Wisconsin Snow Days

Wisconsin Snow Days

Because #snowdaze are the best.
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With the crazy winter storm that just struck the majority of the Midwest on Tuesday, you might think that people around here would bar the doors, stockpile nonperishable goods, and wait out the weather with pajamas while watching "Friends" reruns. Well, for some people, you're right. For others, that couldn't be father from the truth, especially when considering people of the *ahem* college variety.

As I sit here writing this article, both of my neighbors are throwing parties on their front lawns, complete with adorable puppies, snow fort and snowman building, and for some neighbors in particular, beer drinking. All of this hoopla simply because class was cancelled after 12:30 p.m. today!

Now trust me—I'm not complaining. I think this is awesome! However, I do think people who aren't from this area might think us Northerners are a little strange. So for the amusement of Midwesterner's and to justify the opinions of people who live in other parts of the country that think we really are crazy, here are the different things that we do on snow days.

Build snowmen.

I know that this one is a little obvious because who doesn't build snowmen, but it's definitely one of the first things most people do, from childhood and beyond. The difference between Midwest snowmen and many other parts of the country is that ours get pretty intense. I'm talking about multiple 10-foot snowmen around town that people don't even look twice at. It's just so normal. I actually find it pretty surprising if I don't see snowmen after a new snowfall.

Throw parties.

While this aspect of a snow day is pretty specifically targeted at college students, it's one that proves to be true fairly often. Blasting music from your apartment window or car becomes a must because a stereo just can't handle that kind of cold for long. The best part about a snow storm party? No need for coolers because you can just store your beer in the snowbank! Also, it's literally one of the only reasons when loud public day drinking outside in the winter is socially acceptable.

Have campus wide snowball fights.

This inevitably happens every couple of years when Wisconsin schools actually cancel classes (it's probably rarer that Bigfoot sightings). Even today, a mere couple of hours after the snow began to fall, I got a Facebook invitation to join the party. It's really not anything special, but it's definitely a good time.

Act like the world is ending.

While this phenomenon is typically reserved for the southern half of the states, Wisconsinites aren't immune to it. Just last night people were flooding Festival Foods, Wal-Mart, and grocery stores across the state to stock up on milk, bread, cookies, eggs, whipped cream, candy—you know, the essentials. But honestly, some people do panic about the implications of blizzards. While they're usually mild enough that everything is OK after a couple days, it isn't necessarily a bad thing to prepare.

Ignore responsibilities (i.e., homework).

As soon as the snow day is officially decided on, a lot of people (including myself) simply ignore their responsibilities and do whatever else they want instead. Whether it's binge-watching Netflix, playing in the snow, or spending way too much time on the Internet, they're all acceptable.

Slip and fall. A lot.

A snow day honestly calls for so much slipping and falling that it goes beyond hilarity. I'm sure you've seen the videos of innocent walkers who don't notice the ice hidden beneath snow piles or shovelers who just can't keep their balance. I know I can't contain my laughter when I watch them, but that's in part due to the fact that I've definitely been there before. I prefer to call it awkward ice dancing rather than slipping. It just sounds better.

Have fun.

Most of all, people have fun on snow days. Yes, there's the responsibilities of shoveling, plowing, driving carefully, and all of those other awful things, but most of us are just used to those activities by now. And all of them can be fun if you have the right mindset. Instead of shoveling your driveway by yourself, invite some friends over, toss a couple cold drinks in the snow, and reward yourself for every 10 shovelfuls you move. Try to remember how much you enjoyed snow days as a kid, and enjoy them!

Cover Image Credit: http://www.learningascent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/snow-day.jpg

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!
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To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate



Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.


2. Flowers



Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.


3. Giant Teddy Bear



This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.


4. Wine



Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.


5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!


6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.


7. A Movie



Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.


8. A Necklace



I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!


Buy one on Amazon.


9. A Ring



While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.


10. Clothes



Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.


11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel



I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.


12. Personalized Picture Frame



A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.


Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"

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Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.

Damages

Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.

Neighborhood

It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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