Tag Archives: College

Move-In Day: How To Handle The Chaos

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

 

If you are a freshman, moving into a college dorm can seem like a daunting task. You may have some questions or uncertainties, but rest-assured you are not alone. Hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful to make the transition from high school to college a little smoother. And if you’re not a freshman and you’ve moved into a dorm before, than you understand just how chaotic the day can be.

1. Plan Ahead

Check on the university website to find information about where to park, when to arrive, and what dorm you are in. This information might even be emailed to you, so be sure to be on the look out for any correspondence from your school. The more you know before the big day, the better.

2. Only Bring What You Need

When I was a sophomore, I volunteered to work on a freshmen move-in crew in the dorm I was living. One of the things that struck me, is how much stuff the freshmen would bring with them that they don’t need. If you have a fridge that is taller than 3 feet, then your fridge is too big! Often times universities have certain dorm regulations too that may impact what you’re allowed to bring. And there is no way you will be able to fit 50 or more inches of TV in between you and your roommate’s lofted beds. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Connect With Your Roommate

Not only is it important when preparing to move in to communicate with your roommate ahead of time so you don’t end up with two of everything, but you want to get to know them a little bit. You can usually find out who your roommate is through your school, whether it’s listed on your student account or in an email. This is, of course, assuming you aren’t rooming with your best friend or anyone else you already know. Either way, coordinate with them before you pack things you don’t need, which will just take up more of your limited space.

4. Stay Calm

It is okay to get excited, but try to stay focused on just finding your room, unpacking your stuff, and moving everything in. The first step usually involves going to a front desk in the lobby to sign in with the hall director to get your key. When I was on the move in crew, we would send students in to sign in while we would unload their things in front of the dorm. We then waited for students to come back and tell us which room they were in and then carried their things up with them. Remember, these student volunteers are here to help and may even be living down the hall from you. So, if you are feeling stressed out or uncertain, just remember you can talk to anyone of the volunteers, the RA’s, or the hall director and they will be happy to assist you.

Don’t worry! Moving in to campus can be overwhelming, but just remember to breathe and that this is the beginning of a new stage in your life. Even if you’re not a freshman, a new year is always exciting!

Good luck!

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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

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Roommate Advice

Filed under: College Life, Social Life/Relationships, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Throughout my four years of college, I had my fair share of roommates. From a bank teller who moonlighted as a stripper, to someone I had known since high school and considered a best friend. I learned some very valuable lessons. If you find yourself in the market for a room to rent or a roommate to move in with you, take this advice to heart. It could save you some trouble and even some money!

1. Best Friends as Roommates

I’m not going to say don’t do it, because it does work out for some people to move in with their best friend. However, there are a handful of us who it doesn’t work out for, ending in broken friendships. If you are interested in rooming with your best friend, be very clear about things up front. How will this affect your friendship if things don’t work out? Be sure it’s a risk you’re willing to take.

2. How to Find a Roommate

Craigslist seems to be the most popular method of finding a roommate, but be cautious. Try letting friends know you’re looking and ask them to pass on the word. Or if your university has Facebook groups set up (i.e. UO Class of 2016), post an ad in as many as are relevant. Also, let co-workers know what’s up – you never know what connections will come of it!

3. Interviewing Potential Roommates

When you do find someone compatible, meet up for coffee and talk about what you’re both looking for in a roommate. Be sure to bring up each other’s schedules (no one wants a roommate who is home all the time), whether or not you have pets (damage, allergies, etc.), boyfriends/girlfriends who might be over often, frequency of recreational drinking, and even references. Try not to make it a formal interview, but more of a getting-to-know-you meet up.

4. Roommate Agreements

A Google search on living with roommates will come up with various roommate agreements detailing who does what chores, who writes the rent check, how often overnight guests are welcome, and when the noise level of TVs/stereos should be kept low, among other things. It might be a good idea to draft up something like this for your own peace of mind.

5. Have A Back-Up Plan

Just in case things don’t work out with your new roommate, have a plan on who will move out, if that person will be in charge of finding a replacement, and how much notice will have to be given. It’s not the fun stuff, but it could be important later on.

Above all, have fun with it! Not all roommates are bad. You might end up with a great friend you can cook meals with and catch a movie with on weekends. Keep an open mind, be careful, and good luck!

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3 Inexpensive Recipes for the Starving College Student

Filed under: College Life, Food, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

College is one of the best experiences of our lives. However, college food can sometimes be one of the worst. Being on a budget and starving can sometimes be a struggle. Here are three easy recipes that will satisfy your taste buds and save you money!

1. Mexican Hotdogs

Take a flour tortilla and spread a spoonful of beans onto it. Sprinkle on some of your favorite cheese, place a hot dog in the middle, and roll it up. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Afterwards top it off with salsa!

2. Potato Soup

Add peeled and cubed potatoes to a saucepan. Add chopped celery and onions to the mix. Add water to bring the items to a boil, but make sure not to cover the veggies and potatoes fully with the water. Bring to a boil for about 25 minutes and then roughly mash up the potatoes. You want to coarsely mash up the potatoes so that you have chunks of it in the soup. Add 1/4 cup of milk to thicken up the sauce and flavor it with salt/pepper.

3. Peanut Butter Fudge with Vanilla Frosting

Empty a full jar of peanut butter and a whole can of vanilla frosting into a microwave safe bowl. Mix well and microwave for 30 second to 1 minute, watch carefully not to over cook it! Afterwards, pour the mix out onto the bowl and let it set. After letting it cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

What is your go-to meal when you are on a budget?

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