April 20th, 2017

Common College Kid Struggles (Cont.)

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For those jumping into this post before the other, I asked a group of people what they consider to be some of the common struggles that college students face throughout the college experience. The first five were briefly outlined in the last post, and here are the other five!

Forgetting or losing the room/apartment key. Ugh, such a struggle. If the dorm key is completely lost, that means paying for a new key and for new locks, ain’t nobody got time (or spare money) for that!

Eating microwavable dishes for every meal. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean the nice, family sized, name brand lasagnas; I mean ramen, mac and cheese, oatmeal, chili, absolutely anything that is cheap, easy, and quick.

Partying without a price does not exist, but we like to pretend it can. If you’re wearing old clothes, drinking tap water, and not going to a keg party, you’ll do fine! Otherwise, pull some cash out of the bank account.

Someone mentioned not having proper furniture, and making do with multi-capable pieces that look like they’ve been dropped out of a truck on the highway. If you’re apartment comes furnished, ignore the already thread-bare look of it, and the fact that many have used it before because it really can be a luxury.

And last but not least, participating in floor/dorm/organization events just for the free food that is promised. This isn’t bad to do, go only for the food, because many organizations expect this from college kids. They even plan on it! Think about it, if there wasn’t free food at a recent meeting, was it a mandatory meeting?

I’ve gotten good feedback from these two common struggle posts, glad you all like them!

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April 18th, 2017

Common College Kid Struggles

No two college students are the same, yet many share some common struggles. I asked a group of people what they think the top 10 common struggles are for us college kids. Many are quite small and could seem insignificant, however, when they do happen, its annoying and sometimes frequent.

Not many people are blessed with having a car in college, that means walking. One of the common struggles is walking everywhere in any and all weather.

Someone suggested actually watching movies in movie theaters because it can be so expensive. I am VERY lucky in this aspect,my university puts on new, but already out of theaters movies for only one dollar. It’s a pretty good deal.

Going to the health center or hospital is very unlikely to occur. Either because money doesn’t want to be paid or you just don’t know how to go about getting there and insurance and such. That leads us to the internet for solving all our health issues.

Why do laundry? I have two shirts that aren’t dirty yet. When college kids hardly have time for sleep, food, school, work, AND social life, how on earth do we have time for laundry?

Lastly for this post, worrying about textbooks. The person you suggested this one is from a university that doesn’t offer textbook rental which means they have to locate and then buy each book needed. Another reason why I am super lucky, my university supplies textbooks (a certain price is put into our tuition for this luxury) for no fee, unless the book comes back messed up.

I’ll say a few blurbs about the other five in the next post!

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April 13th, 2017

Sharing is Caring

Certain resources must be shared with roommates, some are not even tangible but still necessary and very much appreciated. The three main resources shared by roommates, more likely in an apartment, are bills, food and time.

Certain apartments come with deals that cut down on bills, but add to the rent. For example, my apartment next year will only have a monthly electrical bill, everything else is included in the rent. It is absolutely necessary to share this bill evenly among roommates, and make sure each of you contributes your part on time. Otherwise everyone suffers the consequences.

Food is obviously needed for survival, and no matter how you segment cupboards and refrigerator space, certain foods will be eaten by roommates (both accidentally and on purpose). A suggestion to this problem, before moving in, talk about what the plan is for buying groceries. Either you all can split the combined bill for groceries each week, or buy your own with a few to put in an area that is accessible by all, or just keep your food in your room and hope for the best.

Lastly, the resource that many don’t think about, is time. Be it chores, making a meal, or even comforting a roommate, all take time that you may have budgeted for something else. There is no way to tell how much each roommate/situation will need, but an amount will always be taken.

Next week we’ll talk about come common struggles that college students face, which will touch on other categories again.

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April 11th, 2017

To Budget or Not to Budget

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Throughout life, budgeting has the ability to greatly impact your quality of life. However, no other time is it more recommended than during college and the years after that are filled with debt. Now, I am no expert on handling money, so I turned to the article, Budgeting 101, by bestcolleges.com.

The article not only goes over how to start a budget, it also explains what different loans are and what they can do, other ways to bring in money, terminology and tools for budgeting, and even a sample budget.

Many budgeting guides can make the task seem huge and very intricate. Best Colleges definitely does the opposite, for example, the first step to take (as listed on bestcolleges.com) is to look at your bank account or accounts and write down what you spent money on last month and how much it was. Then, you take that information back each month to get an idea of the average price spent on different things. Boom, there is your monthly spending price.

The website then breaks things down even more, this monthly spending price is broken into necessities and discretionary funds. This allows you to see how much is needed each month to keep the lights on and gas running versus what trivial things were bought in the months.

My university also hosts multiple opportunities to meet with financial advisers for free, to discuss budgeting and other aspects of finance. Using these resources can aid immensely in the process of paying of debt and saving for the future.

The next post this week will focus on sharing resources with roommates!

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April 6th, 2017

Apartment Living

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Even though there is more space, that means more roommates. Sharing an apartment seems like it wouldn’t be that different from a dorm, however, there are a few fundamental differences.

Dishes. Even before day one, make sure everyone understands that they need to do their own dishes and in a timely manner. I have seen my fair share of sinks filled with dishes, not only does it look nasty, it usually smells nasty too. If there is a dishwasher, awesome! Most likely it will be hand washing though.

Furniture. Similar to the dorm style, it is a good idea to discuss beforehand who will bring what. The living room, eating area, kitchen – all the shared spaces will need to be agreed upon. Otherwise, your room and depending on the bathroom situation, are all yours to decorate without asking.

Chores. The majority of people absolutely despise doing chores even though they are necessary. No one is going to vacuum or dust or mop or wipe down any part of your apartment. The only way to make sure everyone is doing their part is to make a chart and put it up in a shared space. Many people will suggest doing most chores weekly, but ultimately it is up to you and your roommates.

Parties. It is important to understand what each individual in your apartment is comfortable with before throwing parties. Some may not even like alcohol to be in the apartment, while others are avid party-ers. For communication’s sake, discuss this before any parties are thrown!

Next week will be more random posts, stay with me!

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April 4th, 2017

Sharing a Dorm Room

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Before I start filtering back to other categories, I wanted to talk about sharing living spaces, like dorms and apartments, and the different aspects they both have. I believe the dorm experience is one everyone in college should go through. It is the introduction to apartment living and provides some vital knowledge on sharing and communication.

As terrible as it is, climbing up and down a ladder or the side of a bed, lofting allows for so much more space in a tiny room. I have been in the dorms for two years now and have lofted my bed both times because there is no room for a extra storage/drawers, let alone a futon. Also, if you can fit a futon in your room that means you don’t have to climb up and down you bed when you’re sick (it SUCKS).

Agreeing on who will bring what before move in day is important for sanity and space. After that, try to agree on how to set up the room before either of you get there. If one roommate moves in before the other and sets up the room how they want, someone will most likely be unhappy because they wanted it to be different.

This may sound childish, but sometimes it helps to think of the room as split in half (this really only works if you and your roommates beds are on opposite sides of the room). Doing this can help you realize if your stuff is encroaching on them or where it would work to put your desk and not be in their space too much.

Lastly, it is good practice to ask before putting up artwork and pictures. If you think your roommate will have a problem with something, ask. It is a much more awkward conversation if your roommate asks you to take it down, after you already put it up.

The second post this week will focus on apartments!

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March 30th, 2017

People, Posts and Places for Studying

Since studying can be so difficult, there are many resources at universities and online to help with it specifically. For almost every area and topic there will be helpful people, posts and places for studying.

People, such as tutors, exist for the sole purpose of helping you with any homework. They are usually free (if they are provided through the university) and can even lead you to other resources for studying. I’m not sure why but some people think going to a tutor is considered “stupid” or “cheating”. They are there to help anyone, knowing when you need help is so important for all aspects of college.

Posts are everywhere and on every topic. Even just googling what you’re studying will result in a tremendous amount of feedback. One resource that I really like are the Youtube posts that go into depth on subjects. They provide so much information as well as visual elements to help with learning. This page shares many, MANY educational Youtube posts: http://www.teacherswithapps.com/197-educational-youtube-channels-know/.

Finally, places for studying can really effect your ability to study. Your room can be an option, but sometimes it is very easy to get distracted by your bed or TV. The library is always a good place to study because they have so many different areas, some in absolute silent areas and some in collaboration areas. Otherwise, just search around campus until you find a place that works for the way you study.

The following weeks’ posts will be on more random subjects, to fill in areas of the categories.

 

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March 28th, 2017

Study, Study, Study

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Hopefully in high school you learned how to study and what ways work the best for you. This, sadly, is not the case for everyone. For example, one of my sisters and I were able to get very good grades without studying at all. Just listening in class was enough, but man did we get a wake up call in college. Obviously, there are many different ways to study and it depends on what you need. Below are a few tricks to make studying easier and, hopefully, better.

As I keep reiterating, making schedules and/or to-do lists can help with time management and even just remembering assignments. Each course deserves attention, sometimes it can become overwhelming using only memory to try planning things out.

Before an exam, going over information so much that it almost becomes too much, is proven to help remember information better. Also, studying just before you fall asleep helps our memory retain the information while you sleep. It really does work!

As always, note taking is a quality study tool. Not only does that mean that you are paying attention in class, it also helps your memory when you write something out. Typing, as fun and easy as it is, does not have the same effect. If you want to go overboard with this one, you can always copy your notes over and over again until you’re satisfied.

More ideas and in-depth descriptions can be found on this Learning Center page. The second post for this week will be focused on the different resources that are available to help with studying.

 

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March 23rd, 2017

Partying Tips

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Partying may not be for everyone, but it is a college experience that many participate in. The tips below are especially useful for freshmen and sophomores because they may not have heard them before.

No matter your gender, it is always a good idea to stay with a group of friends. The group will look out for each other and help each other make better decisions. Also, if you get into a bad situation, it is important to have people to help get you out of that situation.

Similar with work and classes, know your limit with alcohol. Drinking too much will inhibit your ability to make good decisions. It can also absolutely trash you, hangovers ruin any plans or time management for the following day.

This website provides information on knowing the signs for alcohol poisoning: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-poisoning/. Knowing the signs can save a life.

Sadly, drinking and driving is all too common of a problem. It not only puts your life in danger, it puts every single person around you in danger, especially other people on the road. If walking is too far or unsafe, find a car service like Uber in the area near you. Those few dollars are worth saving a life.

Next week we’ll talk about the opposite of partying – finals.

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March 21st, 2017

Managing the Weekends

When the weekend comes around, the last thing anyone wants to do is schedule it out like each week. Without scheduling, though, the time will fly by before there is even a chance to think about going to the library to study. For me, time management seems to be one of the hardest things to do on the weekend, no matter how many to-do lists I make, there is always something I am rushing to do late on Sunday.

The first thing to think about when planning out the weekend is whether or not to go home. Some university are considered suitcase schools because so many students leave campus each weekend. If your campus is one, it helps to find a group of friends who stay, otherwise it can get boring very quickly. Going home is definitely not a bad thing, especially if you do more homework and studying when home.

This still applies if you go home, but it can be more important to your time management if you stay on campus. Certain people are very driven and need to finish all homework before they can even think about relaxing. I so badly wish I was like that, sadly I’m more of the one to really, really try to get stuff done, but still scramble at the end of the weekend. If you’re like me, setting aside specific times to do homework and letting your friends know about it, puts enough emphasis on the schedule for you to follow it. Maybe your friends will even want to join those study times.

If you have a job, weekends are a prime time to earn money. That being said, weekends are also for you to relax and have fewer responsibilities. Just like time management with homework and hanging out, try to manage time between work and relaxing. Your coworkers also (usually) don’t have class on the weekend so it isn’t up to you to take all the shifts.

Weekends are the best for more than one reason, for example, another is partying. The following post will be tips and advice for all that comes with parties.

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