Nicole Buckenham

communications major/psychology minor

New Year relationships

Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service
Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

Since it’s a new year, there’s no better time than now to not only improve upon yourself, but also with your relationships. If you are still single, maybe it’s time to change up some things to get yourself back into a relationship. If you are in a relationship, it may be time to spice things up.

First of all, make yourself seem available. Stop looking at your phone when you’re out and about. Look around, make eye contact and smile. Most of the time, people you would date are in every day places such as around campus, the gym or the grocery store. Try to always look presentable as well. That one day you don’t, you might see the person of your dreams standing before you. If you look good, you’ll feel good and exude confidence everywhere you go. Also, try to do things and go places by yourself. People are much more likely to approach you if you’re not in an intimidating group.

Now, once you have successfully landed yourself a significant other, it’s time to make this the best relationship you’ve ever had. Look back at your previous relationships and think about what went wrong or what could have been better. A key to a healthy relationship is trust and honesty. Find someone in the New Year that will let you do whatever your heart desires and who supports you along the way. Find someone who will tell you straight up how they feel and help you improve yourself in 2016. Most importantly, find someone who will make you happy. Find a person that can be your best friend and go on adventures with you and at the same time still give you butterflies when they kiss you.

A New Year’s resolution should always be to try new things. Often, people in successful relationships try new things. So, grab your partner and go do as many crazy things as possible together. Start by making one bucket list each. This way you have everything documented and can see where each other’s interests are. You can decide when and where to do the things on the list. Sometimes you and your partner may not see eye to eye, but with the list you can support each other and take turns doing what the other person wants to do. Also, when you are out trying all these new and exciting things together you will probably meet people along the way who have the same interests as you. Then, you and your significant other can meet a new social circle and have mutual friends to go out and do things with.

One last thing that will contribute to giving your old relationships a run for their money is having alone time. Something I am sure we have all learned, or will learn, is key to a romantic relationship is to have a healthy balance between spending time with people and spending time with yourself. Before you even commit to anything in the New Year, make sure you are truly okay with being yourself and hanging out with, well… you. The old saying is true, you have to love yourself before someone else can love you. If you aren’t okay with having some Netflix time alone then how can you possibly cherish it with someone else by your side? The true test to this is to go somewhere populated or to a restaurant alone. See if you feel comfortable or uncomfortable. If you feel okay, then you passed the test and are ready to let someone love you. Once you’re in a relationship it’ll make time apart from that person so much more bearable and maybe even enjoyable. It’s nice to get a break from your person every once in a while. You can do you, and they can do them. You can relax, unwind and enjoy time with friends or family. This will really make you realize just how much that person means to you.

If you can let yourself follow these New Year resolutions, this should be the best year for your dating world and for yourself.

Eight tips to keeping your New Year’s resolutions

Photo by Nicole Buckenham
Photo by Nicole Buckenham

Be realistic

When picking what your new year’s resolution is going to be, keep in mind what your body and mind is capable of doing. Be realistic with yourself. It’s realistic you want to work out, but starting off by working out every single day is going to be almost impossible. Also, keep your budget in mind. If your new goal for the new you is going to be costly, think about what you can afford and what you cannot. Think about if your new year’s resolutions fit who you are as a person. Don’t try to do something that does not seem like yourself or is too out of reach.

Plan it out

A good way to get you going to keeping your new year’s resolution is to plan it out from the get go. If you outline what you’re going to do, it gives you a good starting point and a track to follow to succeeding. Try writing down in your calendar what days you are going to work on your goals and what days you are going to take a break. Invest in a good planner where you can write details of what you’re going to do and how you are going to do it. If the goal is to eat healthier, try to make a grocery list to help plan meals for the week so that you are not left to resort to unhealthy options

Get an app

 There is an app for most anything, so if it relates to your resolution, download it. A couple favorites are: LoseIt! For optimal food tracking and Mint for finance tracking. These apps will definitely help attain goals.

Track your progress

Tracking how you do toward keeping your resolution can really give you the motivation to continue to do well. Also, if you do not track your progress you will never know how far along you really are. A good way to do this is by cutting up sticky notes into small, rectangular pieces and sticking them on the side of a door numbered with each day of the week on them. Every day you do something involving your goal, rip off a sticky note that corresponds to that day. That way you have a visual of how well you are doing or how well you aren’t doing. It will also look good seeing how many sticky notes you have left and how much closer you are to completing whatever you want to do for the New Year.

Talk about it

Don’t keep your resolutions a secret. Talk to friends and family about what you want to accomplish. Social accountability always helps. Having people help motivate and keep you on track is always ideal, better yet, having a friend or family member wanting to achieve the same or similar goal will give you someone to work together with.

Reward/Punish Yourself

Rewarding yourself and punishing yourself for how well you are doing on your way to sticking to your new year’s resolutions is key. Every time you do something good or see progress in what you’re doing, reward yourself. Think of what you love the most or love to do, then do it. Only do not eat unhealthy food if that’s what your goal is for the New Year. If you do badly at trying to keep your goals, do something to punish yourself. A way to do this is write down different things to embarrass yourself on small pieces of paper or if you’re goal is to work out, write down intense workouts and draw the slips of paper from a bowl. Rewarding yourself and taking things away are a great way to make sure you stick with your New Year resolutions.

Let yourself mess up

 Changing behavior is truly a challenging task. Don’t be hard on yourself if you have a slip up here and there. As long as you get up and continue your goals, you will be fine. If you get derailed, reframe it as a learning experience for next time.

Keep on Going

Lastly, the most important thing when it comes to keeping your New Year resolutions is to keep going. Do not beat yourself up about it too badly if one day does not go as planned. It takes about a month to start a habit, so results are not going to happen overnight. Always think about why you started, that should be your motivation. Read inspirational quotes and look at motivational pictures. Get advice from others because talking about what you want to do will make a big difference. The more you tell people about your goals, the more they are going to want to support you. Just keep sticking to it until you see the slightest bit of improvement, because then it will just keep getting easier from that point on. Just keep going and do not give up no matter how hard the road may seem. The results are going to be worth it in the end.

Let’s just be honest, let’s just be real

Photo by Nicole Buckenham
Photo by Nicole Buckenham

A new era has emerged amongst today’s youth. And that is to tell the truth. With mottos like YOLO circulating around and people being as reckless as possible, it only makes sense that people are dropping those little white lies for shiny new truths. More and more people are starting to have the mentality that maybe, just maybe, they might get hit by a bus tomorrow. Now, if that happened, did you really say everything you wanted to say to whom you wanted to say it to before you left?

Telling the truth to people and being as straight up as possible comes with its pros and cons. Have you ever felt like you needed to say something so bad that it was just eating away at you? Whether it was something you felt guilty about or some profound feelings you had for someone… imagine that feeling gone forever because, well, you let it out from inside. You don’t have to worry whether that person you have a crush on will actually want to date you anymore or just fool around. If you announce your feelings to them, you no longer have this confusion. Maybe you felt like you deserved a better grade on an assignment and you were too afraid to say anything, but with this new wave on honesty going around, why don’t you go ahead and tell your professor how you feel? Speaking your mind is scary, sure, but so is sky diving and falling in love. Both things are magical, scary and completely worth it in the end. That’s how the youth of today is viewing being straight up with people. It may be scary at first and seem like it’s not worth the risk, but that feeling of revealing the truth is worth it in the end. You won’t get anywhere if you keep your feelings bottled up.

Now, with telling the truth there’s also the effects that come along with it. Maybe when you say what you want to say, you don’t get the response you wanted back. That’s only the worst that could happen. Maybe when you tell the person you’re in love with that you love them, they won’t love you back. But then, at least you know that they are not the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Maybe when you tell your professor you deserve a better grade, nothing changes. The only negative with speaking your mind is that it might not change anything, or maybe now you know something you never knew before that you didn’t want to know. With every truth spoken, you’re one step closer to something you wanted versus if you did not say anything at all.

So with the motto “honesty is the best policy” actually taking affect nowadays, what does that mean for you? It means that go ahead and send that risky text message you’ve been wanting to send that’s been just sitting in your phone for days. Tell the person you can’t stop thinking about that you cannot get them off your mind. Tell your boss you want a promotion or demand a better grade on an assignment that you worked your butt off for. If you don’t say these things… who will? Who will ever know the response you will get back if you never are straight up with people and yourself. After all, that risky text message is just a bunch of words in grey and blue bubbles. Tell someone they’re on your mind because they aren’t a mind reader. Tell your boss you deserve the best because you’re a full time college student working a part time job. Tell your professor you want a better grade because studying harder than you ever have before for a test surely means something. Telling the truth is scary, but worth it in the end. Be straight up, speak your mind and follow Drake’s advice that you only live once. You never know who needs your back as much as you need them. You never know the endless possibilities that stand before you when you let people know what you want. Say what you’re thinking before it’s too late.

College relationships are complicated

Photo by Nicole Buckingham
Photo by Nicole Buckingham

College students tackle one tough exam after another, join extracurricular activities and some even balance a job all on top of that. But when it comes to the dating world, it is a never ending roller coaster ride of confusion. We are often stuck in the awkward phase of no longer being an immature high school student where we do not quite yet know what we are looking for, but are not yet out in the real world looking to settle down. We do not want to be immature about being in a relationship, but at the same time we are in the most important and fun years of our lives and being involved in a commitment with someone can be a little too scary sometimes. The most confusing thing about this situation is we never know where someone stands with relationships when we first meet them. We just assume everyone is stuck in this confusing in-between stage, this is where things get complicated.

The term “hooking up” comes into play a lot while in college and is quite frankly the root of this problem. First encounters with attractive strangers are not so innocent anymore. In elementary school, most of us thought of the opposite sex as carriers of cooties. Then in middle school, we seemed to have dated almost everyone in our grade–considering asking someone out was as easy as passing a note back and forth to confirm it. In high school, things were a little more serious. It was easy to meet someone through mutual friends or a class. You were attracted to them, but wanted to see where things could go. You started off slowly so nothing would get ruined along the way. In college, things move at a faster pace. When you first meet someone you are attracted to, you no longer have those innocent thoughts or shy feelings. You probably did not even meet them through such an innocent way. It is likely you met them at a party, or even through an app called Tinder. Then once you meet them, things start to escalate. This is where the term hooking up is used. Hooking up can mean different things to different people, but the bottom line is you do not wait to date someone to share that special butterfly feeling, first kiss with them like in high school. This time, you go way past that. Once you have hooked up with this person, you do not know what comes next. It is a mystery, and because of this, we feel that everyone in college is going through a phase of not knowing what they want to do.

Sometimes after such an encounter, you never talk to that person again. You might see them in passing and give a little wave, or do nothing at all. Maybe this situation gain you a new friend, or even a special kind of friend. These options just mentioned are for the types of people who are still just trying to have fun and enjoy college as a free person. They do not want feelings for someone to stand in the way of their future career goals or opportunities to go out and have a good time. After all, if you end up in a relationship with this person, you cannot have outings like this again. If you are on the other end of the spectrum, maybe the two of you realized there is something worth trying here. Maybe you moved pretty fast but, there is some sort of spark you never expected and want to see where it could take the two of you. After a hook up, you will get their number, continue to see them afterwards and go tell all your friends about it. However, with no one really knowing what direction hooking up with someone will take them, it just makes it confusing for both parties. Maybe both people want a relationship, but nothing is ever clarified because the intentions are not clear. With not knowing what the other person wants, it makes everything complicated. People hook up just to hook up and do not think much of what comes next. If a relationship comes out of it, it is a shock to just about everyone. This is the problem with relationships in college. The intentions of others are not clear. Opportunities could be missed because feelings are not spoken. Everything is done with such speed that the person you could possibly spend the rest of your life with just flashed before your eyes.

5 back-to-school beauty must haves

beauty color feature
Photo by Nicole Buckenham

With school back in session, it means all those long and hardworking days are back as well. Throughout the day, whether it is running back and forth between your classes, stressing over exams or just trying to withstand the hot summer heat, that makeup you applied in the A.M. is slowly coming off as the day turns into P.M. With help from these five back-to-school beauty products provided below, it’s safe to say that beautiful makeup you applied before you went to class this morning is going to last you a little longer throughout your busy day than usual.

A lot of makeup users underestimate the power of a primer and tend to skip this step. A primer really is one of the most important steps when doing your makeup just because it is good for so many things. The “Too Faced Primed and Poreless” primer for example can do three things all at one time. It is good for laying down a good clean base for your foundation to lay upon, it minimizes the look of your pores and most importantly it keeps the rest of your face makeup staying on strong for the rest of your day. You can find the Too Faced primer at your local Ulta.

Everyone knows a good concealer is vital when doing your makeup. But, you probably didn’t know you should own two concealers in two different shades. You should own a concealer in a color that matches your skin tone so you can cover up any breakouts coming from all the stress of going back to school. Also, you should own a concealer a few shades lighter than your skin tone to apply under the eyes. This way the lighter shade covers up dark circles as well as brightens them so it looks like you got eight hours of sleep when you actually didn’t because you had to stay up all night studying for that one test. The NYX concealer wand is perfect for buying two shades because it comes in a variety of skin tones and is also super inexpensive! You can find NYX products at Target.

Matte Lip
Now, going back to school also means that you’ll be meeting tons of new people and trying to look your best through some long, hard days. A perfect lip to last you through the day as well as being in style is a good old matte lip. The color that is in right now (thanks to Kylie Jenner who brought it back from the 90’s) is a dark nude. The nude that you see her rockin’ is called “Whirl” from Mac Cosmetics. Originally it was just a lip-liner but now they have come out with the lipstick to match! This lipstick is on trend, will last throughout the day without drying your lips out and also goes with any outfit. You can find “Whirl” at any Mac store.

Makeup Setting Spray
A makeup setting spray is just a misted spray that you apply to your face after your makeup is complete. It should always be your last step when doing your makeup. Makeup setting sprays are good for keeping powders, concealers and eye-shadows from absorbing into your skin and melting off. Different makeup setting sprays do different things as well as keeping your makeup lasting throughout the day, but NYX’s matte setting spray is designed to keep your makeup matte as well which really helps you from getting oily in the hot summer heat when going back to school. You can find the NYX matte setting spray at Ulta.

Clean and Clear’s Oil Absorbing Sheets
Clean and Clear’s oil absorbing sheets are an oldie but a goodie. They have been around for a while, but never seem to fail. If you’ve never used these sheets before, they are just a thin blue sheet you blot on your face to take excess oil off without removing your makeup. These sheets are so helpful when you get sweaty and oily from running around all over school. They’re small enough to put in your book bag and reach for them whenever you need it! You can find Clean and Clear’s oil absorbing sheets at any drug store.