Don’t Let Bad Roommates Ruin Your College Experience

A tiny dorm room isn’t ideal for most college freshmen, but sharing a room is something most freshmen will have to get used to. Students should be aware that roommates can affect your life more than expected. Bruce Sacerdote, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth, wrote in a study, “Roommate effects are important influences in freshman year GPA and in decisions to join social organizations.”

The scenarios of how roommates can affect your freshman year are endless. For example, before the school year begins, roommates talk about joining different organizations which can include going Greek. Another example is studying for an exam while every other roommate may suggest going to a party. While being away from home, first year students may have the desire to be social, instead of studying. College is all about learning how to be an independent adult and accountable for your actions, so if there starts to be a sign of lower grades and there is a direct correlation with your roommates, then something must be done to fix the situation.

Here are tips on how to fix roommate problems:

1. Speak up to your roommate, tell them you have priorities and that you need to find a way to accommodate each other in such a small space. Read the rest of this entry »

25 Biggest Fears of the Incoming College Freshman Class

The first day of class is just days away for many college campuses. That day can be very emotional for any student. However, there may be no one more emotional than the incoming freshmen. The first day of college is more than just attending a new class, it’s entering a whole new world.

It’s been 12 years since I had my first day of classes. Many of my biggest fears came true that day. I couldn’t find a place to park, I got lost, and I was very late to my first class. It was a public speaking course. The first assignment was to give a quick speech about the person sitting next to you. My partner had very little time to interview me as I was so late. Her speech went something like, “I can only assume she’s not a very punctual person given she was so late today.” That got her a laugh and me a red face.

Looking back, I find it funny, too. But that day I was ready to cash in my chips and assume college wasn’t for me. Our emotions have a way of getting the best of us. By my final semester I had made many more mistakes, been late a million more times, and still managed to get lost on campus after all those years. Those issues among a million others seemed to happen to everyone though, and after a few years of it, the fretting stopped and it was just understood that college is a dynamic environment. Everyone was trying to find their way, it wasn’t just me who struggled from time to time.

More than a decade later, I wondered what today’s freshmen were dealing with. What fears are keeping them up at night as they prepare for their first day. I asked several members of the class of 2016 and here’s what they said were their biggest fears: Read the rest of this entry »

Students Move from Dorms to Cruise Ships Due to Mold Infestations

Cruise ShipSt. Mary’s College of Maryland is situated on a beach, and it is not uncommon to find students spending their free time in boats with their friends. The college even offers classes that are taught by world-class sailing instructors for their students who want to become better sailors. Now, the school is taking things a step farther and allowing some students to live on cruise ships instead of in the dorms.

Wait a second. What? Why would the school be putting students up in a cruise ship instead of in the dorms? Well, a mold infestation recently forced the schools to evacuate two dorms in October. At first, the students were relocated to living in an off-campus hotel. Now, they have been relocated to a luxurious cruise ship that is currently docked at the school’s campus.

“I went to La Quinta Hotel and then a week later we found out we were going on a boat,” said Nicholas Samuels, a sophomore at the school.

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UC Students Live in Mansions for Cheap Rent

University of California Merced LogoIf your dorm lacks the space and the amenities that you desire, perhaps you should consider moving into a mansion. If you think you can’t afford it, you’re wrong, that is if you attend the University of California in Merced.

Amid all of the foreclosures in Merced, students are reaping all of the benefits. Since dorms are crowded at UC, and luxurious homes are empty, they can move into these lavish mansions and pay dirt-cheap rent (like less-than-$400-dirt-cheap.)

This unique opportunity brought on by a city that is one of the country’s hardest hit by home foreclosures can be described in a single sentence:

“I mean, I have it all!” said Patricia Dugan, a senior majoring in management.

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Five Space-Savers for Your Dorm

white orgnization containersMaking your dorm feel less crammed is all about storing your items vertically. Either stack it to the ceiling, or hang it on the wall. Follow these steps, and you’ll be in open-space bliss.

Stuff it underneath the bed: When you lived at home, your bed was probably a “catch-all” with everything from dirty clothes to un-clean dishes. Now that valuable space can be turned into a storage haven. Organization is the key, so place your lesser-used items into plastic bins. Try to keep similar items together, and mark the lid with a sharpie, so you don’t have to open every bin to find that much-needed item.

Use every inch of your closet: Purchase a double-hang closet organizer like this one. All you do is hang a rod from your existing one, and you’ve just doubled your wardrobe space. Don’t think of your closet as just for clothes. Purchase plastic stackable drawers in which you can cram your miscellaneous items.

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Stock Your Kitchen with These College-Kid Essentials

cooking utensilsI loved to cook in high school, when I lived with my parents and their fully-stocked kitchen. However, when I came to college, I did not have a kitchen during my freshman year because I lived in the dorms and ate every single meal in the school cafeteria. After that first year, I move to an unfurnished apartment, and the real world of cooking came back with a vengeance: how does one survive in a kitchen that has absolutely nothing in it besides a stove?

I tried to survive off noodles that we cooked on the stove top in an aluminum pot that I got at a garage sale for $1.50, but that obviously lost its charm in about two days. So I started going to my local store to pick up some of the must-haves for my first kitchen. Here are some of the things that no college-kid-kitchen should go without:

Microwave. Many apartments come with a microwave, but if not, you are going to want one! Maybe you are thinking that you can cook everything in a stove. While this is mostly true, stoves takes much longer to cook your food than a microwave does. For example, a frozen dinner takes about three minutes in a microwave; in an oven, it takes closer to an hour. I don’t know about you, but when I come home from class and am starving, I want my food now, not later.

  1. Measuring cups and spoons. If you are cooking something from scratch, you definitely want to measure how much of each ingredient you are really using. Trust me, a batch of cookies that is accidentally made with a tablespoon of salt tastes much worse than one that is made with the single teaspoon that the recipe calls for.
  2. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Create a Haunted House in Your Dorm

black and white image of old house with gnarled treeHosting the perfect haunted house in your dorm is all about creating that spooky ambiance. Think low-lighting, eerie music and gobs of fake blood.

Follow these tips to cram the perfect haunted house into your dorm.

The bedroom: Turn your sleeping area into a crime scene by lining the door with police tape. Purchase old bed sheets from Goodwill and smear them with fake blood. Strategically place the fake murder weapon in plain sight. To top it off, place a large sheet of black paper on the floor, and outline a “dead body” in chalk.

The living area: Play an old slasher movie on your TV. Dress up a family of skeletons and place them on the couch so it looks like they’re watching the movie.

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Companies Target College Students by Using “Campus Evangelists”

American Eagle Outfitters LogoDo you remember moving into the dorms your freshman year? For me, it took about a gazillion trips up and down the elevators in order to get all of my stuff moved in, with only my parents to help. Lucky for Lelia Ismail, her freshman move-in experience at the University of North Carolina was a little bit easier. Why? Ismail had a team of upperclassmen who were all dressed in identical American Eagle Outfitters clothes to help her move in to her dorm room.

Wait a second: isn’t college about finding your own identity and expressing yourself as an individual? Why would these upperclassmen all be wearing the exact same thing? Because they are “campus evangelists” for the popular teen clothing store.

Read the rest of this entry »

Students Are Choosing to Live in Fancier Housing

I lived in the dorms during my freshman year at the University of Oklahoma. I shared a tiny little room with another girl and a bathroom with three other girls. The situation was cozy, to say the least.

Then, during my sophomore year, I moved out of the dorms and into the fantastic world that was a college apartment. Most of the apartments in my town were designed for students and included separate leases (so you didn’t have to worry about if your deadbeat roommate will pay rent on time,) a community tanning bed, a private gym, high-speed Internet, and more cable channels than I knew what to do with. My parents thought this was a little extravagant, but as I told them time and time again, this was the new standard of college living.

Evidently, I was right. Apartment complexes across the nation are catering to us college kids who want to live in the lap of luxury.

“It’s a national trend,” said Dan Rosenfeld, who develops apartments that are college-kid-friendly. “There is competition among schools, and [the apartments near campus] have to provide a competitively attractive student environment.”

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College Students Are Not Sleeping Well Enough To Perform Their Best

When I was in high school, I had a self-imposed bedtime and woke up at the same time every morning in order to go to my classes. As a result, I got eight hours of sleep every night and felt more energized and aware when I woke up in the mornings. My energy levels stayed high throughout the day and when it was time to go to bed at night, I fell asleep easily.

All that changed when I went to college. During my freshman year, I would stay up until 4:00 A.M. one night, wake up at noon, and then go to bed at 10:00 P.M. in order to wake up for my 8:00 A.M. class the next day. My sleep schedule was completely wacky, and as a result, my overall health suffered.

It turns out I was not alone. Many freshmen struggle with getting enough sleep as they transition into college. Also, when freshmen do sleep, they tend to think that they are getting a better quality of rest than they really are.

Read the rest of this entry »


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