Too School for Cool: Celebrating FORToberfest

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Sep 202012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Fort Collins is known for its festivals, such as New West Fest and Tour de Fat. These festivals let the community celebrate the culture of our

Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale

Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale (Photo credit: Bernt Rostad)

town, which has a major focus on music, bikes and beer.

FORToberfest combines all those great things about the The Fort into an awesome weekend of festivities, and it’s happening now for the first time, Sept. 21 and 22.

Admission is free and the idea is to bike downtown dressed in costume (similar to Tour de Fat), listen to some of the city’s greatest local bands and enjoy the city’s greatest local beers.

Sounds like a good weekend right? With bands such as You Me and Apollo, Sour Boy Bitter Girl, and Widow’s Bane, you can’t go wrong.

 

In order to make your festival experience extra special, here are five tips:

  1. Plan for a group costume idea, such as The Avengers or the Spice Girls
  2. Don’t forget to bring the essential items, such as a bike lock, your ID, and plenty of cash
  3. Take a water bottle with lots of ice in it; you don’t want to get dehydrated when riding a bike because you’re only drinking beer
  4. Check your bike to see if anything needs fixing so you can take advantage of the bike tune-ups being offered downtown
  5. Print out the music schedule by going to http://downtownfortcollins.com/dba.php/fortoberfest/

 

 

Too School for Cool: Only got $20 in my pocket

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Sep 172012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely hate how much expensive clothes cost. It’s just fabric and some string, so why is it $50? It’s certainly a mind boggler. Then I saw the video for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song, ‘Thrift Shop’, and had a revelation. People can look awesome wearing other people’s old clothes.

If you haven’t seen the video for ‘Thrift Shop’, go watch it right now.

OK your back! It’s a known fact that clothing trends come back around. Think about it; bell bottoms were totally hip in the 70’s and if you’re a 90’s baby you definitely wore those on the first day of school every year until you were 13. Also, leggings have been rocked on and off since long before I was born.

Since styles go in cycles like this, it makes absolute sense that there would be some super cute clothes at thrift shops that someone’s grandpa had dropped off. Plus winter is coming up, so this is a great opportunity to fill your closet with sweaters in interesting prints without breaking the bank.

Chances are when you go shopping for thrift clothes, you’re not going to hit the goldmine on the first try, but never fear. Fort Collins has an

new recycle design

new recycle design (Photo credit: artbymags)

abundance of thrift stores to check out, including Repeat Boutique, Goodwill, Arc, Eco-Thrift, and many more.  I suggest making a day out of it and hitting up several of them.

With used clothing, there’s always that awkward uncertainty about who wore the clothes before you. Most of the things found in thrift stores smell like R. Kelly’s sheets, but that’s usually fixed with a single wash cycle… maybe double-up on soap.

I’m a strong believer in that anyone can pull off any look with the right attitude. So wherever you go, whatever you buy, whether you decide to wash it or not, make sure to wear it with confidence and strut your stuff.

 

Too School for Cool: Stress relief 101

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Sep 072012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

stress

stress (Photo credit: bottled_void)

As a college student, I deal with stress on an every-day basis.  People tell me to do things like meditate or exercise deep breathing to de-stress. While those practices are fine and dandy and may work for some people, I find those activities extremely dull.

There are more exciting ways to relieve stress that, in my opinion, work a lot better and require less time to implement. I would think that any college student would want their stress relief activities to be as efficient as possible so they have more time for studying, which is why I’ve created this list to help you all.  Here’s a little insight on how I de-stress.

Lazy river study trip

Preparing for a major exam can require extraneous amounts of study time, leaving little time for relaxation. One of the best ways I’ve found to de-stress in this situation is to relax while studying. How do I do this you might ask? Laminate your most important notes and study them while floating down the lazy river at the student recreation center. You can get your notes laminated at Kinko’s or buy a huge pack of laminating sheets at an office supply store for around 10 dollars. Slap them on and you’re ready to go.

Releasing endorphins

It may sound too easy to be true, but laughing has actually been proven to make you happier and less stressed. Let me drop a knowledge bomb on you. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins. This is a chemical in your brain that makes you feel good about life. And as they say, laughter is contagious, so get together with a big group of friends for an epic laughing session to de-stress.

Smashing plates

The tradition in Greek culture of smashing plates was originally for celebration, but I’ve found that doing it when I’m stressed can be helpful.  At the Taverna Greek Grill, it is common for the owners to pick people who are dining to smash a plate against the wall.  The rush you get from hurdling a plate at a wall, knowing you aren’t going to get in trouble or have to clean up the mess, is a great feeling.  When you do this in your home, you will have to clean up the mess and you probably shouldn’t break any of your roommates’ plates.  The rush is still the same though and has a similar effect of stress relief as screaming into a pillow.  This is just a less psycho way of de-stressing that won’t leave the neighbors wondering if they should call the police.

Reality Television

If you feel you need an hour break from studying, move to the couch for some dramatic reality television. If you can, try to pick a show where the characters are constantly dealing with awful situations.  Some that have proven effective for me are ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’.  By the time you finish watching, you will be so taken aback by how awful the characters’ lives are that your problems and stress will seem petty. Very few people are worse off than the girls who got pregnant at sixteen or the girls who are trying to solve the murder of their best friend. Compared to that, most people’s lives are a cakewalk.

Zen hobby

It helps to have a hobby that makes you feel relaxed. Many people already have one, but don’t take the time to do it. Mine is photography, so using that as an example, it helps to set aside some time in your schedule to go wander outside by yourself taking photos. Just soak in the world around you and have a moment free of worry and stress. This helps you realize there are bigger things happening in the world than whether you get an A or a B on that finance test.

 

Too School for Cool: When I move you move, just like that

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Sep 032012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

A drink called "Sex on the Beach", v...

A drink called “Sex on the Beach”, is a very popular in peruvian bars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bars are loud, hustling and bustling places. There’s loud music playing, it’s crowded and most people have had a little too much to drink.

Still, going out is a great way to spend the evening, whether you’re with your friends or stalking the opposite sex like a lion. But sometimes it can be so loud that it gets hard to hold a conversation with someone. When it comes down to it, it’s all about body language.

Reading someone’s body language can be difficult, especially if they’re of the opposite sex. If you can read the message a person is trying to display prior to striking up a conversation with them, you are more likely to get lucky, in whatever way you interpret that.

It all starts when a guy sees a girl from across the room. She’s so cute, laughing and dancing with her friends. Seems like she could be looking for a nice guy, right? Think again.

What’s she wearing? A girl’s bar outfit says a lot about what she is expecting to get out the night, especially her shoes.

Say she’s wearing heels; this probably means she is a single, available woman who would be thrilled to dance with you and maybe more. She’s wearing a short skirt and makeup too? Even better.

On the other hand, say she’s like me and she’s in a relationship. I have what I thought was a fool-proof outfit for bars that would guarantee that I would look cute, but avoid getting hit on.

I’m a girl, so I’m going to wear a cute skirt and top just like everybody else because that is what society expects of me. But look at my shoes. I know it’s dark in here, but look really hard. Notice they are moccasins. Do you really think I would be wearing moccasins to a bar if I was trying to meet a guy? No! My man’s coming to pick me up at the end of the night, so don’t bother.

You see, girls chose a specific outfit each night to display a message to guys.  If guys can read this body language, they will have more success.

On the other hand, I’m just going to come out and say it: men are easier to read than women. It happens. For example, if a guy is trying to look nice for the ladies, he wears what is notoriously known as the ‘sexy shirt’. This is basically anything in the ball park of a button up shirt with stripes or whatnot. That’s it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So say you have picked a girl; she’s wearing the traditional ‘I’m looking for a man’ outfit, so you decide you want to dance with her. Do not just walk up to her and start dancing without asking. Being forward can be good, but don’t be so forward that she’s thinking “Excuse me, did I give you permission to rub that on my backside?”

After asking to dance, take her over to the bar to talk and buy her a drink. WARNING: just because a girl lets you buy her a drink does not mean she is single. I get free stuff all the time. It’s just a perk of being a lady. It doesn’t mean I like you or owe you anything in return.

If she is in to you, she will find random reasons to touch you, even if it’s just your arm. Also, her eyes will be hooked on yours. You can tell a lot by eye contact. If she is looking back at the table where her friends are sitting or looking at her drink, she’s not enjoying the conversation.

Similarly, if a man is attracted to a woman, his lips will be slightly parted as he listens to her. He also might sit with his legs spread open and touch his face a lot. It’s a women’s job to make males feel nervous, and the reaction can be adorable.

So by now you’ve been talking to this girl for a while. She’s twirling her hair and you’re making her laugh. Maybe it’s time to give her your number?

Girls love a guy that can make them laugh, and a little bit of cheesiness never killed anyone. At this point if you write your number on a napkin with a little note that says “Call me, maybe”, you’ve sealed the deal.

 

 

Too School for Cool: Semester survival guide

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Aug 242012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Slippers 2

Slippers 2 (Photo credit: walker_mcbryde)

Here we go again. It’s the first week of school and students are already feeling stressed out. Those first days of classes can be pretty overwhelming.

As I sit here reading my syllabi, I can’t help but think to myself, “How am I going to finish all these projects in one semester?!” Not only that, but how will I manage to do all my class work while maintaining the way of life that I have perfected and grown so accustomed to over the summer?

This summer, I enjoyed going out with friends, having a clean apartment, and partaking in various shenanigans that may not be appropriate to mention. Now that school has started, I’m worried that my apartment will turn into a dump, I’ll never have time to go out, and the season of shenanigans will come to a close.  This just won’t do.

I’ve devised a plan to ensure that my life, and yours, will not be entirely ruined by taking an unhealthy amount of credits this semester.  Hopefully this advice will help to make your semester free of panic attacks and full of tomfoolery.

The thing most people give up when starting college is their social life.  This isn’t necessary and can actually be detrimental to your health.  The quick fix is to combine your social life with your school life.

One way to do so is to study with friends. When doing so, make a commitment with said friend that the two of you will actually study, not chit-chat, although it’s good to take a ten minute break every hour or so to gossip and go on Instagram. Plus, you may want to go flirt with that cutie sitting at the next table in the library…

On to the next dilemma: finding time to clean the apartment.  Most people don’t enjoy cleaning, especially when you’re stressed about finishing that research paper.  Luckily, someone’s invented the best thing since sliced bread to solve this problem.

Wal-Mart sells Sweeper Slippers, which are slippers that have dirt-grabbing, dust-clinging fabric on the bottom that do the job of sweeping for you. Just wear them around the house and the cleaning is done, well most of it. My two roommates and I wear these at all time and our floor has never been cleaner. Not to mention that the repulsively attractive lime green color they come in is so fashionable that I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the next issue of Vogue.

Last but not least, college is not complete without shenanigans. This can range from spraining your pinky toe while climbing on your boyfriend’s roof, to consistently getting free chips and queso at Qdoba for flirting with the high school boys that work there, to teaching your roommate how to swing dance because he told a girl he wants to ‘get with’ that he was an expert, (yes, all these actually happened last summer).

Regardless of your shenanigans of choice, these are the memories the make college the best time of your life. With this being said, set aside one night a week for adventures.  Get together with your best accomplices for a night of unplanned mischief. Ft. Collins has a lot to offer, so grab your bikes by the handle bars and have a magical night.  The only rules are to be safe and legal. Now I set you free.

 

Too School for Cool: Let the Fun Begin

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Aug 202012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi there! I’m Allison LeCain. I’m very excited to be coming at you with a college humor column this year,
but before you begin to enjoy them I thought I’d tell you some tid-bits about myself. I’ve been writing
for College Avenue since I was a freshman, which has pretty much made writing my life. I’m a senior
journalism major with a business administration minor. When I’m not writing or in class, I enjoy drinking
beer, roasting marshmallows, and spending time with my crazy roommates, (you’ll hear a lot about
them, just wait). Throughout the year I’ll be opening up about a range of topics that hopefully all of you
can relate to. For best results, sit in a comfy chair and wear a fluffy hat while reading all my columns.
Enjoy.