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A Collegiette's Guide to Life

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    Taco Bell has finally graced us with a full course meal inspired by their perfected spices, chicken flavors and everything chipotle. Are you looking to up your Friendsgiving game this year? Then, there’s no way you could go wrong with throwing a bit of Taco Bell flare in it.

    The menu includes four parts, with full recipes released by Taco Bell.

    1. Taco Bell Fire Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken

    This is the ultimate center of attention for any feast. Who doesn’t want a slow roasted chicken covered in Fire Tortilla Chip crumble? Show off your prowess in the kitchen and please all of your fast food loving friends.

    2. Sauce packet seasoned root vegetable purees

    For a fancier, more adult addition, there is the vegetable puree. Taco Bell provides the ever unique and addictive sauce packets which you can add to carrots, red kuru squash, parsnips and garnet yams. These are just a few of their suggestions but the sauce can be added to any vegetable of your dreams.

    3. Roasted potatoes with Chipotle Crema & Diablo Caviar

    Potatoes are the foundation of pretty much any meal, but Taco Bell is here for you to step up your game. Chipotle crema and diablo caviar just scream adulthood and luxury. Trust us, your friends will be very impressed.

    4. Special cocktail: rice & beans

    The name might deter you for a second but the play on words is fully worth it. Mix together some horchata (the rice component), any vodka of choice, and coffee ice cubes (to resemble the beans). This is definitely living mas.

    If this menu isn’t enough for you, you can also pair it with your very own Taco Bell themed sweaters from Tipsy Elves. One of the sweaters reads, “thankful for taco bell” and it is clearly very on point.

    Remember this girl that got her senior photos at Taco Bell? A true hero and icon? 

    Maybe Invite her and your Taco-loving pals to Friendsgiving this year— and celebrate this ultimate holiday combination.


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    These days, “stress” and “college” might as well be synonyms. With the amount of exams, extracurriculars and outside jobs or internships you juggle at any given moment during the semester, it’s not surprising that you might start feeling the heat eventually. So, what’s the best way to deal when stress comes knocking on your door?

    Well, you’re probably familiar with conventional self-care methods like venting to a friend or simply taking a nap, but what about giving exercise a chance? We know: Working out after a long day of classes might be the last thing you want to do, but exercise actually can positively impact your mental health.

    Of course, if you’re dealing with something longer-term than a bit of stress, like anxiety or depression, exercise alone won’t treat it—think of these as helpful supplements or temporary alleviators that should be incorporated in tandem with your other doctor-approved treatments and medications. Knowing the difference between simply feeling anxious sometimes and having a diagnosable anxiety disorder is important; if it’s the latter, visiting a mental health professional is the best step you can take. But if you’re simply looking for some fun ways to move your body, read on for the best workouts for reducing stress.

    1. A brisk walk

    While you may have been expecting something a bit more intense, a 10-minute walk can decrease your blood pressure and stabilize your mood for the next several hours, both of which will reduce your stress. We think that’s perfect if you want to take a quick study break; it’s easy to fit into your schedule and can make your whole day better.

    Instead of going at it on a treadmill, why not amble across campus and do some people-watching to get your mind off whatever it is you’re stressed about? If you’re attending school in a city, walking to a nearby coffee shop or just strolling through the neighborhood can be a great stress-reliever. After all, walking has been linked to lowering the amygdala activity in your brain, which controls your anxious feelings and stress, as Lisa M. Shin and Israel Liberzon note in their neuropsychopharmacology research. You may not class this one as a traditional “workout,” but for the lazy college girl, it might just be the boost you need to clear your head and get the blood flowing.

    2. Running

    If you want something to push yourself a bit more, college students swear by running as a great stress-busting technique. “It’s a great way to clear your mind and relax your nerves if you’re anxious or stressed,” says Audrey Lent, a fifth-year student at Cal Poly Slo. We can see why; taking your energy and putting it toward one clear goal or path will take most of your focus away from that test or that fight with your friends.

    “I like to use my anger or frustration to push myself,” adds Sierra Knoch, a student at Loyola Marymount University, “and then I end up feeling much happier and less stressed from accomplishing a new time or distance.” Having something more concrete to show for how much you’ve gotten done, such as the number of miles you’ve run, is definitely satisfying and you’ll be ready to take on your next task with gusto, whatever it may be.

    3. Dancing

    According to Everyday Health, dancing is a great way to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. We’re glad this one makes the list because what’s more fun than dancing with friends? Aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate is the best when it comes to anti-stress workouts, so something like a Zumba class is perfect for this.

    The other upside of dancing, Everyday Health notes, is the social aspect (although, okay, dancing around your room by yourself is also a hell of a good time). Socializing, especially in a fun, high-energy environment, can also serve to elevate your mood, so grab some friends and your favorite tunes and dance it up. By the end, you might have made a fool of yourself, but we guarantee you’ll be smiling and sweating, leaving you feeling less stressed and more energized to return to the #grind.

    Related: How to Figure Out If You Should Talk to Your Doctor About Mental Health Meds

    4. Yoga

    When it comes to connections between your mind and your body, there’s perhaps no better exercise than yoga. Mayo Clinic recommends yoga as a stress-relieving workout because it emphasizes inner peacefulness and physical control through different poses and breathing exercises.

    Yoga incorporates meditation, which can help you relax and reduce the amount of stress you’re dealing with—perfect for the struggles of midterm season. It also has physical benefits, like helping with your balance, strength and flexibility. Yoga is also great for beginners, or anyone of varying fitness levels, so it’s a nice way to ease into making exercise a regular part of your day.

    Yoga is ridiculously popular right now, so finding a yoga class (even on campus!) and a buddy to try it out with should be easy-peasy. If not, buy a mat and find some YouTube tutorials online; doing yoga in the privacy of your dorm room is fine as well!

    5. Kickboxing

    On the other end of the spectrum, kickboxing might not relax you in the same way that yoga will, but doing some cardio might just be what you need to knock-out your stress. American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) explains that enzymes produced by stress reduce your supply of endorphins, which can bog you down, so doing some cardio-kickboxing can release those endorphins and have you feeling top-notch again.

    LIVESTRONG notes that kickboxing comes with a wealth of other benefits, as well. Getting better at self-defense as a college student is always a good idea, and you’ll also be working out your entire body because it’s such an involved workout. We’re all about killing two (or more) birds with one stone, so you’ll definitely catch us in our local Rumble studio once the stress starts bearing down on us.

    6. Weightlifting

    A lot of the times, stress is about lack of control. Maybe you got stuck with the TA that harshly grades your papers or all of your professors who scheduled exams on the same day. College is constantly throwing things at you left and right, so maybe the best course of action is to put some control back in your hands, even if it’s small.

    It’s for this reason that Makena Gera, a sophomore at Marist College, favors one workout in particular. “I really love weightlifting,” she says. “When you’re stressed, a lot of the time you feel out of control like there are too many things going on and you can’t tackle them all. But with lifting, I feel so strong and in control. It’s a great way to just let out any anger or stress you’re feeling and use it to accomplish a goal—like finishing that final rep.” Yes, please.

    Ultimately, exercise doesn’t just have to be about burning calories and getting fit; your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and you shouldn’t shrug off your stress. These workouts will hopefully help you flex your muscles and relax your mind, so you can feel good on all counts. Even the least exercise-savvy person can find a workout that works for her, so don’t wait—grab your yoga mat, dancing shoes, a friend or whatever else you may need and get to it!


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    The touching story of a New Jersey couple helping a drug-addicted homeless veteran, who had supposedly given up his last $20 to help the couple get gas for their car, turned out to be “predicated on a lie” as the three individuals designed the feel-good story for a get-rich-quick scheme that would dupe people into donating to a GoFundMe campaign.

    The homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt, and the couple, Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico, allegedly conspired to create a story that would tug on people’s heartstrings, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said at a news conference Thursday. Bobbit, McClure and D’Amico sought to get $10,000 from the GoFundMe account, but as the story triggered an “international media blitz,” quickly garnering the page $400,000.

    The couple said that they had met Bobbit when he came to the rescue and gave his last $20 to McClure, who was stranded on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, so she could get gas for her car, ABC News reports. The couple then created the GoFundMe account to thank Bobbit and to help get him off of the streets.

    via Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office

    “The paying-it-forward story that drove this fundraiser might seem too good to be true,” Coffina said at a press conference. “Unfortunately, it was. The entire campaign was predicated on a lie.”

    “Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake,” Coffina added.

    Coffina read one of the text messages McClure allegedly sent to a friend, in which she wrote, “Ok, so wait, the gas part is completely made up but the guy isn't. I had to make something up to make people feel bad. So, shush about the made up stuff.”

    Investigators reviewed more than 67,000 text messages in the case, some of which the couple had discussed their mounting bills that they were unable to pay, CNN reports.

    According to Coffina, the couple first met Bobbit at an off-ramp near a casino they frequented about a month prior to the GoFundMe campaign going live. They went back to that spot a month later, where D’Amico took a picture of McClure and Bobbit, which would later become the face of the GoFundMe campaign.

    Coffina added that Bobbit had shared a “remarkably similar” on his Facebook page in 2012, writing that he had come across a woman who had run out of gas and had a flat tire at a Walmart in North Carolina and gave her the last of his money, CNN reports.

    “I don’t think that's a coincidence,” Coffina said.

    The trio might have gotten away with the scam, however, had Bobbit not filed a lawsuit against the couple in August, accusing them of withholding the $400,000 raised for him. Bobbit’s lawyers sued the couple for fraud, writing that the couple had bought Bobbit a camper without his consent and placed it on their property with “no access to money or food.” Bobbit’s lawyers alleged that he had only seen $75,000 of the $400,000 raised for him.

    The couple, at the time, said they were holding the money for Bobbit until he had a job and had stopped using drugs.

    Despite Bobbit’s lawsuit and the controversy surrounding the GoFundMe page, D’Amico was still thinking of keeping the scam going, including landing a book deal about the whole story.

    “He was certain the payday from the book deal they were pursuing would dwarf the money from the GoFundMe campaign,” Coffina said. “A few months later, when the dispute with Bobbitt became public D’Amico was not dissuaded. Instead, he pitched a title for the book that would encompass the controversy, ‘No Good Deed.’”

    The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the missing GoFundMe funds in September, and raided the couple’s home, seizing a BMW and other belongings.

    The money is all gone, however, with McClure and D’Amico squandering most of it on luxury handbags and extravagant trips to Las Vegas. The couple also gave $9,000 to relatives they owed money to, and then “hit the casinos hard.” According to ABC News, bank records show that the couple withdrew over $85,000 at or near casinos in Atlantic City, Philadelphia and Las Vegas.

    McClure, D’Amico and Bobbit were all charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. The trio voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Wednesday, but have all since been released. They are each facing five to 10 years in prison, according to prosecutors, and are expected to appear in court on December 24, ABC News reports.

    A spokesperson for GoFundMe said in a statement that donors will receive a refund, and that the company is “fully cooperating” with law enforcement in the investigation.


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    President Donald Trump on Wednesday made the case for voter ID laws again by using a grocery store analogy to make his point — claiming that shoppers need to show their ID to buy cereal.

    “The disgrace is that, voter ID. If you buy, you know, a box of cereal, if you do anything, you have a voter ID,” Trump told the conservative news website The Daily Caller.

    As the midterm election votes keep continue to be counted for the Georgia’s gubernatorial race, as well as the recount effort for the Florida governor and senate positions, Trump has claimed that Democrats are trying to steal the election, The Huffington Post reports. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) even said last week that there was no evidence of voter fraud.

    “The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes,” Trump said on The Daily Caller. “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”

    “If you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID, ” Trump added.

    The president’s comments left many scratching their heads. Is he saying that in order to buy cereal, one must have identification on them? Or is he perhaps referencing to how some businesses require that you show your identification when paying with a check or, sometimes, with a credit card?

    It appears it might be the second one, since the president made a similar argument this past summer — that if you need identification for something as basic as buying groceries with a check, it should be required to vote.

    However, there isn’t a mandatory rule that one has to show their identification when purchasing cereal in the United States. Photo identification is required when purchasing things like alcohol, some medicines and cigarettes. According to CNN, in a small number of states, identification photos are included on food stamp cards for low income families.

    “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID,” Trump said in August. “You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.”

    “The only time you don't need it in many cases is when you want to vote for a president, when you want to vote for a senator, when you want to vote for a governor or a congressman. It's crazy,” Trump said at the time.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, following Trump’s August comments, said the president was referring to alcoholic purchases.

    “If you go to a grocery store and you buy beer or wine, you're certainly going to show your ID,” Sanders said. “He’s not saying every time he went in. He said, ‘When you go to the grocery store.’ I’m pretty sure that everybody in here who’s been to a grocery store that’s purchased beer or wine has probably had to show their ID. If they didn’t, then that's probably a problem with the grocery store.”

    There is, however, well-established evidence that voter fraud is extremely rare, and as the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law says, stealing someone’s identity to vote is less likely to happen than being struck by lightning.


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    Move on over Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, because Katy Perry just gifted us with a surprise Christmas song and it’ll totally get you in the holiday spirit.

    The pop star uploaded the chorus to her new Christmas single, Cozy Little Christmas, to her Instagram account on Thursday, and it has all the dancing vibes of Carey’s classic Christmas hit, with a hint of Michael Bublé jazziness.

    The song, which was co-written by Perry and Ferras Alqais, is about not getting too caught up in the materialistic things for Christmas and just enjoying time with the ones that you love, E! News reports.

    “I don’t need diamonds, no sparkly things…’Cause you can't buy this feeling,” Perry sings in the chorus. “Nothing lights my fire or wraps me up, baby, like you do. Just want a cozy, a cozy little Christmas here with you.”

    She later adds, “I don't need anything. Take back all the Cartier, and the Tiffany’s and the Chanel. Well, can I keep that Chanel, please?”

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Bout to sleigh in an hour 🎅🏻

    A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on

    The pop star hinted at the new Christmas song on Instagram Wednesday night, writing that she was “Bout to sleigh in an hour.” About an hour later, an excited Perry released a snippet of her new song, writing, “For all my friends secretly buying their tree already, SURPRISE! Christmas comes early!”

    To hear a teaser of the track, check out the Instagram post below.

    According to Hello Giggles, Cozy Little Christmas is currently only available on Amazon Music, and you can stream it with your Amazon Prime account or buy it for $1.29.

    Now, we don’t know if this new Christmas song means that Perry will drop an entire Christmas album, but I’m going to write a letter to Santa in hopes he’ll convince her to.


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    Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

    Florida Senate Race Heads to a Hand Recount

    The Florida Senate race is heading to a hand recount after a machine review of the initial vote still kept a narrow difference between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

    While the recount will keep Nelson in the race for a few more days, it might be a little harder for the Democratic candidate to beat his opponent after the machine recount yielded a few more votes for Scott, leaving the Republican candidate with more than 12,600 votes over Nelson.

    The Florida governor race, however, remained outside of the 0.25 percent legal threshold for a manual recount, meaning that former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis will likely be Florida’s next governor over Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum.

    The Senate race, however, remained within the 0.25 percent legal threshold, and is now headed to a hand recount of overvotes, where an individual votes for more candidates than allowed, and undervotes, where a voter chooses fewer candidates than allowed.

    via Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

    According to The Washington Post, the narrow margin appeared to be too much for Nelson to overcome, and Scott called for Nelson to bow out of the race. Nelson’s attorney, however, expressed confidence that the second recount, plus court cases, would give Nelson the needed boost to win the race.

    “It’s never been our view that there was going to be one silver bullet that was going to change the margin in this race,” Marc Elias, Nelson’s lead recount attorney, told reporters, adding that they have “been seeking [the manual recount] all along.”

    There has as of late been a stream of attacks by Trump, accusing the Democrats and election officials in heavily Democratic Broward County of fraud.

    “An honest vote count is no longer possible — ballots massively infected,” Trump tweeted this week.

    The scrutiny of the state’s elections system only worsened Thursday when some of the Florida’s largest counties failed to meet the 3:00 p.m. deadline on the recount, forcing the counties to stick with their pre-recount totals.

    On Thursday, Nelson also appeared to gain a legal victory when U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker ruled that thousands of voters across the state have until Sunday to resolve issues with signatures on mail-in and provisional ballots to get their previously rejected ballots to count.

    According to The Post,  the recount in Broward County will likely be closely watched. According to instructions from election officials, there will be 100 tables with two election workers, two campaign representatives and two party representatives at each table during the recount, and only election workers are permitted to handle the ballots.

    The manual recount will take place over 11-hours on Friday and Saturday, and must be completed by noon Sunday.

    California Wildfires Claim 66 Lives, With 631 Still Missing

    As crews found another body in the remnants of a burned house on Wednesday, crews fear that there will be more deaths in the destructive fires that have ravaged the state and have now claimed 66 lives.

    The Camp Fire in Northern California, which is now the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history, has killed 63 people, and seven more bodies were found on Thursday, official said.

    Officials said there were more than 631 individuals still missing in the Northern California fire zone on Thursday night, but officials are trying to track down those individuals, ABC News reports. Butte County officials have asked residents to visit the sheriff’s website to check that they are not listed on the missing persons list.

    Thom Porter, Chief of Strategic Planning for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), said that the death toll from the Camp Fire is expected to go higher as search crews inspect the nearly 12,000 structures that have been destroyed in the fire.

    "It is by far the most deadly single fire in California history and it's going to get worse, unfortunately," Porter said of the Camp Fire.

    Forty-seven of those that have been found dead have been identified, but due to the severity of the blaze, the remains of some of the missing may never be recovered, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke toured the destruction of the Camp Fire on Wednesday, and visited with firefighters still battling the blaze, ABC News reports. During a news conference on Wednesday in Northern California, Long called the fire “one of the worst disasters I’ve ever seen in my career, hands down.”

    Brown, who said the fire’s destruction “look[ed] like a war zone,” remarked that he had spoken with the president, “who pledged the full resources of the federal government” to assist in the recovery effort for the California wildfires.

    As of Wednesday, the Camp Fire was 35 percent contained.

    The Woolsey Fire in Southern California, which rapidly spread between Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, has destroyed over 500 structures and killed two, ABC News reports.

    As of Wednesday night, the Woosley Fire was 52 percent contained, with Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said the Woolsey Fire calling the blaze the largest his department has had to combat in over 100 years.

    The Hill Fire, which is burning near the Woolsey Fire in Southern California, was 94 percent contained as of Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.

    Trump Met With His Legal Team to Discuss Answers to Mueller’s Questions

    Over three days this week, President Donald Trump met with his legal team to discuss his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller’s questions, a source told ABC News.

    The special counsel’s questions centered around Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to sources. The year and a half long Russia investigation stems from allegations that Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign during the presidential election.

    Sources said that the president was irritated by some of the questions asked by the special counsel, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani shared those same sentiments with The Washington Post.

    “There are some that create more issues for us legally than others,” Giuliani told The Post. He said some were “unnecessary,” some were “possible traps,” and “we might consider some as irrelevant.”

    Nearly 32 individuals and three Russian businesses have been indicted by Mueller’s team on charges ranging from computer hacking to obstruction of justice, with six guilty pleas and three individuals being sentenced to prison.

    What to look out for…

    Today is National Fast Food Day! It’s time to head over to your favorite fast food restaurant and treat yo self.


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    For a concise summary the dysfunctional mess that was 2018, look no further than Oxford English Dictionary’s latest choice for Word of the Year: toxic.

    Other than being the title of one of Britney Spears’ eternal bops, the word toxic doesn’t come with many positive associations. The Word of the Year announcement noted the word derived from toxicum, the Latin word for poison. Toxicum, in turn, originated in the Greek phrase toxikonpharmakon, referring to the poison that Greeks used to put on the tips of their arrows.

    Modern usage of the word preserves toxic’s essence as something poisonous and corrupting, but, as Bustle reports, it’s now used to describe more abstract ideas such as “negative forms of stress, abusive expressions of masculinity, or relationships gone seriously awry.” In fact, in the OED’s list of words commonly used in association with ‘toxic’: masculinity, environment, relationship, and culture all made the top 10.

    From the #MeToo movement to global concerns about air quality, it’s no coincidence that OED chose toxic to describe 2018.  Searches for the word ‘toxic’ increased by 45% this year, and, according to CNBC, the Word of the Year is often chosen because it captures the year’s cultural zeitgeist. Previous Word of the Year selections included youthquake in 2017 and post-truth in 2016.

    Since so much happened in 2018 socially and politically, the flexibility of the word toxic may have helped it gain its title. As Head of Oxford’s U.S. dictionaries, Katherine Connor Martin remarked,  “so many things are tied together by the word.”

    Word of the Year candidates come from the 150 million words gathered through Oxford’s language research program. This year’s runners-up include the process of manipulation known as gaslightingincel, which the dictionary defines as “a member of an online community of young men who is involuntarily celibate,” and, techlashotherwise known as the negative backlash to the ever-expanding power of tech companies like Facebook and Amazon.  

    While this decision may reflect a lot of the tragedies and disconcerting revelations that occurred in 2018, on the bright side, a first step in eliminating toxicity is acknowledging its presence. If this reckoning with cultural and environmental toxicity continues, then maybe 2019 Word of the Year might be a happier one. 


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    I Did A Thing is our weekly advice column where the Her Campus editorial team helps you out when you ruin your own life (hey, we've been there). Email advice@hercampus.com for any and everything you need help with. We’ll answer you (anonymously!) on hercampus.com so we can all learn, together. We’ve got your back.

    @collegevirgin: is it bad that i want to remain a virgin even though my bf wants to have sex?

    @helpmehc: No, no, and no. It's your body. Let me repeat that: this is your body. 100% yours. Fuck what anyone else wants with it, it's yours. You're the only one, ever, who gets to decide what you do or don't want to do with it. If you decide you want to have sex with dozens of people, that's cool. If you decide you literally never are ready to have sex, that's cool. If you want to never have sex, and then you change your mind and want to have tons of sex, that's cool. But it's on your terms, not anyone else's.

    Sometimes it might feel weird to be a virgin in college, but the truth is that plenty of people are virgins in college. It's a personal choice, and it's really no one's business but yours. 

    Now, how to talk about this with your partner can sometimes be messy. The best thing you can do here is be honest. Tell your boyfriend that you value your virginity, and that you don't want to have sex any time soon unless you say otherwise. Then, let him figure out how he feels about it. If he's the boyfriend you should have, he'll be cool with it. If it's not doable for him, it's probably better for him to bounce and do his own thing.

    Either way, though, this isn't something you should feel like you have to compromise on. So often, women are left feeling like they owe their partners their bodies, and their sexual experiences, but that's now how it should work. Your body is yours when you're single, and your body is yours when you're in a relationship, too.

    Check out more advice from @helpmehc. We've got your back.


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    Amidst controversy surrounding comments made by chief marketing officer Ed Razek, Victoria’s Secret CEO Jan Singer resigned Wednesday morning. Whether or not her resignation was prompted by the comments made by fellow executive or rather by more general decreased sales and dissatisfaction, Victoria’s Secret as a company needs to re-evaluate their core values and their leadership, perhaps hiring people whose core values align with both the company and the public’s values.

    Razek stated in an interview with Vogue that she didn’t believe the show would ever need to feature transgender models “Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”

    Further, Razek made it clear that in his mind, the brand doesn’t need or want to feature plus-sized models in a show, explaining that “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.” While other brands across the fashion and beauty industries have embraced both diversity and body positivity, Victoria’s Secret seems to be clinging to traditional non-inclusive fashion shows and philosophies.

    Just carrying a wide range of sizes doesn’t make a company inclusive or diverse; instead, companies in the fashion industry need to embrace every type of body and the beauty within individuality. Singer has been with Victoria’s Secret since September 2016, following her CEO role at Spanx. Currently, there has been no news of who her replacement will be.


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    Hey ya’ll, we're here today to talk about something mind-numbingly infuriating. Do you remember a few weeks ago when Maggie was struggling to keep her mouth shut about Teddy’s pregnancy? Remember how, ultimately, she was incapable of adhering to HIPAA (which boils down to doctor/patient confidentiality), and she spilled the beans to Meredith? But Meredith is a good damn person, so her lips were sealed —saving Maggie's dumb ass from certain career-altering, if not ending, repercussions. 

    Well, the mid-season finale of Grey's Anatomy'Blowin' in the Wind', just aired, bringing that drama somewhat full-circle, and I am #stressed. This week, the roles reversed as Meredith broke her own Hippocratic oath when she broke the news of Catherine’s tumor to Maggie in an effort to ensure that she would be there for Jackson when the time came. Because, as I said before, Meredith is a good damn person. She just wanted her friend to have someone to lean on as his mother, his last living relative, went through life-threatening medical treatment for a life-threatening condition. And, having kept Maggie's patient secret, she could only assume hers would be safe.  

    WELL (capitalized for EMPHASIS), I'm sure you can guess who, once again, couldn't keep her giant trap shut. Maggie broke the news about his mom to Jackson (to be fair, we only heard her tell Jackson that she had news about his Mom, so she could turn around and a fix this disaster before it starts, but I'm not hopeful.

    "Remember that? When she was on track to be the next neuro God, but she slipped Adele Webber the experimental drug after she was randomly assigned the placebo in Derek's clinical trial. Alex found out and reported her, and she should have lost her ability to practice. Instead she just lost her future in neurosurgery, and went on to become a general God."

    You guys, I really think this could be worse than the great Alzheimer’s mistrial, if you will, that almost cost Meredith her career the first time around. Remember that? When she was on track to be the next neuro God, but she slipped Adele Webber the experimental drug after she was randomly assigned the placebo in Derek's clinical trial. Alex found out and reported her, and she should have lost her ability to practice. Instead she just lost her future in neurosurgery, and went on to become a general God.

    But Meredith’s not a resident anymore: She’s chief of general surgery, and a BFD in both her own hospital and the medical community at large. If Jackson goes on to tell his mom that he knows about her condition, Meredith is totally screwed. There’s no potential specialty to kick her off of, you guys. But there is a whole department, a whole board and a whole hospital to permanently remove her from. She could even go to jail! 

    So thanks, Satan. 

    Catch Grey's Penitentiary, coming this January. 


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    You know you work in the right place when you receive an urgent Slack notification stating "RELEVANT TO YOUR INTERESTS — Ariana Grande is tweeting greys stuff rn?", literal moments after said Grey's stuff has been posted.

    To brighten up my slushy mess of a winter day, the 'Thank U, Next' queen retweeted a fan's meme, and then went so far as to bless us with one of her own. 

    And then, as if I wasn't already distracted enough, Meredith Grey herself chimed into the conversation.



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    On Thursday, Eddie Scarry, a Washington Examiner writer who covers media and politics tweeted a since-deleted photograph of Democratic congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commenting on the contrast between her clothes and her social status.

    (As though people who "struggle" with money in various ways are not allowed to own clothes that look nice at a glance.) 

    Ocasio-Cortez was quick to respond, having been the target of other such scrutiny throughout her campaign.

    This comes shortly after it was reported that Ocasio-Cortez and her partner need to wait until she starts receiving her congressional paychecks before re-locating to D.C. (after all, moving is expensive). 

    Earlier this year, John Cardillo, a host of Newsmax's "America Talks Live,"shared an image of Ocasio-Cortez’s childhood home in Yorktown Heights.

    “This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University,” Cardillo tweeted. “A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling.”

    Ocasio-Cortez was also called out by Fox News for wearing a $3,000 outfit for a photo shoot with Interview Magazine

    The whole exchange with Scarry inspired other Twitter users to get involved, mostly through the creation of memes based around Scarry's tweet:

    Leftist, Democratic Socialist and Socialist politicians historically have been scrutinized by Conservatives for owning the same things as everyone else, whether it be luxury clothing or vacation homes. Yet as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out in her tweet, they would have something to say about her no matter what she wore. 

    Hopefully everyone will start paying attention to Ocasio-Cortez for being the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and the work she does with that history-making win— rather than for what clothes she wears. 


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    Do you ever find yourself yearning to pay homage to your overwhelming love for Hidden Valley's ranch dressing? Well, the brand’s latest holiday line allows you to do just that.

    Delish reports that that real Hidden Valley stans can pay  $150 for a six-foot inflatable bottle of ranch as well as blowers and tethers to help you mount the bottle in your yard and keep those non-condiment lovers off your property (just in case you couldn't get your hands on one of their ranch kegs last year.) 

    While the inflatable hidden valley bottle may seem pretty intense, it’s debatable whether it’s even the most extra thing in the Hidden Valley holiday line. One product giving the inflatable bottle a run for its money is the Hidden Valley Ranch Tree Topper, which can be purchased for $50. Obviously, nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ like a creamy bottle of ranch — and quite honestly those light-up stars on top of the Christmas tree are getting a little overplayed, tbh.

    But the Hidden Valley holiday line doesn’t just sell Ranch paraphernalia, it sells actual dressing too including the limited edition Magnum of Ranch bottle, which is set to drop on December 3. Bustle even called The Magnum of Ranch “the champagne of ranch dressing,” so you already know it’s going to be very classy. Not only does the dressing come in a two-liter bottle, while a typical bottle is only 8 ounces, but the bottle itself also comes in a fancy box and ready to gift to all your fellow Hidden Valley-obsessed friends.   

    In case you weren’t already convinced of the glory that is Ranch dressing, just take it from writer Callie Tansill-Suddath, who says “ranch dressing is the perfect, most timeless condiment.”  


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    Given the stress and intensity of college life, it’s not uncommon to see something odd or inexplicable around campus. For SUNY Purchase students, however, the recent discovery of a shrine to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia star Danny DeVito in one of the university’s bathrooms has to top the list as one of the weirdest campus sightings of the year, if not, ever.

    The shrine, Mashable reports, is accessible through a hole in the wall, which is concealed behind a paper towel dispenser. Behind the dispenser lies an abandoned, graffiti-filled room, where the shrine sits in one of the corners.  It consists of a photo of DeVito taped to the wall next to a miniature cut-out of the actor and a sign that reads "Leave An Offering for Our Lord and Savior Danny DeVito, Patron Saint of Trash Men." According to Fox, Some of the offerings surrounding the shrine include iTunes gift cards, a whoopee cushion, and a pack of Pop Rocks.  

    VICE identified the creator of the shrine as SUNY Purchase sophomore Phillip Hosang. Hosang’s decided to make the shrine after he visited the men’s bathroom that he was told allegedly contained a secret room.  Upon entering the room, he was immediately inspired to use it to hide something strange and eye-catching for others to find. The room’s state of disarray led him to conclude that DeVito would be the perfect subject for his shrine. He said “Because of all the trash—if you know Always Sunny, you know that Danny DeVito is known as like the trash man—I was like, 'This is just the perfect person to go with. He’s just weird enough that people would accept that this was a thing.'" 

    Unfortunately, since news of the shrine got went viral, it’s entryway was permanently sealed, but not before the shrine managed to get the attention of its patron saint: Danny DeVito, himself. In a tweet, he said he felt honored by the shrine, writing “my heart is filled with love and garbage.”

    Sadly, nothing gold can stay. But, at least, Mr. DeVito was honored for a brief and beautiful time by these inspiring students. 


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    Here's the thing: I genuinely enjoy weird wellness trends. So when I found out that apple cider vinegar (ACV) shots were a thing, I was intrigued, but I still wasn't convinced. After all, who wants to down vinegar, and how do you even drink vinegar to begin with? But then I learned about Ethan's Functional Shots, and the fact that they sell ACV pre-mixed with water (which, you guys, is a must) and alongside juice, which makes it way, way easier of a sell IMO. I like juice, and I like health, and I like cute little tiny bottles.

    So I challenged myself to drink one Ethan's ACV shot a day for a week.

    Why is apple cider vinegar supposed to be so game-changing?

    When talking to people about ACV, you'll probably get a mix of reactions. Some people are truly baffled by the thought of ever drinking it. It is vinegar, after all, and vinegar is not exactly a subtle smell or taste. Other people, though, are head over heels in love with the stuff. They swear by it for weight loss and for energy. 

    The truth? It's kind of a mix of both. According to The University of Chicago Medicine, "All in all, the probiotics, acetic acid, and the nutrients in ACV are responsible for its health benefits." And while they say it may have a "modest" impact on weight loss, they recommend that you not "get rid of your gym membership."

    If you're going to drink ACV, your best bet is drinking it prior to eating to help you digest more easily. You're not going to drop 10 pounds instantly, but it might help you maintain your weight or lose a few pounds.

    Pro tip: DO NOT DRINK STRAIGHT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.

    Yes, I know, we live in a world of skimming articles, which is why I'm telling you that, in caps. Do not, at all, just drink straight apple cider vinegar. While some celebs might post all over social media about how much they love rolling out of bed and downing an entire bottle of ACV, please don't do this. Celebrities have zillions of dollars, and also doctors and dentists available at the push of a button, and also thousands to drop on new teeth and a new gut. You, I'm assuming, probably don't. 

    I got around this by using my handy-dandy reusable straw. I'm obsessed with these things because they let me drink iced coffee on the daily without stressing too hard about my teeth. I've used them for kombucha, and now I'm using them for these adorable little ACV shots. 

    The flavors def vary. Here's my ranking:

    • Blueberry. I could drink the Blueberry ACV shot for the rest of my life.
    • Ginger Pineapple. And yes, I am team pineapple pizza. Don't judge me. 
    • Turmeric Apple. Just, hell yes. This felt SO HEALTHY AND GOOD.
    • Tart Cherry. I'm actually not a big cherry person, but this was pretty neutral for me. 
    • Beet. I can live without it. 

    Would I do this again?

    Um, yes? I'm honestly surprised, but I think I could integrate Ethan's ACV shots just as easily as I integrated kombucha into my daily life. I really loved so many of the flavors, and I found that I looked forward to giving my bod a boost each morning.

    The super tiny amount makes it totally drinkable, and there's something nice about pairing a Blueberry ACV shot with a blueberry bagel. Trust me. 


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    Traveling can improve your mood, help relieve stress, refresh your outlook, and re-motivate you to accomplish your personal and professional goals. But amidst our busy lives we don’t always have the time to go on a full vacation or trip away from home. We’ve got packed schedules, full to-do lists, and budgets to stick to, so traveling might seem out of the question. With these ideas for daytime adventures and short overnight trips, it’ll be easy and affordable to quench your thirst for adventure without majorly disrupting your routine and schedule.

    Day Trips

    1. Spa Day

    What could be better for relaxation than heading to a spa and treating yourself to a facial, massage and manicure? You won’t have to travel too far to achieve ultimate relaxation and bliss. Capture the feeling of a vacation’s luxury and refresh your skin while taking care of yourself with a spa trip. Plus, you can spend as much or as little time as you want on a spa day, making it easy to customize and work with your schedule.

    2. Amusement Park

    Whether you’re a true thrill seeker or more of a kid-at-heart, amusement parks offer an opportunity to escape, have a blast, and spend quality time with the people you love. Gather up a group of friends, your family, or your significant other and head to a nearby amusement park. Make memories while you take a break from work and schedules.

    3. Shopping Spree

    This could be a pricier trip to go on, but taking a little road trip to the outlets or a nice mall, and spending some time browsing can feel like a getaway in itself. Treat yourself to something nice, especially if work or school has been particularly stressful. Budgeting is important, but sometimes being spontaneous allows you to re-focus on what’s important and feel happier than if everything is carefully planned.

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    A post shared by lauren kay (@laurenkaysims) on

    4. Tourist-for-a-Day

    Take a step back from where you live and think about it in a completely new and exciting way. If you’d never been there before, where would you go? What would be on your bucket list? What restaurants would you be excited to try out? Visit travel websites for your city or check out the newspaper, and then spend a day exploring your city with a completely new set of eyes. You might just discover a new favorite restaurant, study spot, or hiking trail. Sometimes, taking a day to explore can reveal that even if you’ve lived somewhere for a really long time, there’s always more to discover and do!

    Related: How I Travel the World Without Going Broke

    5. Food Trail

    Every foodie knows that the only way to find the best of something is to explore and try everywhere. Whether you’re passionate about ice cream, donuts, pizza or tacos, make a list of all of the best-reviewed spots near you. Spend a day (or a few days!) visiting these places and trying the food. Eating somewhere new can feel completely refreshing, like you’ve just gone on a vacation without having to get on a plane! There are plenty of food and travel guides for every city scattered across Pinterest, and most cities offer guided food tours, like this one in Charleston, South Carolina. 

    6. Hiking Trail

    Going on an extended hike you’ve never done before is an adventure like no other. Getting out in nature will totally relax you, and exploring a new place without time constraints is exciting and rejuvenating. If hiking isn’t really your thing, try a zoo or aquarium instead and spend a day visiting with animals, or go sit at a park to get some fresh air.

    7. Museum

    Sometimes, we live somewhere for years without ever going to visit the museums nearby. You never know what hidden gems lie within the walls of a local museum. If you think history is a bore, try and find something unique nearby, like the museum of ice cream or even a museum of oddities like the famous Ripley’s attractions.

    Overnight Trips

    While day trips are a great alternative to a typical vacation, sometimes you honestly just need a night away from your home in order to relax and recharge. These trips are short enough to do in one night, and don’t require extreme amounts of planning or money

    1. Local hotel or bed & breakfast

    You don’t have to travel far to have a vacation experience. Checking in to a hotel or bed-and-breakfast for the night and switching up your surroundings has proven benefits for your body and mind. Psychiatrist and writer Jean Kim, M.D., explains that “Travel disrupts your routine and introduces novelty to your brain, which improves cognition and helps reactivate reward circuits” in an article she published on Psychology Today. A change in surroundings can help you appreciate your home while exposing you to something new, an opportunity that promotes creativity and will help you feel recharged after the trip.

    2. Visit family or friends

    If you have family or friends that you don’t go visit enough, make a plan to go spend some quality time with them. Stay at their house or a nearby hotel afterward to get the full one-day getaway experience. Not only will you feel recharged from getting out of town, but you’ll also experience the joy that comes seeing the people you care about.

    3. Mini-Roadtrip

    Of course we had to include a classic roadtrip. Brainstorm some places within driving distance that you’ve never been before, pack some quality roadtrip snacks, plan a good playlist and get away for the night. Especially if you go with friends, quick trips are some of the most fun ways to make memories and come back completely happy and relaxed. The trip may not go completely according to plan, but you’ll have so much fun making memories that you won’t even care! You’ll come away from the trip recharged and with some great stories.

    4. Camping

    This one definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, but camping out in nature can de-stress you and be a really fun experience, especially with a big group of friends. As long as you're safe about it, camping switches up your routine, allows you to bond and forget about everyday stressors, and helps you reconnect with the world around you. Choose a weekend with good weather and pack some supplies! 

    5. Bucket list destinations

    Alright, we all know that there are places we've always wanted to go but never have. Whether that's because we don't have the time, the money, or simply don't make it happen, we all have bucket list items just begging to be accomplished. Use one night and get creative to accomplish a bucket list item. There's a concert in a city a few hours away? Make a night of it and enjoy yourself! You've always wanted to visit a bakery that's a little far from home? Take a day trip, spend the night, and do the things you want to do! 

    When you’re craving a vacation but don't have the time to take a full trip, these easy one day getaways can serve as amazing replacements and bring you back to an energetic, creative, and productive mindset.


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    For many freshmen entering college, the fear of making friends and creating lasting relationships is at the forefront of our minds. However, by the time senior year rolls around, we’ve made our mark on campus and have connected with people from classes to clubs to parties. Unfortunately, as we leave the halls of academia and head into the real world, maintaining those relationships can be hard and for many of us, we struggle with knowing if they’re worth the effort. Here are five signs that might prove it’s time to move on from your college friends. 

    1. Your only form of communication is through social media

    Social media is the way to connect these days, but if the only way you’re staying updated with your friend’s life is through their posts and pictures, you might want to reconsider your relationship. Maybe this is because you’re no longer invested in the relationship and it’s perfectly okay to feel this way. Not all relationships are permanent and moving on from college means moving on from certain people. While you can post a picture from your phone, you can also use it to call your friend and see how they’re doing, but if the will or want to do so is fleeting, it’s time to reevaluate. 

    2. You find yourself connecting with other people on a deeper level

    Making meaningful friendships in college was simple: you lived close by, decided to attend the same school and more than likely had similar interests. However, as you entered the real world, reality hit and the same people you once connected with over a cup of coffee after a final, are now changing and so are you. Katie*, a senior in college, says she’s already beginning to feel her friendships shift. She says, “It’s tough to have to continue to explain that I’m working to a group of people who are making the most of the 'college experience.' Of course, I still have some amazing friends who understand and are my cheerleaders; however, I’m in my fourth year—it’s hard to stay around some people who have the same habits they did in first year, and fault you for not sharing them.” Understanding that your friendships will shift and change is crucial, and when you find yourself connecting with new people, take that as a sign of growth and know you’re on the right track to a better you.

    3. When you need them, they’re not there

    We all have hard days, and as we enter into the adult world we begin to experience new things and learn new lessons. However, for many of us, calling on our friends becomes our lifeline and when the same friends you once called on in college are no longer around, it can be a wake-up call that your friends are no longer as invested in you as you are in them. Take this in stride and know it’s okay to move on. And above all else you can take this as an opportunity to focus on new friendships. 

    4. You’re taking a different path

    While age is just a number, the years immediately following college are different for so many of us. Between careers, romantic relationships and the in-betweens that life throws at us, keeping up is hard to do. Cayla Pavlovec a social media specialist and graduate of Millersville University, says, “It was really hard to stay connected with a group of people whose futures were going in a completely different path than yours. I was ready to move anywhere in the country for a job and they were already looking at houses and thinking about babies. I was never negative about their aspirations, and I always congratulated them on their next milestone and sent cards, but they were just getting harder and harder to connect with.” Having the strength to acknowledge your lives with your college friends are no longer aligned is a healthy and important step to take in your young adult life, and know you’re not alone in this.

    5. You realize your friendships in college were not that strong to begin with

    Leaving college allows you the opportunity to branch out and pave a new path. In doing so, you have the opportunity to look back on the friendships you cultivated in college and reflect on what they taught you. Sometimes in that reflection you may discover that some of the friendships you once had in college were merely there for convenience or ease. Teresa Smith, a psychologist based in Chicago, Illinois, notes this as the "nostalgia effect." She says, "It's easy to hold onto and replay positive memories, but you must make yourself aware that those memories are in the past and not every single factor in that memory is something that needs to be brought to the present." While holding on stories of your college days and the fun times is what we all do, it's perfectly healthy and okay to know that not everyone from those memories needs to be carried with you. The friendships you created in college were right for you during those years, and not every single friendship you still have will be right for you in the future, and that's okay. 

    Navigating young adulthood is tricky, and having to do it while the fate of your college friendships hangs in the air is hard. But as Sydnee Lyons, a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University, offers, “I think it’s important not to guilt yourself or your friends for these natural changes, assuming nothing went terribly wrong. People change as they grow up and it’s difficult to expect everyone else in your life to change in just the same ways and at the same rate as you are.” So, fret no more post-grads, life is only getting better and saying goodbye to no longer meaningful friendships is natural, and curating new ones is only a wonderful side effect of entering the adult world. 

    *We've changed her name to respect her privacy.


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    Numerous wildfires have been burning for over a week in Northern California, and a new report shows that the Camp Fire alone has a death toll of 71, while 1,011 people are unaccounted for. 

    According to Butte Country Sheriff Kory Honea, authorities are still trying to recover and identify bodies. He added that in the meantime, the list of missing people may fluctuate as families confirm if they've heard from their relatives, and deputies, National Guard troops, anthropologists, and corners continue sifting through the wreckage. 

    "I want you to understand that there are a lot of people displaced, and we're finding that a lot of people don't know that we're looking for them," Honea said. 

    The list of people reported missing can be found on the Butte County Sheriff's Office website

    The Camp Fire — which is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, according to CNN— is 50 percent contained, and has burned more than 146,000 acres, which includes about 9,800 homes. 

    The Woolsey Fire, burning outside of Los Angeles, is much closer to being contained at 78 percent. Three deaths were reported after more than 98,000 acres were burned. 

    According to CBS News, the dense smoke from the fires has produced what's been described as "the dirtiest air in the world." 

    President Trump is expected to visit Northern California on Saturday to witness the devastation and assess the impact. He'll be joined by California's outgoing and incoming governors, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom.

    When the fires first began, Trump seemingly blamed California's forest management, even threatening to withhold federal payments. He reiterated his disappointment with "management" in a Fox News interview set to air Sunday night. 

    "You need management," Trump said, adding, "I'm not saying that in a negative way, a positive I'm just saying the facts." 


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    Whether or not Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber are legally married is still up in the air, but Baldwin seemed to take a big ~digital~ step in declaring Biebz as her husband.

    That's right — her Instagram user name is no longer @haileybaldwin, and instead is @haileybieber. She even included her new full name in her bio, "Hailey Rhode Bieber." As for Baldwin's Twitter username, it hasn't changed.

    This isn't the first time Baldwin's tried to claim Bieber's last name. According to E! News, the model filed to trademark "Hailey Baldwin" to be used on a potential clothing line.

    The couple got engaged in July, and after being spotted at a New York courthouse in September, it was widely reported that the two had tied the knot. But Hailey later tweeted (and then deleted), "I understand where the speculation is coming from but I'm not married yet!"

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    My wife is awesome

    A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

    If Baldwin changing her name on Instagram weren't enough evidence the couple got hitched, consider the fact that Bieber posted an Instagram photo on Thursday with the caption, "My wife is awesome."

    So it's totally official, right? RIGHT?


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    You aced your classes, said goodbye to your professors and friends, and left campus in style (and with a diploma, of course). After graduation, you thought you’d never talk to your professors again. But now, a year out of college as you are in the midst of a job hunt, you realize you need to ask your former professors for one more favor: a recommendation.

    Whether you are applying for a professional school or getting a job, chances are you will need at least one formal reference. If you have previous work experience or completed an internship, you can of course reach out to your supervisor. But if you don’t have that experience or need multiple references, you may want to reach out to your professors. This can feel slightly weird, especially if you haven’t spoken to them since you left campus. But with the right strategy, you can reach out, get the recommendation and avoid any awkwardness. 

    Maintain a relationship with them after graduation. 

    You don’t have to get coffee with them every week, but after graduation, you should try to stay in touch with one or two professors that really helped you throughout your college career. This was something that really helped Samantha Driscoll, a graduate of St. Edward’s University. 

    “You should maintain a good relationship with that professor upon graduating. You don't want it to come across like you only reach out to them when you need something from them. Check in periodically and give updates about your life post-college. They WANT you to succeed just as much as you do, so they will love the updates when they come, even if you don't have any new news to report on,” Samantha says.

    If you have accepted a new internship or have done some volunteer work related to their course, send your professor a quick email updating them on your life. If you keep the channels of communication open now, it will be easier to ask them for a favor should you need one.

    And, if you happen to have some hip professors, try connecting with them on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, keeping up with them online can make it easier to reach out IRL when the time comes. 

    Reach out to the professors you connected with. 

    If you dropped the ball and haven’t been regularly checking in with your professors, don’t worry—you can still get that letter of recommendation. Instead of reaching out to every professor you ever had, focus in on a few that you really connected with during your time on campus.

    Taylor Strickland, a senior at UW-Milwaukee, has found this strategy to be very helpful. 

    “In my experience, I always try to ask professors I made a genuine connection with,” Taylor says. “It should be a professor you asked for help from during class, met with one-on-one or really bonded with over something.”

    Brenna Treese, a senior a University of Massachusetts Amherst, also recommends reaching out to professors who you had in smaller classes. “They are more likely to remember you and have probably built some sort of relationship with their students. In my experience, professors who teach classes of 30 or so students are more likely to care about them and have an interest in their success for future careers,” Brenna says.  

    If there was one professor you connected with in your senior seminar or a professor that advised you from freshman year on, they will know you better and will be able to write a more detailed and genuine letter of recommendation that can help you land that job. 

    You should also take time to consider professors that saw your work ethic and professional skills firsthand. You may not have been super close with them, but they would be able to provide employers or admission officers with detailed information about why you would be a good fit. 

    Related: 5 Things You’ll Struggle With Your First Year Post-Grad

    Be genuine. 

    You may think that you can shoot off an email to any old professor, but if you don’t have your heart in it, your professors are going to be able to tell. Try to think of specific things you can include that make the request personal, instead of a generic, fill-in-the-blank email. 

    “I'd say it's best to always start with a memory you have from their class, especially if it's been a while (I loved when you talked about ______ during ______ class. It's really stuck with me). Then I always say something along the lines of: If you have the time, I'm applying for _______ and [I am] in need of a recommendation. Because we had such a great connection, I thought of you right away! If you have the time, I'd love for you to be the one to write it," Taylor suggests.

    If you’re reaching out for a professional reference, you can simply let your professor know that, saying something like, “Would it be acceptable for me to list you as a professional reference. You will receive a phone call or email from ______ company. Since we worked closely on ______, I thought you would be best to speak about my experience with _______.”

    And when making these requests, don’t just be genuine with your flattery—be genuine and true about why you want this job. If your professor knows that they can play a role in helping you land your dream job, they may be more inclined to help.

    Taking a little extra time to frame your request in a genuine way will increase the chances of your professor honoring your request.

    Offer gentle reminders about your time in their class. 

    One big worry you may have is that your professors won’t remember you—especially if it has been a while since you were in their class. But here’s the deal: if you enjoyed their class, participated and talked with them, it’s likely they will remember you. 

    But on the off-chance they don’t, Brooklynn Kramer, a graduate of Ohio University, recommends trying to include a reminder about what you did in their class, or how their class impacted you. 

    “My tip for this would be to remind them of a project you completed while asking for a recommendation,” says Brooklynn. “[Try] saying, ‘I really enjoyed working on the Her Campus Video Tutorial in your class. I'm currently applying for a video designer role at ___ and would truly appreciate a recommendation on my work on that video and in your class.’ Reminding them will hopefully spark their memory.” 

    These gentle reminders can also help your professors think of things they want to mention in your letter of recommendation, such as your diligence or dedication to projects. 

    Related: How To Ask Someone To Be Your Mentor & Make The Most Out Of That Relationship

    Be sure thank them and stay in touch. 

    Once you’ve secured that letter, make sure to send your professor a thank you note, either handwritten or over email. They’ve taken time out of their busy lives to write you a thoughtful letter of recommendation, so the least you can do is send them a thank you. 

    But after that initial thank you, make sure you keep them updated. Samantha has worked hard to maintain a friendship with the professors that helped her land her current job. 

    “I periodically send them copies of the magazine I work for and send them updates on how my job is going. I also visit campus when I fly back to Texas and talk to their current students about the publishing industry and life in NYC, and I thank them every chance I get for being my biggest fan and always pushing me to be the best I can be,” Samantha says. 

    If your professor’s recommendation helps you land a job, make sure to tell them that! As a way of paying it forward, offer to chat one-on-one with any of their current students interested in your career field or give a guest lecture to their class. And if they ever ask you for a favor, you should do everything you can to honor that request. 

    It’s actually pretty easy to reconnect with professors and ask for a letter of recommendation. What are you waiting for?


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