college life

Back to School Dorm Room Essentials

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!)

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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!

Why College Internships are a Necessity Today

As I am finishing up my own internship, I have gained lifelong skills that will beneficially impact my life as I move on to new experiences. Any internship offers something different, whether it’s new people, new atmospheres or new tasks; an internship can help you reach your future goals.

Here are my 3 points of view of how beneficial internships are.

1. THE PEOPLEyoung-professionals
Having an internship as a college student with an established company, allows you to network with people you ordinarily wouldn’t.  Meeting new people during an internship can help you make connections for a possible future career. According to Forbesinternships have been one of the best ways to get a job since 2013!  As a college student you have to make the right impression to all the right people and then who knows, you might just land your dream job! At any point in time within your current or future internship you could be corresponding with a future career connection.

MY ADVICE: When you start an internship, try to get to know who you’re working with. Find common ground for connections and most of all work hard to show them what a great intern you are.

2. THE ATMOSPHEREOlive Media Office
Having multiple internships in different places is actually very beneficial. Not only do you learn how to get to new places around your city or in a new state but you also learn how to adapt to new surroundings. Having a hands-on internship versus a behind the desk internship can be challenging at times to know what to do or how to do it. Having multiple internships allows you to distinguish the situation you’re in which future employers appreciate hearing about.

MY ADVICE: Have multiple internships that are all different from each other regarding location and type of internship. Being thrown into different surroundings makes you a well-rounded intern or future employee.

3. THE TASKSgirl_paperwork
As an intern you will be asked to complete several different tasks and duties that might require mental, emotional and physical strength. You will gain skills that you would have never thought you would know about. No worries, this is a good thing! It allows you to become more knowledgeable about how different things work and you could even gain the superlative of the “smarty pants” by the end of college.

MY ADVICE: Complete every assignment that’s given to you and even ask if anything else can be done. There’s nothing wrong with trying to overachieve for an internship.

As a college student internships are very important because they truly help shape the person you want to be one day. If you keep these three things in mind you will truly see how beneficial an internship can be.

Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad

During your time in college, you may have an opportunity to study at an institution in another country. Many college students partake in this opportunity, as it can be a life changing experience. Here are some of the top reasons to study abroad:

1. New Way of Learning

You may have a 4.0 GPA at your home institution, but wouldn’t it be great to step outside of your old familiar classrooms and libraries? Studying abroad can offer a fantastic opportunity to continue your studies in an environment that is completely new and fresh.

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2. Travel

Once you graduate college and have a full time job, you may not have the opportunity to spend a few weeks or months in a foreign country. Take this time to travel while you have minimal responsibilities elsewhere.

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3. Interact with other cultures

Everyone does not have the opportunity to interact and make friends with people from other countries. Studying abroad could give you the chance to see what college life is like in a country that is unfamiliar to you.

Friendships Around the WorldGlobal Friendshipsimage source

4. Expand your world perspective

It’s easy to get comfortable in your own mindset and cultures, but traveling internationally can give you a fresh perspective on the world, your life, and how it all fits together. The world will seem much smaller when you realize that we all have much more in common than we think!

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5. Learn a new language

Studying abroad can be especially beneficial to those studying linguistics or who wish to learn another language fluently. No amount of textbook studying can compare to one-on-one conversation with a native speaker of the language you are studying.

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Have you studied abroad? What were your reasons? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Conquer Finals Week

With the semester nearing an end, finals week is quickly approaching! Wait what?! Where has all the time gone? Here is my list of the 3 biggest distractions during finals week and my expert advice on how to conquer them.

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1. PHONE

We all love our phones because they are able to connect us with the world and let us know what’s happening around us at all times. The problem is that with so many social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Yik Yak, StumbleUpon to check, it can take hours to get updated. Even games on your phone are a terrible idea during finals week, you might as well say good bye to that G.P.A. if you have any games like Tetris on your phone.

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Game found @ www.flash-gamer.eu

 

HOW TO CONQUER:  Get a friend to change your passwords during finals week! Make them promise not to tell you the passwords until after finals, not matter how many times you beg. This way after finals you can take as long as you like to get caught up on life, you should also check out the eCampus social media sites for even more updates!

2. FRIENDS

Friends or “study buddies” are great to hang out with when you have nothing to do. In fact they are a ton of fun… but maybe not the best influencers during finals week. You always have that one friend who only has one easy final so they become the biggest distraction you could imagine.

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HOW TO CONQUER: The best strategy for this is to start studying early and give yourself enough time to do what you have to do. Take some time for yourself to get majority of your work and studying done ALONE, so that you can meet up with your friends to take a break at Starbucks.

3. INTERNET

Your phone is pointless now without social media, you have your study breaks with friends under control but the one thing harder to stop is the World Wide Web. It’s always so tempting to get on YouTube and watch goofy cat videos for hours. This one below is hilarious but definitely not what you need during finals week.

 

HOW TO CONQUER: Approach looking up random websites, online shopping and watching funny videos by a reward system. You study for 3 hours and then you get rewarded with an hour internet break. This way you’ll be able to get through your studying much faster but don’t forget to retain the information otherwise this reward system doesn’t work.

HAPPY FINALS WEEK. MAY THE GRADES BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.

Music Festival Dos and Don’ts

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My Tumblr feed has recently been plagued with colorful flower crowns..it can only mean one thing, the music festival season has arrived. Obviously, each music festival is different from the other; the location, genre, price, and size change from event to event. However, one thing is for certain: the energy is always electric. I have had both good and not so great experiences attending several festivals these past few years, and I decided to share my top Music Festival Dos and Don’ts. Ready? Let’s begin.

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1. Don’t wear open-toed shoes.

I can’t tell you how many girls I witnessed lose their flip flops/sandals due to dancing and occasional muddy weather. Do yourself a favor protect your feet and avoid shoe malfunction by wearing closed toe shoes.

2. Don’t bring an oversized purse.

Keep your bag size to a minimum; go for a slouched cross-body bag or a stylish fanny-pack that can fit all of your essentials.

3. Don’t style your hair.

Chances are those intricate hairdos that you spent hours on will come undone the moment your favorite performer steps on stage.  Go for a braided look or a messy bun look instead. These simple hairstyles will help you look effortlessly chic.

4. Don’t wear heavy makeup. 

You will sweat, I repeat, YOU WILL SWEAT. A LOT.  Music festivals are giant sweat fests that will leave you with raccoon eyes if you’re not careful. Keep your makeup light and simple: a long-lasting lip stain, bronzer, and a bit of mascara should do the trick!

5. Wear Sunscreen. You will be outside in the sun for hours which can only lead to one thing. Sunburn. Make sure you protect yourself by lathering on sunscreen every 2-3 hours. Your skin will thank you later.

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Music festivals are all about having fun! Enjoy the good vibes, dance with a stranger, and eat chocolate covered bacon on a stick! Make memories that will last you a lifetime.