How To Up Your Instagram Game

How To Up Your Instagram Game

Learn how to make your Instagram page #flawless!
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Our generation is social media obsessed––especially with Instagram. These past couple of months I have been working to make my Instagram page look top notch. I wanted to share some tips with you all that I have used while transforming my page.

1. Stop using black, white, and colorful borders.

Instagram just came out with a new update that allows you to not only post square pictures but also horizontal and vertical pictures WITHOUT borders! I would highly advise you to start posting your pictures full size because this makes them look clearer and more aesthetically pleasing. If you do still want to use borders, I recommend only using white borders because it will make your page cleaner looking rather than black or colorful borders.

2. Stick with an Instagram theme.

I'm not going to lie, it is very hard to stick with an Instagram theme, but it is doable. First, start with picking out an Instagram theme; this should reflect your personality. Are you a minimalist? Then you might want to go for a black and white theme or an all white theme. Are you spunky? Then you might want to try a theme that is vibrant and colorful. Then after picking a theme, start to edit all your pictures the same exact way.

3. Use high-quality pictures.

Obviously not all of us have a DSLR lying around the house, but if you do, USE IT. Luckily for people that have to make do with a smart phone, there are some tricks to making your pictures look just as good! First, take pictures with good lighting. Second, create a depth of field by putting your subject far away and in front of a background, this will give the background a blurry effect. Finally, you can sharpen your photos in an editing app, this will make your photos look more crisp but be careful because it easy to over do it!

4. Invest in editing apps.

Not all photo editing apps cost money, but some do! My favorite editing apps right now are:

  • Afterlight, $0.99. This app allows you to do the usual editing of the sharpness, saturation, brightness, etc. It also gives you the option of different types of white borders you can frame your picture with. I used to use this app mostly for the light streaks on dark pictures because it gave it a unique look.
  • VSCO, FREE. This app is basically just like Afterlight in that it allows you to edit the picture's brightness, etc. It has pre-made filters; the T1 filter being its most famous for being able to give photos the "Tumblr look." The best thing about this app is that it is just like Instagram; it allows you to post pictures to your page. Usually, before I post an Instagram picture, I'll post my picture to VSCO to make sure it goes with my Instagram theme.
  • Facetune, $3.99. This app is very controversial because it allows people to photoshop their bodies and skin. I personally use the whitening tool to whiten my backgrounds to make the photo appear cleaner and, occasionally, I will use the blur tool if I have a small blemish.

I know I am always searching for awesome Instagram pages to stalk so here are some of my favorite ones:

  • @mylifeaseva
  • @macbby11
  • @aspynovard
  • @imkell
  • @lararawson
  • @laurengiraldo
  • @laurenconrad
  • @margoandme
  • @tayst
  • @maddibrag
  • @jayalvarrez
  • @daniellemarieyt
  • @oliviamcclintock

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.
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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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10 Ways To Plan A Fun College Weekend That DOESN'T Involve Alcohol

If you're desperate to take a break from the bar scene.

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As a college student, I can attest to the mass amounts of binge drinking that occurs on the weekends and sometimes weekdays of the semester. Every plan or activity seems to involve a fifth of vodka or a glass of wine. You can't tell me that a weekend of no alcohol doesn't sound like heaven on earth. If you can that's okay, we'll just entertain the idea.

Here are 10 things you can do to substitute a night out.

1. Grab a pizza and watch the sunset at a cool spot

Whether you go to school in the city, the country or near the beach, there is always a good spot to watch the sunset. Grab your favorite type of to-go food, a friend, a few blankets and have yourself a sunset.

2. Go on a food tour

Food tours are a great way to spend a Saturday night. These tours can usually be found in most cities and big towns. You sign up and pay online, meet up with the group and a guide brings you around to the best restaurants to try a sample of food from each place.

3. Take a trip

If the weather is nice, go to the beach. Take advantage of friends who have beach or even lake houses and spend the weekend relaxing. In the winter, do the same. Go skiing or snowboarding with some friends. There are so many winter activities, you surely won't run out of things to do.

4. Visit your local puppy store

This one is my favorite. Whether you're missing your own dog or you just love dogs, visit the pet store and have a day.

5. Have a "family" dinner or game night with all of your friends

It's so important to hang out with your friends when you're sober, so invite everyone over for dinner and games. Ask each person to make and bring a dish of something, it's fun to see what people will bring. Get out a deck of cards or an old favorite board game, there are endless game possibilities.

6. Rent a movie or go to the movie theater

Movie nights are the best, you're lying if you say they're not. Put on your favorite pajamas and fuzzy socks, and invite your friends over for a movie. If you're itching to get out of your apartment, go to the movie theater and pig out on candy.

7. Rent bikes or mopeds and ride them around

Over the summer, my friends and I spent a day riding rental bikes around Boston and it was the best Sunday I've ever had. You get to see the city so much better and a whole lot faster.

8. Go bowling

Bowling is so underrated. There is nothing better than getting together some of your most competitive friends and having a night at the bowling alley.

9. Take a yoga class 

Imagine how good you'll feel the morning after taking a yoga class... totally beats your usual hangover. If you want to be even more adventurous, try hot yoga. Hot yoga is HARD but you feel like a million bucks after a nice cold shower.

10. Spend a whole day shopping 

Let's be real, we all do this anyway.

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