Category Archives: Lifestyles

Travel Survival for Students: Budget a Disney Trip Without Going Broke

Inexpensive Travel How To. Destination: Disney World By: Arianna Cecchini

Growing up, every child dreams of going to Disney World; why wouldn’t you want to go? Mickey Mouse, Cinderella’s Castle, food, specialty shops, music, parades, fireworks, rides – it’s truly a magical experience. Being in college, clearly money is an issue to most students, and Disney World would seem out of most students’ budget, but Disney can be an affordable, fun trip for college students too. Disney has amenities that can eliminate costs and dramatically drop the price of a trip. Getting to Disney for under $500 dollars is easy to do for a few days.

Most students would eliminate Disney as a vacation option from the get go because being under the age of 25, you cannot rent a car. Conveniently, Disney offers free transportation service to, and from, the Orlando International Airport, on their Magical Express Bus. It picks passengers right up from their terminal and brings each party to the front lobby of their respective hotel.

It is a quick 30 minute ride where they play a fun Disney video for passengers. Disney then offers free bus transportation from each hotel to each location in Disney; whether it be a theme park, water park, another hotel, or Downtown Disney. Wherever a traveler wants to go on Disney Property, the bus will take the passenger – and pick them up, without any charge. It is fast and convenient for passengers not to worry about the cost of renting a car, or the stress of driving in a unfamiliar area.

Disney also has an array of hotels and resorts on their property, some very expensive and luxurious – others cheap, yet still fun to stay in. For college students, Disney offers three hotels: All Star Music, Sports and Movies which are on average around $90-100 a night.

That is cheaper than most hotels anywhere and this is on official Disney grounds. The rooms are a good size with two full beds, a TV, a shower, and the hotels all have pools, gift shops, as well as food courts. The price can be as low as $25 dollars per night for the maximum of 4 people per room when divided by how many people are traveling. A stay at Disney can be affordable for anyone to do – especially college students, who don’t have excessive money on their hands.

The flight, is typically the majority of the expense on a Disney vacation, but does not have to be. There are ways to avoid getting hit with large flight expenses. One tip is when to buy the tickets. Airlines post their sales on Tuesdays around 3pm so flight prices tend to be the cheapest around that time until about Thursday morning when the prices are raised for the weekends.

The worst days to buy airline tickets are Sundays and Monday; generally when they are the highest priced. Jetblue, Southwest, and Airtran tend to have the cheapest prices, whereas Delta and American Airlines are known for ripping off their customers. An easy way to compare prices quickly and easily is by utilizing Hotwire or Expeida. These sites offer the best prices and times for flights. Using sites like these can possibly save hundreds of dollars, which most college students do not have to waste.

Lastly, if a family member, or the purchaser themselves, is a member of AAA or AARP, usually discounts are given, which can save loads of money.  To get round trip airfare non-stop for about $210 dollars is not difficult to accomplish if you actually sit down and use the mentioned techniques to save the money. Disney World is only a short flight away, and it doesn’t need to be a trip that empties the bank account.

When people think Disney World they often think of over-priced admission charges into the 4 major theme parks. Yes, Disney just hit an all time high with pricing: a charge of $100 dollars a person per day for only one theme park, but this can be avoided with a little elbow grease. If someone wants to hit three parks over their stay in Disney, they should consider purchasing the 3-day park pass. This cuts down the price of each day by about 15 dollars. The pass might cost roughly around $250 but if divided by the 3 days the cost per day is less than $100 dollars.

Disney offers this for 2-10 days, and the more days one stays, the cheaper the offer ends up being per day. The passes have a no expiration add-on for a low price, so the ticket can be used until the days bought expire. Sometimes it is cheaper and more cost efficient to buy the no expiration pass, if not the days must be used within 14 days from the first day of purchase.

As much as Disney can seem expensive to enter, buying the right tickets and making the right moves while planning is essential, and is where people can save money.

The food in Disney is unlike that of any other theme park; it is actually tasty, and Disney offers so many different locations and options. In Magic Kingdom there is a burger joint in the back by the Tomorrow Land Speedway, where one can get a bacon cheeseburger with French fries and a soda for about $9. In Hollywood Studios there is a café similar to this one, tucked back by the StarTours ride, which offers the same type of deals for good fast food. All of the parks have these small, off-the map, cafes, that are great for budgeting money.

Another trick about Disney is to know that there are water fountains everywhere. There is no charge for continually refilling your water bottles. The Mickey Pop Ice Cream bar on the other hand is $3.75 and is worth every penny, so spend the money and try one. Other than that, food really is not overly expensive, or something to worry about, in Disney, like it can be in other parks. They realize it is a lot of money to travel their and to get in the parks, so they tend not to rip off their visitors with the food costs, which helps us college students who have a tight budget.

Disney can be an affordable trip for any college student who is looking to get away to a fun, warm place with some friends. There are so many ways to save money and to get there and back for $500 dollars is totally doable; sometimes it can even cost less depending on the time of year one is going. Disney is the most magical place on earth, highly recommended for a group of people or a couple, it will not let you down. It is Disney World after all.

Thrifting: Style Has No Price Tag

By Aundrea Murray


Who knows how to turn a penny into a fortune more than frugal college students? The majority of us hustle funds in order to survive the frantic lifestyle. Food, books, board – not to mention a social life – can run pockets dry in a blink, so a clothing budget is required for most. Sweatpants, leggings, oversized sweatshirts and flannels are some of the most prominent types of clothing seen at school…Where can one go to find the clothes they want for the price they need? Thrift shops. What makes fashion interesting is how formless, limitless and ever-changing it is. Style has no price tag.


I have formulated a list of vintage stores, antique boutiques and consignment shops in Hartford County, all worthy of a visit.


1. Panache, West Hartford.

Panache is one of the fancier consignment shops in Connecticut. Most people envision racks of worn out and worthless clothes when thrifting comes to mind. However, this place is sure to impress you more than even most places in shopping malls. Their vast collection includes tailored blazers, high-waisted jeans, slacks, vests and coats in nearly every size. What brings me back here at least once a month is their expansive collection of accessories. It’s the perfect place to grab a reasonably pried gift for yourself… and for someone else.


Karma’s Closet, Newington.

This store requires a bit more patience, but may be worth the looking around. Karma’s Closet offers a vast array of popular brand names at completely unexpected low prices. I once scored a 100% vintage Chanel handbag. The wear and tear was a bit noticeable, but still makes for a great makeup bag. Shoppers should schedule at least an hour to give this place their undivided attention, but are left with the possibility of leaving with jaw-dropping deals and/or items. Many of my distressed jeans have been found in-between the racks, just hiding out waiting for the right owner.


Antiques On the Farmington, Collinsville

I was recommended by a professor to shop here after I fell in love with a 50’s inspired, vintage letterman jacket he was wearing. The style of the coat was nothing compared to the price: a measly 7 bucks. It’s a little bit of a drive from Central, but well worth the commute. The store offers more mature pieces which are perfect for interview gear or even when you need a pair of leather loafers. It’s almost hard to believe that Antiques On the Farmington is selling used items.


Elite Repeats, Cromwell

Similar to other antique stores, this one manages to showcase an abundance of options for cheaper clothing. One of the highlights of this store is it’s shoe collection. Most people could not imagine buying already-been-worn shoes. However, if you need a new pair of gym sneakers or some last minute heels, this store is perfect.


Vintage Chic by Design Studio, West Hartford

Have not been to this one just yet, but rumors have been flying around the university about how great of a place it is. They are notorious for their prices and selection being versatile. Check it out and feel free to tweet The Recorder with how you liked it!

Where Comfort Meets Classic

By Aundrea Murray

 Who knows how to remain fashionable when you are rushing for a 9am class while rubbing day-old makeup from your eyes and wiping freshly spilled coffee off of the seats of your car? Making sure that you do not over-accessorize, or simply ensuring that your lips are not dry, might not be the first few things on your mind as a college student. My opinion: flaunt what you have. Show off that beer t-shirt you won at a bar, and dust the caked snow from your UGG boots. A “laid-back” approach to your wardrobe is one of the highlights of being in school. You can dress how you want, when you want, and still turn heads without killing your toes in heels.

Your confidence in dressing down will show on a sleepy face, and many of the students here at Central straddle the line between high fashion and “what the F are you wearing?” Comfort meets classic when you pair the right sweatshirt with the right boots. Why focus on makeup when midterms are already creeping up? Right?

My “Fashionable Fantasy” of the week is junior, Jessica Jenkins. The mood of her day is exemplified by her entire outfit. If she is wearing leggings, you can bet that she has a pretty easy going day ahead of her. Fast-forward to a day filled with broadcast classes and tons of running around and shooting. In such scenarios, you might even catch this avid heel-wearer in the comfiest of sneakers. Jenkins forever remains polished, poise and powerful with her style.

“Someone is always asking where something I am wearing is from; at least once a day”, she admits.

Our campus is a runway for the athletes, the art kids, the “anyones” and the “anythings”. In better terms: students have been more focused on getting to class on time than being fashionably late. Who cares? Before spending hours in your closet, searching for the most popular brand to wear, check the weather, focus on how cold it will be today and  work with that. While others are dashing hall to hall avoiding the cold, you will be fastening the zipper on your fleece, relishing in its warmth.

Individuals who are naturally fashionable seem underrepresented. The ones who can flawlessly rock yoga pants with moccasins are not appropriately recognized. As always, it takes true skill to orchestrate a detail-oriented ensemble. And it is amazing to look good without having to try.

So what is my style tip for the week? Be you. No cliché. No repetitive answer, and certainly no preaching. If there is anything I have realized as a young adult it is that our youth is the best accessory for us to embrace. Fashion always will be a practice of absolutely no limits. With that being said, give those jeans with the holes in the crotch one more shot before throwing them out. Thank me later.

Students Embrace Insanity

By Acadia Otlowski

Two weeks ago, the four hundred students who occupied CCSU’s gymnasium were attending a popular new workout class: Insanity.

Insanity started out as an “extreme home workout DVD,” but its creator, Sean Miguel Thompson, better known by his stage name, Sean T, expanded the system into classes that are now being practiced across the county.

Three days into the semester, January 15, ReCentral held a promotional class at 7 p.m. The first 300 people arriving siezed the opportunity for a free “Insanity @ ReCentral” t-shirt. ReCentral completely ran out of shirts, forcing them to order more for those who showed up after the 300 person cutoff.

“My worst fear was that like five people would show up,” says Alessandra Daniele, the instructor who taught the fitness class. Naturally, Daniele was surprised at the sheer volume of people who attended the class, recalling that “So many people kept piling in.”

Daniele won a scholarship towards her Insanity certification at a conference. Sean T was the keynote speaker at this conference, and Daniele had the opportunity to meet him.

“It was such a good experience,” says Daniele, “…awesome.”

The staff who attended the conference came back to Central Connecticut State University motivated to promote the new class, Daniele being no exception.

“We didn’t give them time to think about it,” says Elizabeth Urcinas, assistant recreation director for Student Activities & Leadership Development on campus. It was ReCentral’s hope that, because students were coming back to campus with their new year’s resolutions, the event would gain some traction. The turnout was greater than they expected.

“We tried to get as many people as possible,” says Urcinas, who contributed to promoting the event heavily. But even she was surprised at the number of students who attended the class.

Instructor Daniele was ecstatic about the success of the event. She typically teaches Insanity classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings where attencdence typically is much smaller.

“It was awesome, unlike anything I’ve ever done,” recalls Daniele.

There are video recordings of every class taught by ReCentral, including the Insanity class that drew record numbers.

“Everyone is smiling through the whole video,” says Urcinas. ” Maybe a couple people sat down, but there was so much energy in that room.”

Even Daniele was impressed at the amount of effort that the students and faculty put forth during the class.

“The first time I did it I struggled, so I was impressed,” says Daniele, who believes that group dynamic is a motivating factor for students. “[The makers] send me the DVDs every month so I can learn the moves, and I hate doing it alone. Just teaching the class makes me motivated to do it.”

ReCentral has doubled the number of classes being offered in reaction to the new fitness studio in Memorial Hall.  Even in standard classes, without heavy promotion, the number of students has been up.

Much different than in the past, “Our classes are three or four times the size,” states Urcinas. She remembers it being hard for students and instructors to make it to class because they were held in multiple, different locations across campus. Urcinas believes that it is easier for instructors when their equipment is in a single location.

Before spring break, ReCentral hopes to host another event, similar in breadth to the Insanity event, but on the subject of Zumba.


Photo Credit: Google Images

App Review: KCCO

By Paige Brown

I’m not one who usually downloads apps onto my iPhone, but for a while now I have been, what a lot of people may call, a Chivette.

The Chive is a website dedicated to entertaining followers with fun pictures and videos. There is a free app that you can download on your phone so you can take them with you anywhere.

Once you open the app, you can choose from tons of categories, from sexy girls and leg gaps to “Mans Best Friend,” an entire category of photos of puppies.

It’s definitely something that sucks you in and can keep you busy for hours on end.

More and more people are becoming part of The Chive revolution. Almost every corner I turn, I see t-shirts with Bill Murray on them and whispers of “Chive On” through friends and followers.

While at a beerfest in early fall, one of my close friends was wearing a shirt that said “The Chive” when a random guy came over, shook his hand and walked away. We then realized that he whispered “Chive On Man” to my friends and slipped a $5 bill into his hand.

Just last week I read a story about a waiter at a restaurant that was wearing a lanyard that said “The Chive” on it. He went to clean his table after the guests left and found the credit card receipt with a $100 tip and the famous phrase “Chive On.” As a waitress, I just purchased a lanyard, too. Lets hope it works out for me.

Seriously, the amount of people who follow this website is simply crazy. People who don’t know what it is see it as just silly photos of drunk people, random fun facts and sexy girls. But to Chivers and Chivettes, it’s almost a lifestyle.

They just opened up a shop online where you can purchase anything and everything that says “The Chive” on it. From mugs to lanyards, tees and tanks, to coozies for your beer. Within the first week, almost everything was sold out.

I know I probably sound like I’m part of a crazy secret cult, but anyone can download The Chive. It can keep you entertained for hours on end and…its free.

If you’re bored and feel like looking at some entertaining photos, download The Chive, you won’t regret it.

Keep Calm and Chive On.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Between the Sheets: T&A

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

By Lauren Cannon

“All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.” Yes ladies and gentleman, those are the wise words of refined rapper 2 Chainz. But is all that 2 Chainz wants is a big booty hoe? What about some personality, a nice smile, or maybe nice legs and a nice chest?  These are the philosophical questions I ask myself these days. So, what does it come down to? What attracts you boys?

Boobs and booty, breast and buttock; whatever you call it these are the two anatomical features of the female body that seem to be the most desirable to the male species.  Now, some ladies aren’t always well-endowed in these departments. You may have a big ass but no boobs or big boobs but no ass, or you might have both and in that case, you’re lucky. Now that it’s fall, we are seeing a lot more girls covering up there upper half in cute sweaters and scarves, but putting their lower end on display with a nice pair of leggings and yoga pants.

This is why I decided to find out what guys are really thinking by surveying 50 male students at CCSU. I asked these men one question; what is your favorite female body part, with the possible choices being of course, butt or boobs. I was able to dive deeper into the male mind for a few days and find out what they really do like better. Now, when I say I was surprised by the outcome I am not lying, I really did not expect to get the results that I did.

72 percent of the males I asked chose butt as their favorite part, 20 percent chose boobs as their favorite body part, 4 percent chose “both” and 4 percent chose “other”.

Now you’re all probably wondering  to yourself who chose other; well ladies, there is still hope out there. While passing out these surveys, I stumbled across Matthew in the computer lab, a very sexy 20-year-old construction management major here at Central. Instead of booty or boobs, or even legs, he put down smile.

“The 1st thing you see when you meet a women is her face, her smile”. When I asked what else he liked in a girl he told me someone who can hold a conversation and even better, a girl who can start one. If your hearts aren’t melting yet, wait until you hear this. When I asked him what he thought of a girl lacking in the boobs and butt area he said “personality can make up for anything.”

But what is this obsession with a girl’s ass? I think that recently, guys are looking more at a woman’s curves as opposed to the iconic thin, runway model type.

I wish all guys could be like Matthew and not be obsessed over a girl’s body. One of my friends literally told me that he doesn’t even care what a girl looks like; if she has a nice ass then it’s on. That’s quite extreme. Not all guys will come on this strong or be this obsessed, but this phenomenon of big booty lovin’ is becoming more and more apparent these days.

I guess 2 Chainz has a point then doesn’t he, “she got a big booty so I call her big booty”

Love always,