Check out the club’s website.

10 More Easy Ways to Save Money in College

4/11/2013

 

 We get it—you're living on a tight budget. So when we presented 10 incredibly easy ways to save money in college, it's no surprise that they were incredibly popular. So in order to help you out even more, we've put our brains together to come up with another 10 ways you might not have thought of to keep your hard-earned money safely in your bank account. Check out our list of ideas, and comment at the end with yours! 

1. If you're going out, look for Happy Hours and After Work Specials

Here in Boston, Happy Hours are technically illegal because Massachusetts doesn't allow sales on discounted alcohol, but that doesn't stop my friends and I from scrounging the city for discounted food and drink deals. You're in college — going out with friends is important and incredibly common at our age. If you don't want to skip on bonding with your friends, suggest heading to a place that offers half price appetizers or discounted drinks between certain hours. From big chains like P.F. Chang’s and McCormick & Schmick’s to local pubs and bars, you're bound to find at least one place that'll let you eat and drink for cheap.

10 Easy Ways To Save Money in College

2/24/2013

 

 You’re a collegiette—you know what it’s like living on a tight budget. Between classes, schoolwork, internships, sports games and club meetings (not to mention dating and spending time with your girlfriends) it’s hard to find time to fit in a part-time job. And even if you do have some income, you’re probably only making minimum wage for a handful of hours every week. If you’re lucky, your parents throw you a few extra bucks here and there, but for the most part, living on a college girl’s budget is quite the challenge. So if your New Year’s resolution is to spend less, or if you’re simply saving up for your next big purchase, here are some incredibly easy ways to ensure your bank account balance doesn’t hit zero anytime soon!

1. Budget!

10 Ways To Stay Fit At Your Internship

6/8/2012

As a collegiette™, you spend your day running — literally and figuratively! — in between classes, meetings and your dorm room most of the year. Without even thinking about it, small bits of exercise find a place in your daily routine while at school. But as an intern, you’ll be sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day and the most exercise you’ll find yourself getting will be your two daily trips to the bathroom or water fountain.  

Not to mention when you're working full-time, it's easy to fall out of the habit of exercising. Dragging yourself out of bed at 7 AM five days a week is difficult enough, and even though work isn’t physically exhausting, a full day can certainly drain you in ways you wouldn't expect. So it's understandable that when you get home from work the last thing you want to do is throw on your gym shoes and go for a run — and getting to the gym at 6 AM isn’t exactly appetizing either.  

Here are some great suggestions for how to get in those bits of exercise while you’re stuck in an office full-time. 

1. Avoid public transportation and walk! 

If you're anything like me and hate walking in the cold, summer is the perfect time to take advantage of this easy trick. If you choose to walk one way to work each day or even just once or twice a week you're getting some serious exercise in without making an extra trip to the gym. After all, collegiettesTM are all about multitasking! 

The Right Time of Year to Apply For Jobs & Internships in Different Fields

3/9/2012

Applying for jobs can be an incredibly daunting task. As a collegietteä, you’re more than likely balancing a full course load, a part-time job or internship, your sorority or student groups, not to mention trying to maintain a social life. Now that it’s time to apply for that full-time job or internship, you’ve got to add adjusting your resume, writing cover letters and preparing for interviews to your already long to-do list.  

As if to add to the confusion, different industries have a wide variety of timelines when it comes to the application process. "The nature of the beast is that different industries hire at different paces," explained Maria Stein, director of university career services at Northeastern University.

Check out this basic guide for young women searching for jobs in a wide range of job industries.

Business, Finance, Engineering & Computer science

Review: "101 Things To Do Before You Graduate"

5/24/2011

Every collegiette™ should have a to do list. But I'm not talking about the type that breaks down your class assignments and all of the odds and ends you need to get done by the end of the week. I'm talking about a life to do list - a giant list of all the things you want to accomplish in your lifetime.

"101 Things To Do Before You Graduate" is a guide based on exactly this concept. Broken down into sections that vary from "Academic" to "Personal Growth," authors Patricia Hudak and Jullien Gordon offer up 101 goals to accomplish before you walk across the stage and get your diploma.

Some items, like "ask a question in class" or "go to office hours," you will have done without even thinking to write them down. Others, like "interview your elders" or "buy your own domain name" are valuable suggestions you may not realize are helpful until years down the line.

The introduction texts can be a bit preachy - I don't need a book to tell me that I shouldn't party or sleep until noon, I am in college after all. It's perfectly reasonable for a young woman to go out and have a good time with her girlfriends on the weekends while at the same time keeping a balance and being responsible. Regardless, the actual descriptions of each goal, complete with information on how to accomplish each task, are well written and easy to follow. Plus, the book is accompanied by a website which offers additional information and resources.

Some of my favorite suggestions include "Google yourself and edit your online image," "go on a road trip or camping trip," "make a list of all your skills" and "write a letter of forgiveness."

Helping a Stranger: My Way of Feeling Beautiful

4/29/2011

This is a sponsored post as part of the Let your Natural Beauty Shine Through with Zeno & Her Campus program.

All week, I've been brainstorming a random act of kindness to perform. I thought of buying the person behind me in line at Starbucks their drink, or surprising my friends with study kits in the library. I read about Nikki baking for her friends and Anne doing her sorority sister's laundry and loved their ideas, but nothing seemed quite right.

Then yesterday, en route to a group dinner for the Student Leadership Council of the Tour Guide group I'm in charge of, I walked right past an old man struggling to make his way down the sidewalk.

"Do you know where Whole Foods is?" he asked me in a soft, yet determined voice. "Sure sir, it's just down this street about three blocks," I replied. He looked at me with blank eyes. "Oh… ok… okay," he replied, and continued to stumble reluctantly in that direction.

As I watched him take a few steps forward, I heard myself saying "Do you need help getting there?"
He turned slowly and smiled at me. "That would be wonderful."

We made our way down Massachusetts Avenue, slowly but surely. He told me about how he was a Boston native, how he'd lived in the city all his life. He'd be a solider in Vietnam, and had a lovely wife whom had passed away. Their children lived far away, and he was all by himself. Though reluctant to admit it, he was rapidly losing his sight, and barely had any vision left at all.

My Summer To Do List!

4/28/2011

If you're anything like me, you have a to do list written out with all those tasks you have to do, organized by class, group or type and due date. All semester, mine was overloaded with tasks relating to classes, Her Campus, running two student groups and applying for jobs after graduation. Then, there was that miscellaneous section at the bottom, with a list of stuff I really wanted to get done, but just never ended up getting to.

So now that it's officially summer, classes are out, finals are over and I'm an incredibly lucky senior who has found a job for after graduation, I finally have a month of relaxation time before real life begins. For those of you who aren't graduating but have Summer I or II off, you have the same relaxed, excited feeling I do - freedom!

But instead of just sleeping until 2pm and wasting the day away in front of the TV, I've promised myself to have a productive, yet relaxing, time off before work starts. And I've got a long list of stuff I can't wait to get done in that free time! Here are my list of things I can't wait to do now that classes are over.

Clean, clean, clean
And I don't just mean pick up your week's worth of clothes on the floor and shuffle around the papers on your desk so they're in some sort of order. I mean sit down and go through all those piles of school work that you no longer need, throw out all of the extra papers you've got sitting around, and actually vacuum and dust the way you said you would 3 months ago. I've got an old hamster cage sitting in a corner that I need to sell on craigslist, and an old printer that stopped working 6 months ago I've been hoarding for no reason. Go through your room and purge - there's no need to have extra junk laying around, and you'll feel so much better once you get rid of it! If there's stuff that's denotable, make a pile for Goodwill and give it to charity - another great way to feel good about cleaning!

A Collegiette's™ Spring Staple: The Jean Jacket

4/27/2011

When I think about jean jackets, I can't help but have intense flashbacks to my middle school days, when the only jacket I ever wore was my bleach stained, slightly frayed denim jacket from Limited Too. Yet nearly a decade later, I'm contemplating this question: are jean jackets a classic look that is still wearable, or are they a trend that should stay put in the past?

Though I cringe thinking about the outfits I wore with my very worn jean jacket, I'm compelled to say that when purchased with thought and worn properly, a jean jacket can be a great addition to any collegeiette's wardrobe. So whether you've already got one hanging in your closet or are looking for a light spring jacket to invest in, here are some thoughts on how to properly rock that denim jacket.

For starters, my number one rule is wear no other denim. Whether you call it a Canadian Tuxedo or a fashion disaster, wearing jeans and a jean jacket is an absolute no go. I don't care if the denim of your jacket matches the denim of your jeans or is a completely different wash, head to toe denim is not something that is, or ever will be, fashionable.