dorm life

Tips for Living with a Roommate

Campus LivingOne of the biggest learning opportunities college has provided me hasn’t been in the classroom; it’s been in my home away from home. Learning how to live peacefully under the same roof with different people has been a huge challenge. Differences also arise in the way people are raised and problems occur when there are clashing personalities. But there really is something to be learned from all of it!

I’ve had my fair share of roommate issues. At first I thought, “Maybe something is wrong with me”, but I’ve come to find that everyone encounters problems with their roommates, whether they’re friends or not. A big issue in my apartment this year is different standards of cleanliness. We’ve also had problems when it comes to guests and partying.

I won’t get into any specifics, but my advice for everyone is this: sit down at the beginning of the year and establish rules with your roommates. Whether you live with one other person in a dorm, or three other people in an apartment, establishing a common ground is an easy way to express your expectations and meet your roommate(s) somewhere in the middle.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “But my roommate and I get along great!” That’s fantastic! Embrace the fact that you two can get along so well.

My takeaway lesson from three years now of what I call “crazy roommates” is this: everyone is different. Once you can understand and respect that, you’ll have a much easier time living with someone who isn’t necessarily your best friend. It’s also a lot like the real world- not everyone is like you, but you have to accept how they are. You may have to work with someone that you could care less about, but you need to be able to be civil and mature about it.

Have any good roommate tips you’d like to share? Let us know below!

Pets in College

While in college, its normal to get a bit homesick.  Personally, the only piece of home I truly miss is my dog since I have everyone else I talk to.  Pets are the only relationships we can only maintain in person nowadays.  So why not bring your cat, dog, fish, or other pet with you to college?  Guys, its no question that walking around with a dog will draw girls to you like moths to a flame.  Plus, everyone likes to feel unique and you could be the only one on campus with a pet iguana or what have you.  There is a reason people don’t bring their pets to college.  There is a reason why pets are prohibited from dorms.  Here’s why:

What are two things you don’t seem to have enough of in college?  Time and money.  Having a pet takes up a lot of time as you need to make trips to the pet food store and veterinarian, exercise and play with your pet, clean up after your pet, etc.  All of these things also cost a lot of money.  Although the love of a pet is priceless, if a person does not have the time and money to properly care for an animal, you are doing the animal a disservice.

Pet hair isn’t so sexy.  Going to class covered head to toe in pet hair isn’t so attractive.  Inviting friends over to play with the new pet might be fun for a week or so, but eventually no one will want to come hang out when they know they will be covered in pet hair within seconds.

AskMen.com released an article about the importance of smell when it comes to attracting a person.  Pets can make your room, your bedding, your clothes, and you smell.  Adding this pet smell to a dorm room with piles of garbage, crushed up Arizona cans from weeks ago, bad milk in the fridge, and old pizza on the common room table is a horrible mix.  Even if you keep your dorm room perfectly clean, you will end up spending extra efforts to take care of that pet smell, which reinforces the time and money point.

Pets can trash your room.  If you think your roommate is a pig, imagine what an actual animal can do.  Even if caged while your out (which can be inhumane if you are always out of your dorm room) animals can break out of cages and pee and poop all over your room, dig through your things, and damage your things.

In some cases, an RA finding an illegal pet in a dorm room due to noise complaints or general room checks is grounds for kicking you out of housing.  A person could end up out of the money you or your parents spent on housing plus dealing with finding a place to live.  Not fun.

I am not against pets by any means.  My Border Collie Jack is my favorite family member (sorry Mom).  I just don’t think it’s a good idea in a dorm room.  Better wait until you have a place of your own to get a pet.

-TravelBug

I’m reading Healthcare Finance

Make Your Workspace Work for You

Dorm rooms are great escapes for things like naps, and make-shift study parties. In fact, our dorm rooms get so comfy that sometimes we forget that we have to live, and more importantly, work there too. So as fun as the popcorn pop quizzes and movie night mosh pits are, we need to make room for the books. So let’s buckle down and figure out the best way to make a functional workspace out of your humble abode away from home.

First things first… DECLUTTER that desk of yours!
Make sure to purge all of your old, used spirals and notebooks and get ride of any papers and flyers you no longer need. Nothing screams “study buzz kill” like old paperwork you can’t remember if you need or not! Is this assignment due? Or is this one? Where did that form come from? Who knows! Save yourself the stress and just don’t go there!

Second, prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
What are your staple study savers that you need close by at all times? What are your absolute must haves? Can you conveniently plug in your laptop charger? Do you have enough light? Where are your pens? Do you even have pens? The real key to a functional workspace is making sure the space is working for you just as hard as you are working on your work. If you can’t access your study tools, the space is doomed to fail. It might be time to rearrange and redesign the feng shui of the room. Try your desk in a new spot, or flip your bed the other way— whatever it takes to make the light ample, and the cords reach! But also keep in mind you have to comfortably live and study so make the necessary changes with a grain of both salt and practicality.

Third tip’s the charm! Organize your space
So you’ve taken the time to consider the feng shui so now it’s time to cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Is your stuff where it needs to be? I’m famous for the “junk drawer”— the throwing everything that doesn’t go somewhere else into one spot never to be seen again— which includes bobby pins, loose change, paperwork, hair ties, and even candy! I wouldn’t recommend a junk drawer. Besides being messy, they are incredibly inconvenient and swallow just about anything you decide to place within it. Instead, invest in proper organization like file folders, desk caddys, binders, penholders—the options are endless! Every store under the sun now carries cute, affordable organization knick knacks so don’t hold back! Channel your inner nerdiness and get smart with your study stuff—your assignments (and your room) will thank you!

Fourth and finally, disconnect!
Regardless of your study space it’s important to remember that distractions won’t turn themselves off. You need to make yourself and your space as comfortable as possible. When you are studying turn off your distractions and try to pry yourself away from Facebook and twitter and really focus. Then take a break and distress—grab some ice cream, or some cookies and watch a few episodes of Internet TV. When you shut off and disconnect and really buckle down your can reward yourself later with treats, and hopefully, higher grades!

All these tips combined and a touch of determination will help you not only maximize the functionality of any space, but will also help you reach your super focused study potential!

-Ring Queen

I’m reading Reading the World: Ideas That Matter

Turn Your Dorm Room into a Cozy Oasis

College can seem secluded at times; especially when your living in a dorm room with prison cell walls, a dirty clothes smell, and a view out the window that reminds you of well…school. Summer memories dance through your head and you’d give anything for a sandy beach and the smell of fresh salt water. If this describes you, the perfect get away is in order! Don’t wait until spring break! All you need is a little bit of free time, $30, some creativity, and a little determination.

First, put all those old magazines to use! Flip through and find your favorite pictures, quotes, or ads to cut out. After cutting out the images apply a little double stick tape to the back and collage them onto your boring white walls. Another way to spice up those sad walls is a decal! They are easy to apply and very affordable. Target has a wide variety ranging from chandeliers to quotes ($12.99- $24.99). Finally, after you finish decorating your walls, sit back and admire the beauty in what once was a dreary dorm room.

Step two, smell fresh! Reed diffusers can give your room the splash of freshness that it needs and are a much safer alternative to burning scented candles! They are sold in tons of scents from clean linen to vanilla, and everything in-between. They cost around $15 and last for a long time. If your diffuser runs dry simply buy the refill oil for only $5 and feel free to experiment with a new scent! They are a much more appealing product than the plastic air fresheners and they last longer.

Finally, it is time to improve that view out of your window! There are a variety of curtains out there for a variety of people. They come in about every color, tons of different materials, and different lengths. If you’re looking for something a little more fun they are also offered in animal prints, sequins, and patterns. If you want your curtains to still allow light into the room look for a sheer fabric.  If you want to sleep all day you can also find “blackout” curtains that will keep your room nice and dark no matter what time of day it is!

After turning your dorm room into a cozy oasis, enjoy your getaway!

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Management