Category Archives: College Life

4 Campus Services You Should Not Pay For

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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By Guest Blogger, Kevin Foor

College is expensive. One year of school at an in-state public institution currently averages $18,391, according to the College Board. If you go out of state, that number bumps up to $31,701. Because of the high costs of tuition and room and board, it’s essential that you cut costs wherever you can. In addition to saving money on textbooks by using a service like BookRenter, there are plenty more ways to conserve cash in college – and they come mainly from avoiding costly campus services. Here are four that you should avoid.

1. College Debit Card

You might think that getting a college debit card is a great idea, especially since many schools can load your financial aid directly onto it. However, these cards are typically chock-full of fees, including swipe fees, usage fees, and inactivity fees. Plus, having all that student loan money on a piece of plastic is only going to tempt you to spend it unnecessarily. Your best bet is to get in on the latest checking account promotions or to open an account at a local bank that offers a fee-free debit card.

Campus Credit Debit Card

Photo © Heartland Payment Options

2. Errand Services

These services run the gamut. You might see signs in your dorm lobby for laundry pick-up, grocery shopping, or meal preparation and delivery. Don’t take the bait. College is tough, there’s no denying it, but if you don’t think you have enough time in the day to take care of these responsibilities yourself, try instituting some time management practices to free up the necessary time. When you’re studying, go to the library or another quiet area so you’re not interrupted. If you’re doing online research for a school project, stick to the matter at hand and avoid surfing the Internet or checking your social media accounts. Free up more time in your day and you can complete these errands on your own and save a bundle.

College Laundry Services

Photo © Gopher Laundry

3. University Health Coverage

Because of the Affordable Care Act you can now stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until you reach the age of 26. Take advantage of that and opt out of campus-based health insurance. This is another unneeded expense and even if your parents ask you to pay for your portion of the coverage, it’s likely to be less than what you would pay through your school plan since many institutions have significantly raised premiums.

College Health Services

Photo © HVCC

4. Dining Meal Plan

I was recently reading a college education website and one student commented that his food plan cost $1,325 for 100 meals. That’s $13.25 per meal. Be sure to run the numbers of a university meal plan before signing on the dotted line. You could save yourself hundreds by eating in your dorm room. Take advantage of cooking facilities and clip coupons to save money on your grocery trips.

College Dining Hall Plan

Photo © Austin College

You may believe some of these services are worth the cost, but don’t lose sight of how important it is to keep your expenses down while in school. Once you graduate and hopefully find work, you’re going to be responsible for personal budgeting. Save money any way you can during school and start paying your loans back as quickly as possible.

What campus services can you eliminate that are unnecessary?

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Finding Balance

Filed under: College Life, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Being a full-time student, working a full-time job, and being married can all sometimes drive me nuts. I love it all, but because I give 100% to whatever I commit myself to, it can get a little overwhelming. My favorite saying is, “So much to do, so little time.” Over the past few years I’ve figured out at least a few things that make my life (and my husband’s life) easier, healthier, and more manageable.

1. Chore Schedule

I used to pick one day and try to get all of the cleaning done, and I only did this once my place looked like a disaster. It would take me all day and I wouldn’t have time for anything else. Instead, I decided to make a daily chore list to do a little a day and never let it get overwhelming. For example, Monday’s list would be to make the bed, clean the sinks, and clean the counter tops. Tuesday’s list would be to make the bed, clean the toilets, do the dishes, etc. Breaking up the chores into little pieces at a time has made life much more manageable!

Weekly Chore Schedule

Photo © The Redheaded Sister

2. Use A Planner

For a lot of people, remembering things isn’t an issue. If you’re like me, you pretend it’s not an issue, and then reality sets in when you miss a birthday or a homework assignment. I got myself a tiny planner that fits in my purse, so that I have it 24/7. Every event, grocery item, and homework assignment goes in there so I can keep track of everything in a simple way. It’s all about getting in a routine and checking your planner every night or morning.

Planner Organization

Photo © Prescott College Life

3. Cook In Bulk

Trying to cook every meal is way too stressful and time consuming. So, Sunday I do laundry and cooking. I cook some chicken, beef, and other meats for the week so that I can put it in different dishes all week. I may have a chicken wrap one day, and then the next day have a chicken caesar salad! This way, I’m eating healthy, but I’m not wasting time everyday cooking!

Cooking In Bulk

Photo © Household 6 Diva

The biggest part of keeping everything balances and staying ahead of schedule is to figuring out what is going to help YOU be organized. For me, it’s these three things that really keep me focused. For you, it may be something different. Whatever it is, when you find what works, you will dominate the semester!

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3 Things To Know About Going Greek

Filed under: College Life, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Going Greek was certainly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It helped with my grades (which needed severe improving), it got me more involved on campus (something every freshman should do right away), and it taught me life lessons that I likely wouldn’t have got anywhere else. On top of that, we have a LOT of fun whether we are doing community service or having a social. So if you’re considering joining a fraternity or a sorority, I strongly encourage you to do it. Just make sure you are well informed before you make a decision.

1. Don’t Tolerate Hazing

Hazing is defined as anything that one is forced to do, especially if it makes him/her uncomfortable or puts them in harm’s way. Unfortunately, a good amount of Greek organizations still haze – so be on the lookout. If at any point someone pressures you into doing something you would not normally do, that is hazing. Hazing does nothing to build true brother/sisterhood and usually only serves to amuse older members. What usually starts off as something lighthearted and funny can spiral out of control fast. Don’t let this scare you though! There are plenty of Greek organizations that do not haze and will be more than willing to work around a problem if anything about joining makes you uncomfortable. These are generally the most respected fraternities and sororities on campus and the ones that know how to stay out of trouble, meaning – you won’t join and then be kicked off campus before your four years are up. If at any point you notice or feel the effects of hazing, there are campus hotlines you can call to report it.

Go Greek

Photo © Greek Life at UNH

2. Paying Dues

For those of you who don’t know, joining Greek life is not exactly inexpensive. Everyone has to pay a set amount of money per semester, usually a few hundred bucks, so that your fraternity or sorority has money to operate. This pays for things like philanthropies, socials with other Greek orgs, composite photo-shoots, the ever important house supplies, and gas for any brotherhood/sisterhood events you need to drive to. Some people see it as paying for having a social group, but this is a rather misguided concept. The best way to explain it is that the more you put into Greek life, the more you get out of it. Which is why the organizations that do a lot more events end up having higher dues. I suggest looking for a fraternity that is involved in campus life, but not so much that dues are unreasonably high for your budget. The great thing about dues is that every year the members have to vote on the approved budget, meaning if you think it’s too expensive you have some power to reduce the cost.

Piggy Bank Greek Life Sorority Dues

Photo © Etsy

3. Join For The Right Reasons

Did you watch a lot of college movies and TV shows when you were younger? Is your conception of Greek life simply a way to get to the best parties on campus and drink the night away? Well then I’m sorry to tell you this, but that’s not what Greek life is really about. Anyone can get into a party if they know the right people. Greek life is about so much more than solo cups and togas – it’s about forming an unbreakable bond with each other; it’s about making yourself a better person; it’s about giving back to the community; it’s about applying yourself in school, work, and all other aspects of your life. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in, then that is okay, Greek life is not for everyone.

Fraternity College Boys

Photo © TEAM

Hopefully you will consider Greek life and try it out for yourself!

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Fresh Start To A Great Year

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia Baran Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

“This year I’ll do better.” These 5 words, and similar variations of them, are probably the most common words uttered by students all across the globe. It’s what we tell ourselves at the beginning of every school year and yet 3 or 4 weeks into the semester we realize we’re not exactly living up to it. But have no fear! This year WILL be better if you just follow these 3 rules and stick to them!

1. Don’t Procrastinate

We all fall victim to procrastination at one point or another but you must fight the urge! As soon as an assignment is handed out, start working on it. Now, I’m not saying to complete a 10 page paper the day your professor announces it, but each day take some time to work on it. Not only will your course load seem lighter when you do this, but it will also take a huge amount of stress out of your daily life which will lead to an overall better college experience.

Doing Homework

Photo © Broadband Social Justice

2. Forget the Past

If your previous semesters didn’t go so great, don’t let that put a damper on your present and your future. It’s important to start every semester with a clean slate, that means no pouting over that Math class you failed last year! If you go into each school year with a negative outlook, you’re more likely to get negative outcomes. It may seem difficult, but try to forget the bad of the past and focus only on the possibilities of the future.

Grateful For A New Day

Photo © Shine On Raw

3. Set New Goals

College is about challenging yourself. Start each semester with some short-term personal goals for yourself – whether it be to get better grades, to meet new people, join a club, party less, party more, find an internship, etc. Whatever it may be, make a list of a couple of things you’d like to have done by the end of the semester and actually do them. This way you’ll feel more accomplished as you cross off each goal, but you’ll also be creating more memories and hopefully be bettering yourself.

College Soccer Goal

Photo © Student Life

If you remember these three rules, this could be your best year yet! What short term goals do you want to accomplish this year? Tell us in a comment below!

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Chic & Cheap Room Decor

Filed under: College Life, DIY & Crafts, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget - Angelina
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Darlene Megino Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Just moved into a new dorm, room, or apartment? Decorating your room can sometimes break your wallet, but it doesn’t have to! If you want to decorate on a budget, then these easy chic and cheap room décor pieces are for you!

1. Wall Art

You can definitely show your personality and creativity through wall art. By using items you find at home and re-decorating them, you can create new pieces of art to display on your wall. One idea is to take a shopping bag from your favorite store and frame it. It will highlight your fashionable personality and will spruce up your drab walls! See some tutorials:

2. Floral Mirror

You can easily add a touch of elegance to your mirror by adding some flowers. You can use any sized mirror for this do-it-yourself project. All you need is a mirror (any size/shape), fake flowers from any crafts store, and a glue gun. Take the flowers off of the stems and remove the piece that holds it together. Next, lay out the flowers on the perimeter of the mirror to ensure you like the design. Once you have finalized your floral placement, begin gluing down the flowers. Allow the glue to cool and set for about an hour prior to hanging up the mirror. You can use the same concept to create floral corkboards and white boards as well!

DIY Floral Mirror Dorm Decoration

Photo ©She Knows

3. Stacked Mason Jars

Mason jars are a pretty inexpensive, yet stylish way to organize your desk area. To create this, all you need is 5 mason jars, a hot glue gun, and some items to fill the jars with. First, put the base together by hot gluing the sides of the jars together. Then glue the top two together. Afterwards, glue the top two onto the base. Finally, fill it with some colorful markers, paper holders, and pens to add a pop of color! Now your desk will be looking organized and chic!

Mason Jar Desk Decor

Photo © It’s Overflowing

These are just a few ideas to get your dorm, apartment, or room looking stylish without breaking the bank. Have you created your own decor? If so, what? Leave us a comment below!

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