Category: College Life

The Study Playlist That Will Boost Your Grades

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We all know music can affect our mood, but it can also help us improve the way we study, focus, and recall what we’ve learned. With exams fast approaching and cramming a near inevitability, the right playlist may actually boost your grades.

Researchers have been studying the effect of music on reasoning, memory, and test performance for decades. You may already have heard of “The Mozart Effect” — a documented phenomenon where listening to the music of Mozart can actually boost spatiotemporal reasoning for brief periods.

Other investigators have looked at the effects of relaxing vs. rapidly changing music3 on how we study, focus, and perform on tests and found that music that elevates your mood and creates a stable calm environment can positively affect test scores.

So what should go into your perfect study playlist?

Choose Music You Enjoy

If you are already accustomed to studying while listening to music, your mind is likely adapted to it. Pick a genre or artist that you enjoy. Choosing familiar music can help you get centered, and your mind will be less likely to be distracted if you’re not trying to “learn” the song as well as your study materials. Choosing music that helps elevate your mood can also help put you in a good headspace for focus and memorization.

Choose Music That Promotes Focus

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These days, with so many demands and devices vying for our attention, a deep focus can be hard to achieve. Try to choose music that creates its own virtual study room, and lets you block out any potential environmental distractions.

Choose Music Without Lyrics

Generally speaking, if you are trying to absorb language-based content (as opposed to math), avoid songs with lots of lyrics. If you’re trying to focus on the history of the Medici, your mind doesn’t need competition from Drake. (Sorry, Drake.)

Photo by League Campus Rep Vivian Tran. Shop League at the University Bookstore.

Experiment With Electronica

Sometimes you just need to drop into your study materials and forget the world around you. Even if you’re not an electronic music fan, the steady beat and shifting modal patterns of electronica can provide a clean and ample study environment for your mind.

Try Ambient Or Nature Sounds

For some, the best study music isn’t technically music at all. It may be the sound of summer rain in a forest or the crash and sizzle of waves on the beach. Feel free to experiment with the abundant ambient options online. Who knows—the “spaceship engine room” effect may be your ideal study environment.

We hope these tips will help you create a study playlist that boosts both your focus and your test scores!

Photo by League Campus Rep Keffus Falls III. Shop League at the UH Bookstore.

Last Minute College Packing Essentials That Might Surprise You

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The fall semester is fast approaching, and that means packing up to head back to school. You’ve got your college-provided check list in one hand and the list of dorm room rules in the other, and you’ve already packed items like shower flip-flops, sheets, and a caddy for your shower supplies. So you’ve got the basics ready to go — but you might be surprised to see what you’re still missing.

Here’s our last minute guide to packing for college.

For Your Room

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You’ve packed your twinkle lights and extra sheets  — but there’s a few other things you will definitely need to make your life easier.

• Twin XL Foam Mattress Topper. This soft supportive foam topper placed on top of your dorm mattress provides soft, comfortable support. It will help you feel like you are in your bed at home!

• Bed Caddy. Perfect for extra storage and those items you’ll need at your bedside like ear plugs, a water bottle, and tissues.  Great for bunk beds!

• Cleaning Supplies. You don’t need a full cadre of supplies to keep your room clean, but an all-surface cleaner or some disposable wipes make a difference.

• Boot/Shoe Tray. No one is cleaning your floors but you, so why not make it easier by having a place to put wet or muddy shoes?

 • Hanging Strips.  Hang your posters, hooks, and pennants damage free!  Buy an assortment of hooks and strips that will come off when you leave.  They will also help you to decorate all semester long.

• Extra Lighting.  A good floor lamp and a fun desk lamp are a must!  They will help keep your room bright for those days you study in your room or work on final projects.

For Your Wardrobe

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You might think you’ve got everything you need when it comes to what you’ll be wearing on campus, but you might have forgotten these key items.

• Underwear and Socks. Yes, you’ve probably already thought of this one — but whatever you think you need, pack double. You really cannot have too much.

• Dress Up Clothes. Yes, college is casual – but sometimes you’ll need business wear for on-campus events. Having a business-style outfit can come in handy.

• Work Out Gear & Swimsuit. If your college has a fitness center with a pool, having a suit to wear for either a water workout or just to relax is essential.

• A Bookstore Gift Card. No, you can’t wear it — but you’ll be able to buy some college gear to wear to a tailgate party or replace that hoodie you lost the first week.

• Wrinkle Remover Spray. You could pack an iron and ironing board, or you could just use an anti-wrinkle spray that works on most fabrics. You can buy it, or make your own.

All Things Tech

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You know you need your laptop, your phone and table, and your charge cords. But that’s not all you should bring!

• Power strips. Even if you’ve packed one, pack a second one. There are never enough outlets, ever. Your roommates will thank you.

• Laptop Lock. Open door policies are wonderful for meeting other students but less safe for your electronics. A laptop lock can ease your mind.

• Flash Drives. There’s less paper on campus these days, but there’s always one professor who wants you to print out papers.

• A Real Alarm Clock. Yes, you can use the alarm app on your phone — but does it really wake you up in time for class? A traditional alarm clock makes a nice backup.

• Duct/Electrical Tape. Cords for your tech can fray, particularly when you’re putting your tech through the paces at college. Having some tape handy to do a quick repair is handy.

While we doubt these items won’t be allowed in your room, double check to make sure your housing rules allow for everything on this list. Many colleges don’t allow for common items like coffee makers, electric teakettles, hanging Christmas lights, extension cords, toasters, and candles — so make sure you check!

We hope this list helps you feel more prepared to head to campus this fall. Good luck!

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How To Head To Grad School In Style

Grad school style, graduate school, League91, college style, college life
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If you’re off to graduate school this fall, congratulations! You’ve joined an elite squad of less than 5% of college graduates. But unlike your first four years of college where you were just a student, grad school also means teaching, presenting, and working much more closely with your professors and advisors.

So what does this mean when it comes to your style in grad school? We’ve got some suggestions.

Shop Your Closet First

Grad school style, graduate school, League91, college style, college life
Find League at the Penn Bookstore.

Yes, sometimes you’ll need to be more professional once you’re in graduate school — but that doesn’t mean your undergrad staples like your favorite hoodie are a no-go (you’ll just need one for the new university). When you’re the student in the class, a hoodie with jeans and sneakers are just fine.

Invest In A Good Blazer

Grad school style, graduate school, League91, college style, college life
Find League at the Penn Bookstore.

A good blazer is always a smart choice for both men and women. On days you’re teaching or presenting, it can dress up any outfit instantly. You can pair it with more casual pieces to hit the sweet spot of being a student teacher while showing your school spirit.

Stylish Pullover

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College classrooms can be cold, so having something to keep you toasty is important — and sometimes it’s good to think beyond the hoodie for those days you need to look professional. Try a crew with a collared shirt, our Academy Turtleneck, or a zippered pullover like our Saranac Quarter Zip, (not featured).

Ditch The Sneakers

Grad school style, graduate school, League91, college style, college life
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Sneakers are great and super comfortable, but if you’re leading a class or giving a presentation, you might want to upgrade your shoes. There are many comfortable and stylish shoe options available — just remember to pick something you can walk across campus in and stand in for long periods.

Choose Accessories Wisely

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A great way to look less like an undergrad is to dress up with some great accessories. Bold statement necklaces or watches can really elevate the most casual outfit even when you’re wearing your favorite college gear — as styled here by NYC Fashion Blogger Simply Audree Kate.

Grad school is about learning and honing your skills. Why not put your best style foot forward? Good luck, and congratulations again on getting into grad school!