college life

How to Take Advantage of Your College’s Resources

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Success and Failure Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

1. Join a career-oriented club or organization.

There are many different clubs and organizations that can help you understand and be involved with a career you want to pursue. These clubs can help you build a resumé and inform you about important things to know about that career. There are organizations for just about any career- journalism, marketing, engineering, etc. If there isn’t one at your school, then create one yourself!

2. Attend career fairs.

Any time there is a career fair at your school, take advantage of the opportunity to talk to professionals that have insight on that career. They can tell you specifics about internships and you can network with people that are actually in that business.

3. Go to a school tutor.

If you are struggling with a certain subject, go toy our school’s learning center and there will be other students able to help you- most of the time FOR FREE. Many campuses have peers or graduate students help others with their writing and other work.

4. Visit a counselor or adviser.

If you need help scheduling your classes, don’t know what to expect from your major, and even just need someone to talk to, visit your academic adviser or counselor. Many schools offer counseling services that are including in your tuition.

Fun Things You Can Do If You’re Single This Valentine’s Day

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Being single on Valentine’s Day does not have to be dull.  If you’re bummed about not having a Valentine this year, here are a few ideas to make it a great day anyway!

1. Cook your favorite food.

2-5 Recipe Book

Make something that makes you really happy.  Comfort food or a favorite family recipe is always a good choice.  Valentine’s Day can be about loving yourself just as much as any other kind of love, so do something just for you!

2. Invite friends over for a movie marathon.

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Have some of your close single friends over and watch a few movies and eat some good snacks.  Pick movies you all love, ones you all haven’t seen before, or have everyone bring their favorite movie (if there aren’t too many of you) and just chill.  This is fun for everyone!

3. Go shopping.

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Go for some retail therapy.  You can shop alone or with friends, just make sure to get yourself something you really want.  And don’t make this an errands type of shop, treat yourself to something you don’t really need but will make you happy.

4. Throw a themed party.

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You can throw a classic Valentine’s Day themed party or something a bit more creative or specific to your group of friends.  Getting people together for a fun night is always great, but on a holiday it’s even better.

5. Have a board game night.

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A little friendly competition can turn into a great time and board games are great for making that happen.  You can go for classic board games from your childhood or go for some more adult games.  Just go for whatever you think you and your friends will have more fun with and you’re good to go!

6. Get your friends together and bake.

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Bake some Valentine’s themed treats.  Whether that’s heart-shaped cookies, red velvet cupcakes, or frosted brownies, just get everyone involved.  Have everyone decorate his/her treats with whatever toppings you pick up (red or pink icing, heart-shaped sprinkles, candy pieces, etc.) and everyone will love it!

But, most importantly: treat yourself!  Do something that you really enjoy.  Hang out with people who make you happy.  Being single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to be alone.  Don’t get hung up about not having a significant other.  You can have just as much fun with some good friends and good food!

Considering Your Future Through Each Stage of College

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Freshman Year:

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 This is your time to explore. Take a variety of general education classes and see if you discover a subject you never thought you’d have an interest in. Your freshman year is a great time to expand your horizons. It’s better to figure out what you really want to do sooner rather than later, so you have enough time to graduate on time if you make any changes to your plans. Sure, you might be coming in to college knowing what you want to do, but you never know. You could take a gen. ed. at the end of your junior year and realize your passions might lie elsewhere. Take advantage of the variety of courses available to you to make sure you know all of your options before you commit to anything.

Sophomore Year:

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Continue exploring, but start narrowing it down. You’re usually expected to declare your major by the end of this year, so you should start to seriously consider your passions so you feel more comfortable committing to a particular field of study and/or career path by the end of your Sophomore spring semester. Figure out if you want to take on a double major or perhaps some minors and certificates. Do your research to see what the requirements are to make sure you have enough time to complete them so you can plan accordingly. Talk to your advisor throughout this process, he/she can be very helpful. This is also a good time to start thinking about the campus organizations that can be useful for your future career once you start to figure out what you want.

Junior Year:

 stage 3

You might be able to get away with waiting until the middle of this year to officially declare your major, but you should be paying close attention to the requirements of the major or majors you are considering. If you want to be able to graduate on time, this is crucial. This is a good time to start applying for internships if you haven’t already. Internships have basically become a necessity for college students hoping to get full time jobs after graduation. You should also be figuring out what your options are for after you graduate: Grad School? Medical School? Law School? Straight into your career? Take a year off to travel? Get a job teaching English abroad? You should look into all the options you’re interested in so you know what you have to do to make it happen. Look at the application process for different programs and/or jobs. Do all the research you can and there will be fewer surprises. You’ll be much more relaxed if you’re prepared.

Senior Year:

 stage 4

At this point, you should be pretty clear about your plan. There’s still some time to make decisions about your post-graduation plans, but don’t put things off for too long or you run the risk of delaying your progress. There are deadlines for a lot of your options and you don’t want to miss them or you might have to wait a year. Make sure you’re keeping up with your current academic requirements so keep in touch with your advisor so you stay on track. Make sure you do everything you need to do for graduation so it will be less stressful. Graduation can be an emotional time so minimizing your stress will make the whole process less overwhelming.

5 Strategies to Keep Your Dorm Room Clean!

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Keeping your room clean will help you stay focused. It will also help you be more organized and keep your brain from feeling cluttered.

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1. Make your bed in the morning- it takes 2 minutes and makes your room look a lot neater!

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2. Fold your laundry right away! Making sure you have time to fold and put away your laundry once its done is important for making sure your room isn’t filling up with dirty laundry and your dresser isn’t exploding.

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3. Take out your trash once a week- or as soon as it gets full, whichever comes first. This will not only keep your room neat, but nice smelling too!

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4. Do your dishes immediately after you’re done eating in the dorm. Then put them away. This will also keep your dorm from smelling. (In this vein, also clean out your fridge once a week.)

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5. IF you need motivation- Invite members of the opposite gender to come hang out. Nothing will motivate you to make sure your room is neat than a guy/girl coming over!

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Back to School Dorm Room Essentials

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Whether you are a freshman moving into the dorms for the first time or an upperclassman who just loves the dorm life, everyone will be moving into a new dorm this fall. That means it’s time to do a little back to school shopping to spruce up your new space! Don’t be fooled though, just because you see a comfy desk chair that would look perfect in your dorm doesn’t mean you should go ahead and buy it. All dorm rooms are different depending on your school and could include different items and different pieces of furniture. In this list, we break down exactly what you should go ahead and splurge on now and what you should wait to purchase until you have more information!

Buy These Now:

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Bedding: While your school will provide the bed and mattress, you will definitely need to bring your own sheets, pillows and blankets. Many dorm beds are extra-long twin sized so be careful when selecting sheet sizes. Extra-long twin is typically represented as Twin XL on the packaging. If you aren’t sure what size the beds are in your particular dorm, check with your school’s Housing Department before purchasing. Girls, go for the funky look with yellow and gray chevron. Guys, you should keep it simple with solid colors.

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Shower Supplies: Communal bathrooms are always tricky so you will probably need a bathrobe or shower wrap to avoid any indecent exposure when traveling back and forth to the showers. You will also need a shower tote to keep all your bath products together and make carrying them to the shower easier. Also, shower shoes are a must. Regular flips-flops will do the trick in a pinch but you should check out other options like these AquaFlops. They have a slip-resistant sole and have holes to let the water drain through your shoes.

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Laundry: Most colleges have a laundry room in each dorm for its residents to use so be sure to pick up some laundry detergent and fabric softener. We love Tide Pods because there is no measuring or messy powder to deal with. Just throw in your dirty clothes and toss in a pod for fresh, clean clothes. Don’t forget a cute laundry bag for those times when you go home to have Mom do your laundry! Febreze is another must-have product for those times when you’ve already worn something once but are too lazy to do laundry. Check out all the new scents here.

Pro Tip: You should pick up a pack of Shout Wipes and keep them with you at all times. You will inevitably spill things on yourself and these wipes will prevent you from walking around with a ketchup stain on your shirt all day.

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Cleaning Supplies: Newsflash! Now that you are in college, no one is going to clean up after you. If you want to keep things neat and tidy, it’s up to you. Ditch the traditional cleaning products and pick up plenty of easy-to-use cleaning products so that you can quickly clean up a mess. We recommend Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for cleaning up spills and killing germs at the same time, Windex Glass & Surface Wipes for keeping mirrors and windows squeaky clean and Windex Electronics Wipes for getting Cheetos dust off your laptop keyboard.

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Textbooks: You should get your textbooks as soon as your professors release their class information. Textbook companies have the largest selection of textbooks in late July with some of the cheapest prices. Getting ahead of the back to school rush ensures that you will get all the textbooks you need at a lower cost. Having your textbooks in hand when you move to campus will give you one less thing to stress about as the semester gets started. Whether you are renting or buying your textbooks this semester or if you are more of an ebook kind of student, check out eCampus.com for the best deals this semester.

Wait To Buy These:

Furniture and Desk Chairs: Many colleges will provide you with all the furniture you need, including a desk, desk chair and dresser. It’s best to wait before making large furniture purchases to see exactly what comes in your dorm room and to see how much extra space you are going to have once you and your roommate move all of your stuff in. You might decide that you actually don’t have room for that leopard print bean bag after all.

Appliances: Before buying a fridge, coffeemaker, microwave, etc. you should check with the Housing Department at your school to see what their rules are on small appliances. Some schools may have restrictions on what type of appliances you can have in your room or there may be a common room in your building that has these items available for everyone to use. If that’s the case you could save money by skipping over these items and just using the community appliances. If you can have a coffeemaker, check out this Mini Keurig. It comes in a ton of fun colors. (We love this yellow one!)

mini-keurig

Decorations & Wall Décor: You will more than likely have a roommate that you will be sharing your new tiny dorm room with, so it may be best to buy decorations after you have had the chance to meet your roommate and get a feel for his/her style. This could also be a great way to bond with your new roommate by shopping for room decorations together. Check out our Awesome Dorm Room board on Pinterest for decoration inspiration!