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Tips For Furnishing Your College Dorm Room

dorm room interior

Getting ready for college means more than just getting signed up for your classes and picking up your books. It also means that you need to start thinking about other things you are going to need, like furniture and decor for your college dorm room. College is going to be your home away from home, so you have a few things to consider when it comes to purchasing what you’re going to live with during this time of your life.

Consider Your Roommate

There are many things you need to know and learn when it comes to sharing a dorm room, like respecting your roommate’s time and space. You can set up rules of the dorm room with your roommate once you meet each other, but there are some things you want to consider when it comes to fitting all your belongings in that room and keeping it tidy.

Make sure that you have items that you can use to keep your part of the room clean and organized. That means have trash cans, maybe a filing cabinet, and a night stand with drawers. Make sure that all of your belongings have a place.

Consider Your Space

Dorm rooms are fairly small as it is, and you’ll be sharing it with someone else. That means that you want to own as many space saving pieces of furniture as you can in order to stay organized. Look at great room dividers and wall shelves for holding your books, entertainment items, and more.

If you are used to sleeping on a queen bed at home, keep in mind that your dorm room bed won’t be that big, so you can leave all of your extra throw pillows at home. You won’t be at college indefinitely, so remember that it is OK to leave some stuff at your parents.

Consider Your Bank Account

In order to save money on your dorm room needs and furnishings it helps to know what you’ll need ahead of time. Once you have a list of your dorm room must haves you can start shopping, and not worry about going over budget as much. If you simply shop without a clue you’ll likely spend more.

Take some time to research prices on the stuff you need, and start early. You may find ordering something online is the cheapest route, but it will take longer to get to you. Don’t be afraid to do price comparisons either! You’ll be spending enough on books and college in general, it helps to save on furniture.

College is a time for learning about yourself, exploring your future, and getting ready for the unknown. You don’t have to make it about stressing over decorating your dorm room, if you just know how to save and assure that you get exactly what you need to survive those college years.

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Lifestyle

Pros And Cons Of Owning A Pet In College

college pet

Most campuses don’t allow pets. Opinions are divided on whether they’re good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, safe or unsafe. People have petitioned schools to be allowed to keep them for medical reasons.

No, we’re not talking about bongs. Pets on campus are a controversial topic, one that some modern students are taking a stand on. This article explores the pros and cons of owning a pet in college.

Pro: Stress Relief

Studies show that owning a pet reduces stress levels, enough that older people who own pets have been shown to live longer. Colleges have already taken advantage of this great pet benefit – some colleges have brought therapy dogs on campus during exam week to help students relax.

College students are known for experiencing high levels of stress. In high pressure schools, it has even reached the point of suicide. Could this be a solution?

Con: Property Damage

Pets cause wear and tear on even the most responsible pet owner’s home, and college students are experts at wrecking a dorm room. Some colleges protest to pets on the basis that they will damage the college’s property.

Perhaps this could be addressed through an extra fee to pet owners to cover any potential damages.

Pro: Learning Responsibility

College is a time when students are expected to take responsibility for their own studies and learn to manage their schedules. While high school organizes things for students, college is a time to take on adult responsibilities.

Owning a pet can teach a person a lot about responsibility. On the flip side, if a student is not mature enough to save money for pet food or take care of the animal, it could end up being neglected.

Con: Allergies

If another student on the dorm floor is allergic to animal dander, someone owning an animal could be dangerous to them. Getting fur and dander out of the room could incur expensive cleaning fees, and even more expensive medical fees if it’s done incorrectly.

Choose The Right Time

If you are a student who loves animals and misses your pet at home, you may be tempted to sneak an animal on campus. This could result in serious consequences if your college doesn’t allow animals, so wait for the right time. If you are living in a dorm, you don’t have to wait until you’re done with college to get an animal – just wait until you’re living off campus, where the landlord, not the college, will be in charge.

College students often have a busy and social lifestyle, so pick an animal with a temperament to match. For example, a midsize or “pocket” dog is probably best if you don’t have a large yard for it to run around in. Choose a dog that will be comfortable with strangers and won’t mind being walked between classes.

Having a pet is a very rewarding experience, one that everyone should have. Just be prepared for the added responsibility (and the poop!)

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Lifestyle

Back To School On A Budget

Budget

It’s back to school season, which means one thing for college students – you’re going to spend a bundle on textbooks, new clothes, and supplies for your dorm room.

It’s easy for these expenses to get out of hand, especially when you’re living on a college student’s budget. Here are a few simple ways to afford everything you need, without having to go back on the all-Ramen diet.

Shop The Sales

Seeing a massive markdown can get your card-swiping fingers itching, but you have to be smart about the sales you take. A sale shouldn’t be an excuse to buy something frivolous. Instead, it’s a great opportunity to stock up on essentials at a decent price.

Take advantage of a good sale to buy essentials like a warm winter coat or a pair of boots that will last a few seasons. Try to buy your laptop (definitely a must for college) on a good sales weekend like Cyber Monday. Don’t get suckered in by sales and buy things you don’t really want or need, no matter how awesome the deal is.

Compare Prices

The Internet is your friend whether you are shopping for textbooks or a new laptop. Textbooks are often drastically overpriced in the school store, so be sure to check online before you buy! Sometimes students who are done with their textbooks will sell them online for rock-bottom prices.

Comparing prices is especially useful when buying electronics. Some stores will price match Internet vendors, so you can avoid paying shipping costs and still get a great deal.

Use the Internet to see if you’re being overcharged for any expensive, big-ticket item before you spend a ton on it.

Coupon Coup

Coupon clipping calls to mind suburban moms buying bulk toilet paper. It may not seem glamorous, but a few simple coupons can save you hundreds of dollars – and after a few weeks in your dorm, you might realize bulk toilet paper is a better deal than you expected!

The Internet can help you find coupons for practically anything you could want. Websites such as Couponsleap find coupon codes from all over the web. Whether you are going grocery shopping or looking for a big TV for the dorm, be sure to Google coupon codes for it. It will only take a few minutes at the most, and you could end up saving a huge percentage off your final total.

Shop Smarter, Not Harder

Follow these easy tips to pay for your college expenses without breaking the bank. Every dollar you save can go towards your tuition, a meal outside of the dining hall, or – don’t tell mom – beer money.

Many college students struggle with budgeting, but by taking care of the necessities, you can save big bucks while still living in comfort. And, best of all, you won’t have to eat Ramen every night to do it.

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Lifestyle

5 Ways to Generate College Funds

college fund

college fundEveryone knows attending college can be bank-breakingly expensive. While some people are able to attend on their parent’s dime or through financial aid, more often than not you will be looking at a few loans and some penny pinching. Before heading off to your new-to-you dorm room, take some time to get your finances in order and understand how you will balance expenses while away at college. Included here are a few tips to generate funds for those normal college costs like tuition and books.

Start an Online Fundraiser

You know how your Grandma has always told you to come to her in a time of need? Well, that need may just have arisen with the high cost of tuition and books. Create an online donation center where friends and family can help you get on your feet in college. This can easily be distributed within a graduation announcement and can help make a big dent in those student loans.

Cut Costs

As fun as penny-pinching is, it’s surprising more people don’t live that way! Unfortunately, cutting costs can be an un-fun part of being an adult, as are college expenses. By learning to curb your spending in the entertainment sector, you may be able to save big bucks for books. Consider cutting down on coffees, movie nights out and unnecessary shopping sprees. Keep your eye on the prize, which is getting out of college with as little debt as possible!

Take a Summer Job

You know how you planned on spending the summer before college living it up? Well, as a new adult it is necessary to prioritize, and this could mean the unfortunate choice of working all summer instead of playing. Fortunately, taking the time to pick up extra work in the summer could greatly pay off during the school year if you save your money.

Work Part-time

While everyone thinks it would be wonderful to simply study and party their way through college, sometimes working throughout can help pay-off as well. Being laden with astronomical student loans after finishing college can just increase stress while you are seeking your dream job. Consider working part-time, at least, throughout the school year to offset your living expenses and college costs.

Buy Used Books

A great way to save huge amounts in college is by planning ahead. This could mean everything from cooking your weekday meals on Sunday to buying your books online in advance. If your professors make your book choices known to you before the school year begins, take the time to purchase them online. They will be far cheaper than even the used options within your school bookstore and, if you are feeling particularly industrious, you will be able to study before you start the quarter.

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Lifestyle

7 Tips to Boost Your Daily Focus and Energy

healthy body

Do you feel like you are just muddling through your days a shadow of your former self? Take heart! There are plenty of ways to get more zing in your day by making a few lifestyle and diet changes. Included here are a few tips to help increase your spunk and get you back to feeling lively again.

Consume Nutrition

This may seem like an obvious answer, but it truly is the problem plaguing many people. Its easy to become too busy to stop for nutritious meals and you may find yourself consuming fast food and other nutritionless quick-eats to make it through the day. Consider packing yourself a few nutrient-rich snacks the night before your busy day. Carry meal replacement shakes and protein bars for added boosts.

Get Up With Your Alarm

While you may feel sleep-deprivation is the source of your slump, a few extra minutes in the morning could actually make you more tired throughout the day. By not fully rising when you first wake, you are disrupting your hormone cycle and putting your body in a sedative state. Get up fully when you first wake up and you will feel more energetic throughout the day.

Savor the Sun

Natural light is what makes the world go ‘round. Getting plenty of time exposed to sunshine and natural light can help realign your circadian rhythm. This means better sleep at night and more energy throughout the day; so open the blinds and eat lunch outside!

Take a Walk

Studies have shown that individuals who do a low-intensity workout 3 times per week have 20 percent less fatigue than people who stayed sedentary. This walk does not have to be in the morning, but rising and running has been shown to increase energy levels throughout the day. Keep your physical fitness in mind, though, and do not overtax yourself early on.

Change Paces

Studies have shown that most people cannot stay on one task for more than 90 minutes. This could be the cause of your lost focus throughout the day! Take time to get up and walk around in between tasks and you will have increased enthusiasm when you return to them.

Consume Carbs

While salad greens for lunch can appear to be the healthy option, the lack of carbs means no quick energy for the afternoon. Consider adding black beans or a piece of fruit to your lunch. Carbs will help increase energy and focus immediately and fend off the 2 o’clock feeling.

Schedule Your Sleep

While it may be tempting to head home and hit the sack, it may lead to wakefulness around midnight. Try to stick to a steady sleep schedule so your hormones will be regulated and your body will know what to expect. Stay enthusiastic during the evening, without exhausting yourself, and you will sleep much better in the night-time hours.

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Lifestyle

5 Steps to Hosting a Sophisticated Event While in College

formal-party

The art of sophistication isn’t a topic often discussed at frat parties. However, there are plenty of students who love the appeal of sophisticated events, but may not have the resources or knowledge necessary to make it happen. If you’re one of those students looking to host a classy event, but aren’t sure how or where to begin, use these five tips to get you started.

1. Send Out Invitations; Don’t Use Posters

As you walk around campus, you’re surrounded by posters that advertise things from concerts to book clubs. They work extremely well for advertising those types of events. However, that’s not the best way to announce your sophisticated endeavor.

Instead, create custom invitations that exude refinement and set the mood for the event. If you have a hand for calligraphy, purchase some heavy stationary and matching envelopes and create a beautiful, handwritten invitation. If you don’t have that skill or don’t know how to use computer software to design an invitation, you don’t have to! You can go to any print shop or custom invitation center and work with their specialists to produce a chic invitation for your fancy party. If you tell them your price limit, they can work with you to create an invitation you love, without overspending.

2. Mandate a Dress Code

This article from Hobart’s Printing about the proper dress attire for events says, “With many guests being potentially unaware of this point of etiquette, you may feel it necessary to indicate appropriate dress on your invitation or reservation cards.” When you send an invitation, add an insert requesting that guests dress properly.

Your event doesn’t need to require tuxedos and cocktail dresses, but it should ask for a dress shirt, dinner jacket, and shined shoes for the men, and crisp pant suits or semi formal wear for women. A dress code will significantly improve the feel of your event. Even if your guests are casual college students, the dress code will make the event feel like a classy event with successful people.

3. Order Custom Decorations

Just because an event is sophisticated doesn’t mean that it needs to have only black and white decorations. As TJ Ross, of 43 Layers says, “Too many high-end events lack a personal touch. Customized décor items are the perfect way to add a flair of interest to an otherwise boring party, particularly for younger-aged guests.” Adding your own personal touch with customizations will exude personality while keeping things chic.

4. Offer Modern Food Dishes

The key to any party is having great food, and the best way to do this is with new or modern dishes. There’s no need to purchase caviar and snails if that’s not food you enjoy. However, look into including new dishes that are both delicious and visually appealing.

If you don’t think guests’ palettes will be at a refined enough level that they will enjoy some modern dishes, consider serving traditional college foods, but arranging them in attractive ways. For example, dip strawberries in dark chocolate and use edible paint to draw tuxedos on each, or serve salsa in a beautiful bowl surrounded by neatly layered chips.

5. Set Tables According to Etiquette

Brush up on your table etiquette and set the table accordingly. This involves making place settings and putting each utensil in the appropriate place. When you make your seating arrangements, be wary of the way different guests feel about each other. Nothing can ruin a sophisticated party faster than an immature brawl between two guests who can’t stand one another.

With a little attention to detail and the right tools, you can deliver a successful, classy party all your friends will be talking about.

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Lifestyle

Finding time to Relax At College

College

College may be all about studying and grades, unless you’re spending the whole time partying, but you also need to have time to relax and a quiet place to study, among other things. Sure, you can go take a break at the library, but why not find a way to have an oasis of your own.

Some of these ideas may be OK for dorm dwellers, but others are only going to be good if you live in a house or apartment off campus.

Create A Relaxing Space In Your Room

No matter what your living situation, you can find a way to make a comfy corner in your room that you can utilize for relaxation, meditation, or whatever your heart’s desire. Try getting something like a beanbag chair. This allows you to sit up when you need it, or lay back when you need it. Have a small table for a candle, maybe even some relaxing, ambient music. Only use this space for quiet time or relaxing, maybe even study time.

It can be hard to get any privacy, but take any chance you can get to enjoy it when you do have it. Don’t let any moment of alone time slip away.

Create A Relaxing Garden Space

If you are a renting a home, find out if you can do some gardening and maybe even some building in your yard. This would be a great spring break project, or summer break depending on the time of year. Plant some flowers in a flower bed, some with scents that relax you. Find a comfy chair for outdoors, or you could put in something like a gazebo.

You could just put in some sort of structure, like a pergola. Pergola Kits USA says that setting is everything, and you might find something like this swing works perfect for relaxing.

Schedule In Some Yoga and/or Meditation

While you can’t study during yoga or meditation, they can help you get some relaxation you’ve been longing for. They both can also help you improve your concentration which just might help with your grades in any classes that are proving to be a little rough. At the least, you are getting some focused time within your mind where you aren’t worried about your next assignment or how loud your roommate is.

Finding time, and the right place, to relax while you are attending college may be more of a challenge than your calculus class, but it is possible to do. You just need to be determined and you need to be a little creative. You may find that just having that private corner of the room does a ton to change your stress level on crazy days.

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Lifestyle

The Online Dating Game: How to Avoid Being a Creep

tinder

Many people these days meet their spouses on online dating websites. A few will simply have a fun experience where they enjoy a meal with someone nice and charming. Most, however, will experience a date or prospective date with a creep.

However, it’s important to realize that the Internet makes it easy to come across as a disturbing eccentric, even if you’re really just a nice person looking for a date. If you want to avoid being the “creepy” profile on your online dating website of choice, pay attention to these do’s and don’ts for building your profile.

Do include a pleasant, unforced photo.

A picture really does speak a thousand words when it comes to online dating profiles. This is the first thing potential dates will see, so it’s important to post a natural-looking, pleasant photo of yourself. Avoid professional photos and go for a relaxed setting and natural lighting. People will respond better to those photos than others.

Don’t talk about sex.

Avoiding the creepy profile rule number one: Never talk about sex on your profile or anything close to it. In fact, don’t bring it up for the first 10 dates.

Do move slowly.

If you’re rushing the relationship, you’ll definitely come off as a disturbing individual who’s only interested in one thing – and it’s not their eyes. Take it slow. Take cues from your date and even if the other person is ready to rush things, hold off a little. Get to know the other person and the relationship before you define statuses.

Don’t use corny pick-up lines.

You might think that lines like “Hello, I’m a thief, and I’m here to steal your heart,” are exactly what the future love of your life wants to hear. In reality, they come off as a big turn-off. In both your profile and conversations with a prospective date, avoid the use of any kind of pick up line.

Do spell check your grammar.

“Creepy” and “unintelligent” seem to go hand in hand when it comes to dating profiles, and poor grammar can lead profile viewers to conclude both things. Play it safe and always run spell checkbefore you post something to your profile or send a private message.

Don’t respond right away.

You don’t want it to look like you hang out on your online dating website all day. If you’re the type who checks the website multiple times a day for messages, that doesn’t make you a creep, but you don’t want the other person to know that’s what you do. Avoid sending responses to emails right away. Let it sit for an hour or two, or even until that evening to let the person know you’re interested in dating, but it’s not the only thing you have going on.

Do play to your strengths.

Don’t rely on fiction for building a great profile, but do play up your strengths. It’s okay to own up to the fact that you’re a people person or you have a talent for sports. However, avoid coming off too cocky and avoid using exaggerations.

Don’t drone on about your passions.

Potentials love the idea of a passionate date, but they don’t want to hear too much about it on your profile. It’s okay to casually mention your vast collection of model cars, but don’t take up more than half a sentence doing so.

What do’s and don’ts would you add to this list?

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Lifestyle

6 Major Lies Comedies Told You About the College Experience

college-comedy-movie

College is a favorite topic for Hollywood. They love to dramatize massive parties, sleeping in late, co-ed dorm rooms, and social hierarchies. Though that drama is great for boosting views, is that what college is actually like?

Not in the slightest. When you get to college, you’ll soon realize that most of what you’ve been watching on television for the last several years is an exaggeration. Here are six common lies you may have bought into before stepping foot on campus.

1. All College Professors Are Unfeeling Robots

How many times did you hear your high school teachers say “Your professors won’t remind you of any deadlines,” “Missing a single class will drop you a full letter grade,” or “You can’t be late to college classes”?

In reality, that’s not even close to the truth, as this expose from the Huffington Post points out. In fact, college professors tend to be far more relaxed and forgiving than high school teachers – it must be the higher pay grade.

2. The Dean Is Enemy No. 1

Starting as far back as Animal House in 1978, public college opinion has been that the dean of every college is a pompous jerk and the antithesis of all fun.

In real life, deans don’t interact with their students much. They probably don’t care what students do in their own time or if they even go to class. In fact, the only thing the dean really cares about is if you’re paying your tuition on time and if enough students are getting good grades to keep the school’s accreditation.

3. It’s All About Frats, Sororities, and Lots of Partying

In most movies and television shows, everyone is in a fraternity or a sorority. They are always experiencing competition across campus, having lots of sex, and partying.

In reality, frats and sororities are a joke for most students. Most people would rather join clubs and sports, and sex and parties aren’t constantly present – though they are popular.

4. One Little Competition Can Change The Tides Forever

Huge competitions that change the lives of their participants forever are a huge clichéd theme in movies. From singing competitions like Pitch Perfect to silly scaring competitions in Monsters University the movies tell students young and old that everything can change if you just win something.

In reality, most people will never join a competition, and those who do will only win a trophy. It probably won’t change their life and they probably won’t be revered by the world for it.

5. If a Roommate Dies, Everyone in the Dorm Gets an A

We’ve all heard the rumor that if your roommate commits suicide or dies in a freak accident, everyone in the dorm room will get an A because of the resulting trauma. This was made famous by films like Dead Man on Campus. However, it’s yet another lie. Though your teachers will probably be understanding and extend your deadlines, you still have to do the work.

6.  Going to Class and Studying Takes a Back Burner

Hollywood has somehow convinced the younger generation that those who attend college don’t actually have to go to class or study – but this is the biggest lie of them all. The main purpose of college is to focus on academics; it’s not about partying. That’s a lie to cover up the fact that college involves a lot of reading, studying, mental breakdowns, stress, and toned down fun with roommates and friends.

Too bad.

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Lifestyle

4 Reasons to Rent a House in College

college room

Many students resort to living in the dorms when they go off to college. It can be fairly affordable and is an easy no-brainer option. However, dorm life can get crazy and sometimes it can be difficult to find your own personal space. If you are a serious student, wanting to settle in and get your degree with top grades in the next four years, renting a home may be a better option.

Long-Term Lease Options

Moving is a huge hassle, especially when you are a student. Changing your home and living arrangements every year can greatly wear you down. Losing a place you feel comfortable in year after year can drain your resources and make you more homesick. With many rental homes, your landlord will want you to stay as long as possible. Turnover is not good for them either, so they are usually willing to improve any situations you find unpleasant to keep you in the home.

Choice of Roommates

If you are the primary leaseholder, you can take your pick of roommates. In a perfect world, you would be able to have your own private home to yourself, but you’re in college and funds are not usually that readily available. You may be able to interview and find one or two students who are of the same mindset to room with. This can make your home much more affordable and save you from any late night parties before a test. If you are struggling to find students who are focused, you can also reach out to the local community. Find young professionals who are focused on building their careers and want to save money by rooming with someone. They are likely to be more committed to the town and want to settle in more than an apartment can offer.

Personal Space

Sharing a dorm room with another person can get a little messy. Boundaries can be crossed and personal space intruded upon. When sharing a home with other like-minded roommates you are able to create a community minded house where everyone respects each other’s environment. Your room can be a separate place where others will not intrude. Obviously, you may have roommates who disrespect the system, but the beauty of you being a leaseholder is having the power to evict those tenants. You won’t have to lose your whole home and set-up simply because someone else is not accommodating.

Private Backyard

You may be the kind of person who enjoys sun-tanning and reading. Or you may be an avid home cook who loves preparing food from your own garden. No matter what your passion, having a private backyard to relax in can help refresh you from day-to-day. It is also possible you are an animal lover and feel that having a dog helps keep you calm and happy while at school. Dorm rooms are not accommodating for large pets, so leasing a home will be crucial for your animal’s health and welfare.

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