5 Ways to Burst the College “Bubble”

5 Ways to Be More Aware of the News

Sometimes, going to college can mean feeling like you live in a “college bubble.” You take classes on campus, hang out on campus, and probably eat and sleep on Β or near campus as well.

The constant hustle and bustle of college life can give you little incentive to question life outside in the “real world”, so you may come back home during break feeling a little behind the times. Wait, who won the Super Bowl, and oh my gosh, there’s an election this year??

If you get most of your world news via politically charged Facebook statuses from people you were kinda-sorta-not-really friends with in high school (we all follow those people, let’s be honest) then it’s probably time for you to burst the college bubble. My 5 easy tips will have you up-to-date on current news events, upcoming birthdays, and even the latest and greatest in music.

1. Sign up for theSkimm

TheSkimm is the perfect way to stay up-to-date on current events. The best part? It’s delivered fo’ free to your inbox every morning. Every morning, they skim the news of the day for you, then compact all the major events into a great email that’s sprinkled with a little bit of sass.

Plus, they even have a whole section on the 2016 election on their website, so you can get an overview of each of the candidates and have all your burning questions (like “When is it too late for a new candidate to get in the race?”) answered in no time.

2. Invest in the Times

The New York Times (online and on the NYTimes app) is another great resource for up-to-date news. The Times isn’t free, but as a student you can get a subscription for $4 a month. That’s like one Starbucks drink, people!

With your subscription, you can also sign up for the Times’ daily email, which comes once in the morning and once in the evening with the latest news. Plus, you can do a mini-crossword of the day, which is great if you’re like me and get really frustrated with full sized crosswords. This one takes me ~1 minute in the morning and makes me feel #accomplished for the rest of the day.

3. Sing with Spotify

If you came home from college, turned on the radio for the first time in months, and thought “Oh, is this what the kids are listening to these days?”, you may want to invest in a Spotify subscription. Again, a Spotify subscription isn’t free, but it is half off ($5/month) with your student email!

Spotify has great pre-made playlists like “Today’s Top Hits” and “Discover Weekly”, which helps you to stay up to date on the current music. Plus, you can make some fire playlists for studying, working out, and just hanging out with friends. Is Spotify not your thing? Check out Gabby’s reviews of all the great music-streaming services out there.

4. Get Out of The Bubble

Chances are, your college is situated in a pretty neat little town. Some aren’t as glamorous as others (lookin’ at you, South Bend), but every city has something great to offer. Get a group of friends together and check out cool events in your town, like a special art exhibition or local concert.

A lot of towns also host some kind of restaurant week where you can sample all the great local cuisine for a discounted price! You’re only going to live in your college town for 4 years, so why not make the most of it?

5. Write down important dates

There’s nothing quite like the panic of waking up in the morning, squinting at your Facebook notifications on the blinding screen, and realizingΒ Oh shoot, I totally forgot it was my grandma/best friends/other important person’s birthday today! Oh gosh better send out a quick “Happy Birthday! Miss you lots!” text.

Keep all your birthdays and other important dates handy in these super cute notebooks from May Designs. They come in so many great colors, and you can even monogram them or write a special message on the front. With a notebook like this full of important dates, you’ll never find yourself scrambling to send a birthday card again!

How else do you connect to the outside world when you’re in the college bubble? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter (@theswirlblog)! We’d love to hear from you!


  • Awesome tips and that notebook is very cute!


    • Thanks for reading, I’m glad you liked it! πŸ™‚

  • This is so true, I am in college and every time I call my mom she updates me with the news because I never have time to know what is happening in the world! This is very useful, thanks for sharing!

    My Vogue Style | http://www.myvoguestyle.com

    • My mom too! She’ll email me news articles and I’ll be like “Wait, what’s going on??” haha. I’m glad you like the post, thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  • I am making sure my older brother gives this a read. He just got back early this morning from college. Yes, I agree to all of these. The Skimm is such an awesome newsletter to get. Their posts are both informative and funny.

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

    • I totally agree! I’m not sure what I would do without theSkimm in the mornings. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  • I love The Skimm!

    • Their emails really are the greatest! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  • I love the Skimm! Favourite part of my morning.. right after a huge cup of coffee.

    • I totally feel ya! Without coffee and theSkimm, my mornings would be 10000x worse! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  • Ashley

    These are awesome tips to staying in the loop!!

    xo Ashley

    • Thank you so much, and thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  • This is so important! I was never in the college bubble because I lived off campus, but I know tons of people who are!

    • It’s really kind of crazy how much people don’t think about what’s happening in the world while they’re at college! It’s really nice that you were able to kind of stay out of it by living off campus. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  • Great post! I love, love the Skimm! Xoxo Mindy

    • Thank you so much! theSkimm totally brightens my morning when I see it in my inbox! πŸ™‚

  • Goodness, I totally understand where you’re coming from! I’m 5 years out of college now, but I remember when I first left school I realized how much I really lived in a “bubble”!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    • Every time I come home from break, I’m always amazed that there’s some big news event I haven’t heard of! Now I feel more in the loop πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!

  • I have never heard of the Skimm. I will have to check it out.

    • It’s one of my favorite ways to stay up to date on current news! I would definitely recommend that you check it out πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!

  • I that MayDesigns notebook in the same pattern! It’s my fave. First of all, I wanna say that I LOVE this idea for a post and I LOVE all the options and resources you’ve listed here. Perhaps my fave way to stay “up to date” with the rest of the world is definitely through Spotify. I’d die without the New Music Friday playlist! Also, I had no idea a NYT subscription is only $4 a month. That’s crazy cheap. And I’m with ya girl, full sized crosswords frustrate me too lol.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

    • Thank you so much Kayla! It’s always so hard to choose just 1 pattern for a notebook when ordering from May Designs! Also New Music Friday is AWESOME, along with all of their other playlists. 10/10 would recommend the NYT mini crossword, they’re challenging enough that I feel good about myself, but not so challenging that I never end up finishing it! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  • I LOVE this!! I just graduated last weekend and wish I had this sooner haha! Great post!

    • Thank you so much! It’s never too late to sign up for theSkimm or subscribe to Spotify Premium πŸ™‚

  • It drives me insane that people think college kids aren’t connected. HELLO there are so many awesome options, like the ones you just described to keep us totally in the loop!

    • People always consider college kids to be pretty self-absorbed, but there are so many great options for staying connected. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  • Chronicling Home

    I really love May Designs and the skimm is a great way to keep up with the news.

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  • Writing down dates is everything!! I am such a calendar based person and I love that you hit on that.

    Sara Kate Styling

    • I don’t know what I would do without my agenda and May Designs notebook! Somehow I remember events like 1000x more if I just write them down. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚