Super Bowl XLVIII

“Are you really wearing that football jersey to church, hunny?”
“Of course I am babe, it’s game day.”

Most American men take football rather seriously. The men that do believe that there’s spring, summer, and football season. Their lunches on Sunday afternoons often consist of nachos, a few “brewskis”, wings, and maybe a couple handfuls of Doritos. They also talk as if they play for the NFL. You can often overhear them saying things such as, “We have a big game today”, or,  “We really need a “W”. When in reality, they’ll be laying on their sunken in sofas and yelling PG 13 phrases at their television sets while the games are on. For guys like this, February 2nd, 2014 will trump this February 14th. 

For those of you who aren’t avid football fans, February 2, 2014 marks the date of Super Bowl XLVIII. Super Bowl 48 (for the Roman numeral impaired) is this Sunday and it signifies the end of the 2013-2014 NFL football season. This means that right about now, the country is gearing up for a final showdown. In fact, according to this article written on Super Bowl 2013, more than 108 million people watched last year’s Super Bowl, and the expected audience for this year’s Bowl game is supposed to be even greater. This year the Seattle Seahawks will battle it out against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. MetLife Stadium is an open-air stadium. Take note of this Gophers because Super Bowl XLVIII is the first Super Bowl to be held at an open-air stadium in a “cold-weather” city. Ergo, Super Bowl 48 is makin’ history! Kind of exciting, right? Kickoff is scheduled for 5:25 pm CST and the game will be broadcasted live on Fox.

Now it’s time to talk about how you can make this year’s Bowl game a success. After all, the Super Bowl is about more than just football. Super Bowl festivities have something for everyone! This guide is sure to make your Super Bowl experience into one that is super-de-duper (even if you think watching football is like watching paint dry)!

First, you’ve gotta know the basics. Read (and remember!) these stats, so you can rattle them off when game day comes around. This game will feature the league’s top offense (Denver) vs. the top defense (Seattle). Here’s the lowdown on each of the competing teams, all of the information provided for you below was found on this website- Super Bowl XLVIII .

The Seattle Seahawks: Seattle finished the season 13–3, winning the NFC West division and giving them home-field advantage during the playoffs. The team scored 417 points during the season, and only gave up 231. Russell Wilson, a second year quarterback, led the offense. As previously stated, Seattle had the NFL’s top defense. They led the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game (273.6), fewest points allowed (231), and most takeaways (39). Seattle’s defensive line features defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.

The Denver Broncos: Denver finished the regular football season 13–3 for the second straight year. They won both the AFC West division and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Broncos had the best offense in the NFL this past year. They led the league in points scored and in yards gained. The Broncos scored 606 points, which  is the highest total in NFL history and their combined total of yards gained equaled 7,313.  Peyton Manning, a 16-year veteran quarterback, led the offensive line. Also, Eric Decker, a former Golden Gopher, plays for this NFL team! (So far this season, Decker has had 97 receptions, 1,288 yards, and 11 touchdowns… wowzers!)

Don’t Lack Snacks- When it comes to hosting/ attending a Super Bowl party, snacks and appetizers are key. Stock up on these! If you’re hosting, make sure these munchies are readily available. If you’re a guest, be a good one and bring a platter piled high. Lets be honest, most college girls attend these little shindigs just for the free food. Click here for some great recipe ideas! 100+ Super Bowl Party Recipes

Got Games?- Sure, the manly men might want to watch the football game, but what about all of the ladies? Chances are some of them will start to lose focus towards the end of the first quarter, and you’ll need something to keep them occupied. If you offer these fun games at your Super Bowl fiesta, everyone will have a ball (get it?).

Guessing Game- Have guests answer questions like these before the game starts. Then, at the end of the game, see whose predictions were right and whose were oh so wrong.

Who will score the first touchdown? Who will be the MVP? Which player will score the most points? Which team will have the most interceptions? How many total yards will be accumulated? What will be the final score?

Don’t say it- Pass out beaded necklaces at the beginning of the party, then choose a football-related word that no one can say during the game. The word could be something such as “touchdown” or “field goal”. If someone hears another person say the word, they can then take their beads. The person with the most beads at the end of the 4th quarter wins.

Football Charades- Divide your guests into teams and give each team five word cards that you’ve prepared in advance. Everyone takes turns acting out their football-related word and trying to get their teammates to guess what that word is. The team that guesses the most words wins. (Hint: you may want to use a timer to keep the game from running into the next quarter!) Here are several possible words to incorporate into your game: cheerleader, helmet, football, touchdown, referee, coach, team, field goal, coin toss, etc.

Listen To La Música- As announced in Super Bowl Performers 2014, Renee Fleming (four-time Grammy Award winner) will be singing this year’s national anthem. She will be the first-ever opera singer to perform this song at a Super Bowl. The halftime show will then consist of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. According to Super Bowl Performers 2014, Mars has earned a Grammy for his hit song “Just the Way You Are” and just this year he won Best Pop Vocal Album. Also, this article goes on to state that The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have already taken home 6 Grammy awards. With all of this talent booked, it’s bound to be a great performance. Tune in and be ready to rock out!

Watch The Rad Ads- According to Super Bowl XLVIII, Fox has set the sales rate for a 30-second advertisement at $4 million (GASP!), so you know they’re going to be good. Enjoy! Click here for a sneak peak: 2014 Super Bowl Commercial.

Who’s MVP?- As the  party wraps up, get into the NFL spirit by giving your guests MVP Awards. Awards can be won for uttering the best/ worst joke, for having the best manners, for bingeing on the most junk food, for creating the biggest mess, or for even asking the dumbest question during game time (ex: “what’s a field goal again?”).

Other Fun Facts (all of these were found on this Super Bowl Fun Facts website):

The Vikings, Bills, Broncos and Patriots are tied for the most Super Bowl losses. Each team has four. The Super Bowl has a worldwide audience.  It’ll be broadcasted live in more than 180 countries/ territories and in over 25 different languages. The top 3 foods consumed during Super Bowl games are: 1. Dips, salsas and spreads; 2. Chicken wings (approximately 1.25 billion chicken wings will be eaten this weekend); 3. Pizza. Heads are favored in the coin toss.  In 47 Super Bowls, heads turned up 24 times, while tails only prevailed 23 times.

Football may not be for everyone, but the Super Bowl entails more than just two teams tossing a pigskin back and forth. In addition to broadcasting a football game, the Super Bowl offers live entertainment, an excuse to hang out with friends and family, comical ads, and more than likely the opportunity for you to stuff your face with calorious foods. Even if you aren’t a football fanatic, you should still join in on this year’s Super Bowl festivities. At least give this American tradition a chance! And remember, if you still aren’t hooked by the end of the first half, you can always rewatch the Puppy Bowl ☺. Happy Super Bowl Sunday Gophers!

Photo Sources: Broncos, Seahawks, Manning Meme, Smiley Face, Commercials Meme

Take Your Professor to Lunch

Have you ever sat in a lecture so big that the closest thing to personal connection with your professor was when they read your name during roll call the very first day? Because the university is such a large school, you are bound to be in a big class once in a while, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting to know your professor. The Take Your Professor to Lunch program is one opportunity students can meet their professor in a more casual environment by taking them to lunch at one of the university’s dining halls or restaurants.

Details about the Take Your Professor to Lunch Program

  • Students in lectures with 30 or more students can participate in this program
  • Groups of 3-7 students in the same class can take a professor to lunch
  • The University pays for each lunch (up to $9/per person.)

Hannah Karels, Colleen Krick, and Jaci Theise are three students who decided to take advantage of the Take Your Professor to Lunch program. Hannah, Colleen, and Jaci are psychology majors and Family Social Science minors who took Jane Newell’s Family Systems and Diversity course. After hearing about the program, the three decided to take advantage of the opportunity where they enjoyed great networking, free food, and the knowledge that a big campus doesn’t mean there is a smaller chance to make great connections with a professor.

What areas of learning are you most fascinated with or passionate about in college? 

All three of us are psychology majors and family social science minors. We are all interested in studying and learning about people and family interactions.

What made you decide to take this family social science course?

This class was actually part of our minor requirements, but at the same time it was a very interesting course description since we all are interested in family diversity and think it’s an important family topic to learn about.

Why did you decide to take Jane out for lunch? Was the experience what you were hoping it would be?

We wanted to take Jane out to lunch because she made class very personal and she wanted to get to know us as well. We thought this program was a great opportunity to take advantage of! Also, Jane told us that her background was in social work and family social science and incredibly diverse that we wanted to learn more about future careers for ourselves! The experience was really great! Jane was very appreciative and it was great to have a free lunch!

Why should other students take advantage of this resource?

FREE FOOD! And you get the chance to learn directly from your professor and get to know them on a personal level. It would definitely come in handy if you ever needed a letter of recommendation! Plus this university in particular is so large, it’s great to meet professors and other classmates, making the university feel just a bit smaller and more personal! Sometimes this is a common dilemma for students thinking that the University is too big and impersonal. It was great to form a relationship with Jane!

Find more information or sign up for the program here!

Don’t be a “Debbie Downer,” Learn to Love Living in a Winter Wonderland

During these harsh winter months, it’s safe to say that people often find themselves wishing the days away. Contentment can sometimes depend on the weather, which is something that only Mother Nature has control of. Let’s be honest, after Santa Claus comes to town everyone just wants to fast forward to spring break. By then people have had enough of winter and they simply want it to go bye-bye. Nobody likes a bearer of bad news, but it’s time to face the facts, we live in the Twin Cities. Thus, this weather isn’t going away for a long, long, very long time. So what should you do, you ask? Well the answer to this question is rather simple. Your happiness shouldn’t be dependent on something else,  for it has often been said that waiting for something else to make you happy is the best way to stay sad. Therefore, you must all learn to create your own happiness in the midst of this cold winter season.

Tips that will help you stay healthy AND happy this season:


 There’s little sun, but you’re still gonna shine. In June, the sun shines approximately 15 hours a day, but in the month of December it only exposes itself for about 9. And, while the sun is shining high in the sky, most of you are busy sitting in a classroom. Meaning, unless you’re a bird who wakes up early to catch your worm (aka someone who only has morning classes), you hardly get to see it. Believe it or not, this can take its toll on you. Being exposed to less sunlight means that your body is lacking vitamin D. In order to compensate for this, try either A) implementing more fish into your diet, or B) taking capsules that contain fish oil. Multi-vitamins are also a wise purchase due to the fact that most people tend to consume less fruits and veggies (which are what supplies most bodies with their daily dose of needed vitamins) during the winter months.

H20 is the way to go! Lower humidity levels dry out your skin, and the mucus membranes of your nose, throat, and lungs, according to Natural Solutions Radio. This can leave one feeling uncomfortable and even sickly. And, let’s not forget that it is flu season, which only makes matters worse. Drink plenty of water. Lots and lots of water. Remember Gophers, on average you should be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses a day.

Don’t catch the flu, catch the love bug. According to the article, “How to be Happier in January than in July“, as the number of daylight hours decreases, the pineal gland amps up its production of melatonin. This leaves people feeling drowsy and ready for nap time, proving that your bed really does become more tempting during this time of year. Despite the fact that it is important to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, there’s no need to sleep your life away. Instead, if you feel like relaxing, try inviting your crush over to watch a new flick or to play your favorite board game. This leap of faith is recommended because the region of the brain that stimulates the release of  steroid hormones (the hypothalamus) is sensitive to both light and circadian rhythms, according to the article. This then causes testosterone levels to increase slightly during the winter months. As also discussed in this article, men and women often start to date seriously right now and over the next couple of months. Meeting Mr./Mrs. Right can bring happiness… even if there is still snow on the ground.

Embrace your social butterfly. Come wintertime it seems like everyone’s holing up. Some college kids are in total hibernation mode right now. Why be productive when could spend your time shamelessly bingeing on Netflix instead? A social life?! Ha! Who has one of those anymore? Staying social helps one stay happy. As young adults, social interaction is important and it is something that should be implemented into daily life.

Cocoa Cures all! This steamy
beverage is not only rich in chocolate, but it is also rich in chemicals that enhance dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that elevates one’s mood, according to How to be Happier in January than in July. Also, flavonols are compounds found in hot chocolate that increase  cerebral blood flow and brain activity. So what does that mean? It means sipping on some yummy hot chocolate just might put a smile on your face and make you more productive when it comes time to hit the books.

Bundle up, buttercup. Wearing various layers of clothing will help trap in your body’s heat. By doing this, your body won’t be able to lose heat, meaning that you’ll remain oh-so-toasty-warm throughout the day.

Work it out. Being physically active gets your blood pumping and heats up your skin.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which boost your mood and leaves you feelin’ mighty fine.

Try some of these tips out for yourself and see if they do the trick! Oh and remember, there is beauty in all things (even winter!), one just has to be willing to see it. Gophers, if you want to be happy this season, be.

Photo credit: Frozen Forest

Bulk up Your Bookmark Bar

As a college student, websites can be lifesavers. Having a great bookmark bar is almost as essential to surviving college as afternoon naps and espresso. While you are surfing the web (aka: now), add these awesome sites to your bookmark tab for next semester!

Grade Calculator 

Grading shouldn’t be a guessing game. This grade calculator website by Ben Eggleston allows you to focus on your material instead of stressing over a complicated grading scale. (And yes, it calculates the percent you need to pass, which can save tons of stress come finals week.)

CEHD on Pinterest

Follow CEHDugrad on Pinterest for pins and tips on dorm life, studying, and job hunting, as well as fun things to do in the Twin Cities… and memes, lots and lots of memes.

Textbook Rentals

It may be unpleasant, but inevitably you are going to have to do something about those textbooks. Come next semester, you’ll be in the market for a new list of textbooks– or at least in the market to sell back the ones you already have. CEHD has you covered with some sites to make the textbook buying process as easy as finding free food during Welcome Week. Bookmark a few textbook comparison sites to make buying and selling textbooks a breeze. CampusBooksbigwords.com, and Textbook Rentals are just a few of the many sites that offer textbook price comparison. For price comparison on buybacks, check out DealOz and BuyBackTextbooks.

SuperCook

Living on your own can be great, except when you realize how much you took having a meal plan for granted and how old Ramen gets after a few months. If you’re in the mood to mix things up, check out SuperCook. Simply type in the ingredients you have and SuperCook pulls recipes from around the web that only feature the ingredients you entered.

Khan Academy

Having trouble with subjects like math or science? Want to explore a subject area that has always interested you? Khan Academy is the perfect resource for all learners– whether it be for survival in a challenging course or just for fun. Khan Academy offers practice problems, videos, and group discussion on topics ranging from computer programming to the Greek Debt Crisis.

Title Capitalization Tool

It goes without saying that college students write papers on top of papers. The Title Capitalization Tools website states that the general rule of title capitalization is that the first and last word, along with all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions get capitalized. If your brain is too tired to remember all of that after writing a killer essay, the website also features an automatic capitalization tool.

UMN Libraries

The U’s library website was renovated over break and it is looking more beautiful than ever. The new design makes it easy to find the tools you need to do research and find sources. Little known to some, the library site also features resources like an assignment calculator and citation management tools. The library website can be extremely helpful, so take a few minutes to get acquainted using these library tutorials!

What website are on your bookmark bar? Did we miss one of your favorites? Comment below!

What to Do over Winter Break

After a stressful week of testing and calculating grades, winter break finally pulled through. Winter break seems like the universe’s gift to a stressed college student– a whole month to relax, catch up on TV, clean out your parent’s fridge, and take a break from the pressure of school. Unfortunately, that isn’t always how break plays out. Many students return home to jobs and the demands for conversation that come with holiday get-togethers. Other students sit at home bored wishing they were back at school. No matter how winter break is spent, maximize it with this list of things to do– whether you are making the most of your month off or making the most of your couch.

Thank Your Professor

One awesome feature provided through the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning is the Thank a Teacher program. The program allows students to send a brief note to their professor thanking them for the impact they’ve had. The notes are screened and delivered to professors after final grades are released. This program is a perfect way to spend an afternoon– not only are you solidifying the professional connection you’ve made, but also paying it forward to the professor who made your semester a little brighter.

Read A Good (Non-academic) Book

Winter break is the perfect time to do all of the reading you didn’t have time to do during the semester. Instead of having to force-read your human anatomy book into the wee hours of the morning, take the time to kick back with a book that you’ve been wanting to read. If you need suggestions, check out Goodread’s list of Books Everyone Should Read, which mixes classics with new books that are sure to keep you busy enough to ignore being home after the initial thrill wears off.

Learn To Cook One Impressive Dish

You have a whole month off of classes (and Easy Mac), but that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in a tiny bit of learning. Take an afternoon to learn to cook one impressive dish– and no, frozen waffles don’t count. Pick a dish that you can whip out whenever you need to prove your adulthood to your parents/roommates/yourself. Next, dedicate some time to perfect your dish. You are a confident and capable young adult. Now go preheat that oven!

Apply For A Job

You have officially passed another holiday season’s worth of nagging from parents and family members regarding your love life, grades, and employment status. You may have segued all of the conversations away from these sensitive subjects, but one reality that can not be escaped forever is the reality that someday college will end and a grown-up job will begin. Let this winter break be the time you need to prepare yourself for the vicious world of employment. Whether you decide to organize your resume, search GoldPASS for jobs, or arrange a job shadow, take some time to think about your bright and wonderful future.

Get Your Tickets to the Hockey City Classic 2014 

TCF Bank Stadium gets an icy makeover as the Hockey City Classic comes to the University of Minnesota on January 17th. The Classic features a women’s hockey game against Minnesota State at 4:30 p.m, followed by men’s hockey taking on Ohio State at 8:00 p.m. Get your tickets online and get ready to kick off second semester with a true Minnesota classic– outdoor hockey!

Enjoy Some Downtime

Spring semester is approaching quickly. While break is still here, make sure to take a day to relax. Whether it be by catching up on sleep; spending the day binge-watching Netflix; or anything else that allows you to relax, take time to bask in the glory of having the time to reset before starting up another crazy semester. You deserve it.

Out With The Old 

While you’re at home, take a few hours to go through all of your old things. Sort through old clothes and decide what to donate and what to sell. Salvation Army and Goodwill arejust a few of many locations that are always accepting clothes donations.

Dig out those old textbooks from first semester freshman year and resell them for some extra cash. Try sites like Amazon and Bookscouter to help you find the best buyback prices. Getting rid of the clutter has duel benefits: it gives you extra space and spending money, and Mom is happy that you’ve finally done what she’s been asking you to do for years.

Check Out the U’s HUGE Event Calendar

Take a look at the University’s event calendar for all of the happenings on the Twin Cities campus. Find one or two events to put on your calendar. Never been to a band, orchestra, or choir concert? Find them on the events calendar. Want to hear professors speak about their research? Event calendar. Find a few events you’re excited about and add them to your to-do list for spring semester.

Photo sources: meal, meme