Dorm Life

Healthy Studying

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We all know how important it is to spend time studying, but how effectively are you spending that time? If you aren’t using healthy study habits, your time could be wasted. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your study break.

 1. Keep Highlighters Handy

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Sometimes you don’t have time to rewrite what you’ve read in a summarized form. This is when highlighters come in handy. Having at least two different colored highlighters on hand while studying can make note taking faster, more efficient, and allow you to color code as an added bonus.

2. Skim

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Knowing how to skim a reading can be very useful during exam time. You should read the material thoroughly the first time of course, but when you want to review it it’s better to have a quick summary to recall facts. One way to do this is to read the introduction paragraph, the first and last sentences of each body paragraph, then the concluding paragraph. This should give you a broad overview of the reading.

3. Keep Neat Notes

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It’s important to keep your notes neat and readable, otherwise they can be next to useless as it will take you longer to decipher your notes than it would have taken to reread everything. If you must write quickly to keep up during lectures (who doesn’t?) then try setting aside time later on to re-write your notes legibly. It will pay off in the long run.

4. Be alert

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Pay attention to what times during the day you feel the most energized and motivated. Try to tailor your study sessions to these times during the day. Nothing is worse than trying to study with drooping eyelids! Plus, you probably won’t remember anything you read while you were tired anyway.

What are your sure-fire study tips? Let us know in the comments below!

Getting to Know People on Campus

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It can seem daunting to land on a huge university campus, much bigger than your high school, and just be expected to make friends for life. Here are some tips to meet people and get to know people so college will seem a little less overwhelming:

  • Meet People On Your Floor- you can do this by going around with a box of cookies and knocking on people’s doors to introduce yourself, stopping into a room with an open door or just leaving your door open when your in your room to let people know that they are welcome to stop by!
  • Go To Social Events- especially at the beginning of the semester, there will be a ton of events, whether fairs on the mall or festivals on the quad, homecoming or sports games there is always something to go to- check them out and meet new people!
  • Find A Club You Are Interested In- if you are too intimidated to go to a huge social event, check out clubs that interest you- you’ll meet people who like the same things you do, and who can introduce you to yet more people.
  • Introduce Yourself To The Person Sitting Next To You- in each of your classes. Having friends in class is vital to getting notes when you “accidentally” miss class. This also gives you an automatic study-buddy for midterms and finals, and homework-helper to bounce problems off of.
  • Hang Out With Your Roommate- Who knows? Maybe he or she knows other random people on campus who you’ll sit with in the dining hall and become super close friends with…
  • Share Chocolate Cake In The Elevator- this only works if you have chocolate cake and your dorm has an elevator, but this worked for my mom and her best friend from college!

However you decide to go about it, making friends will make your college experience that much more fun and exciting! It may also be really helpful when it comes to your GPA if they are helping you out in classes also. So, don’t forget to make friends and be social while in college!

HOW TO: Do Laundry in College

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Prepare: Make sure to put all your dirty clothes in a hamper or basket (get one that’s easy to carry, its possible you will have to carry it up and down stairs). Also, buy detergent that works with all your clothes (and separate bleach if you want, but I don’t). Make sure you have either quarters or whatever you need to pay for the campus laundry machines, before you head down.

 Step 1: Separate out your white clothes from your dark clothes (if you want- I personally just put everything in on cold and it usually works fine). You should also make sure to take out anything that says “Dry Clean Only.”

 Step 2: Put whichever load you are doing into the washing machine.

 Step 3: Make sure to put the detergent in the right place (because sometimes you don’t and then it will come out feeling weird….).

 Step 4: Put the machine on the right settings. (I tend to always put on delicate cold, but that’s just me- if you took the time to separate your clothes, look at the tag and see what it says.)

 Step 5: Pay the laundry machine to do your bidding.

 Step 6: Turn on the machine. Stay until you can see (or hear) that the machine is on and laundering your clothes.

 Step 7: Set a reminder on your phone for however long the machine says it will take. If it doesn’t, set it for about 45 minutes. That way you can come down and check on your clothes and hopefully not find them left on top of a dryer with a couple wet socks having fallen off, gathering dust on the grimy laundry room floor.

Step 8: Transfer your clothing to the working dryer. (It may take a few tries to find out which machines work and which machines don’t dry your clothes no matter how much money you give them…) OR bring your wet clothes to your room and set up a drying rack, but I DON’T recommend this as it takes up a lot of room and for a long time.

 Step 9: Set the dryer to the right settings.

Step 10: Give the machine your money for the hope of dry clothing.

 Step 11: Repeat step 7, but with only the possibility of dry clothing ending up on top of the dryers.

 Step 12: Make sure that your clothes are dry. Having to run it twice isn’t abnormal, more than that is- if you have to, move it to a different dryer and hope that one works.

 Step 13: Bring the hamper/basket upstairs and IMMEDIATELY fold and/or hang up your clothing. Or don’t. But then you’ll be living out of your hamper and not have a hamper to put your new dirty clothes in.

The End – Congrats you have done laundry in college!

Fit and Flirty

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We all know the importance of staying in shape, but sometimes keeping up with your workout schedule can be difficult when classes are in full swing. What’s a busy college student to do when hitting the gym isn’t an option? Read on for dorm friendly workouts to keep you ahead of the game.

1. Burpees

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Burpees are the Monday of exercises: everyone hates them. Literally everyone. But this doesn’t negate the fact that they are extremely effective as well as convenient because they can be done in a very small space such as a dorm room. Try different variations to suit your fitness level. Add a pushup in the middle of the burpee and a jump at the end!

2. Pushups

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According to webmd.com, the push-up is considered by many fitness experts to be the “perfect exercise” because many muscles between your shoulders to your toes are engaged. Since the push-up is a resistance exercise, you are also building bone strength as well as muscle strength.

3. Squats and Lunges

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Squats and lunges are arguably the only two exercises you need to build lower body strength. As long as you’ve got the proper form, these two exercises will become your best friend.

4. Jumping Rope and Jumping Jacks

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Running is fantastic but when you don’t have the space, a more convenient cardio session can be completed with jumping rope. If you don’t have enough space for jumping rope, try jumping jacks. Mix up your jumping jacks a little by adding a squat to each one!

5. Crunches and Toe Crunches

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Crunches reign as the universal default ab exercise and for good reason: they’re easy, effective, and don’t require a gym membership! To target your lower abs, try adding in toe touches to your workout!

How do you stay in shape in a small living space? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Things I Wish I Brought to College

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As August approaches and summer winds down, you can’t help but think of the upcoming fall semester. Don’t forget to add these items to your list to make your dorm life a little bit easier.

Ear Plugs

1. Earplugs: Your motto may be “early to bed, early to rise” but that may not be the case for your neighbor. Stock up on disposable earplugs to get through raucous nights and studious nights alike.

Vacuum

2. A small vacuum: Apartment dwellers will easily remember to bring along cleaning supplies but if you’re living in a dorm, this may not be at the top of your list of priorities when you’re making your packing list. A vacuum or broom will come in handy more often than you might think.

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3. Water purifier: Rather than stocking up on bottled water, try bringing along a small purifier to keep in your room. Be sure to bring at least one washable cup along as well. Bonus: It’s much more environmentally friendly!

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 4. Storage and Organization: It can be easy to overlook things like pencil cups but having an organized room makes a huge difference especially during stressful times. Don’t forget extra storage bins for under your bed as well.

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5. Printer: Many colleges have free printing but don’t underestimate the convenience of being able to print a paper at 3am. Printing everything on your own can get expensive quickly though so make sure you’re using it only when it is completely necessary.

What did we forget? Tell us about your overlooked dorm essentials in the comments below!