Archive for the ‘College Life’ Category

Productivity Boost: Organizational Tips for Making Your Dorm Room the Study Safe Haven of Your Dreams

Categories: College Life

YAs a retired Resident Advisor, I can honestly say that I have seen an abundance of dorm rooms. Hundreds in fact. The good, the bad, the clean, the filthy—I’ve seen it all. And in my time, I have seen some truly ingenious ways to organize small spaces. Organization can be the key to determining whether your room is a productive, study-friendly haven or just a place where you dump your dirty laundry every few days.

There are things, like living alone or having a lofted bed, that may help with space control. But for this article, let’s assume that most of you have a standard, shared dorm-style room with all of the basics: bed, dresser, closet, and desk. Here are a few organizational tips that will help you turn your space into the study spot you desperately desire.

Bed

Ah, the bed. The true focal point of your room. The place for you to crash between classes and to prop yourself up just right when you have a serious amount of reading to do. The key to having your bed be the best bed it can be is simple—you have to make it. I know, you probably don’t need another person in your life telling you to make your bed, but it’s true! If you leave it unmade and bunched up, you’re more likely to pile things on top of it, and just like that there will be textbooks and clothes caught between your sheets. It will lose its relaxing appeal. If you take two minutes (it probably won’t even take you two minutes!) to make it every day, it will set the precedent to keep the rest of your room a relaxing and clean space. If your residence hall allows it, lift your bed up with bed risers to get more storage space under your bed. Every little inch counts!

Closet

It is amazing how quickly your closet and your dresser can get out of control. You wake up in the morning and everything is tidily organized, only to find that two outfits later the floor is littered with every kind of clothing. At the beginning of a new semester, you should start fresh. Go through each dresser drawer and refold the things that are in disarray. Purge your wardrobe of anything you haven’t worn in the last six months, or you know you won’t wear in the next six. A great way to keep track of this is to do the hanger test. Store cold weather gear like gloves and hats in bins, rather than having them floating around the bottom of your drawers. And hang coats on the outside of your closet to save space for clothes inside.

Laundry

When your laundry isn’t a clean mess in your closet, it’s a dirty mess on your floor. The best trick to combat this is to only allow yourself one laundry hamper—and make it a small one. Then promise yourself that when the basket gets full, you will wash its contents. If you wait too long to wash, it’s too late. Keeping your dirty laundry to a small amount makes the task more manageable. And it will take you a lot less time to put away when you’re done.

Storage

One word: multifunction. Finding multiple ways to use a piece of furniture is the key to organizing a small space. For example, a storage trunk is a great way to store all of your toiletries, snacks, extra linens, etc. It also makes a great coffee table or extra seat for when your friends stop by. If your residence hall allows it, don’t hesitate to put up shelving to hold things like dishes and laundry detergent. You want to get that stuff up and tucked away so that it doesn’t clutter any of your work spaces.

Desk

Speaking of work space, your desk is your work space. You need to keep it cleaned and organized in order for it to remain a place where you can study. The only things you should be keeping on or in your desk are books, work materials, important documents, and your computer. Organize your books and notebooks together, first by class and then by day of the week. Use drawer organizers to keep things like paper clips and pushpins in one place. I would also recommend a file holder like this to keep track of financial information, contracts, and bills. Get a dry erase calendar that will help your organize your priorities for the week, but is small enough to fit in a tight space.

By following these organizational tips, you can create a clean and more relaxing work environment for you and your friends! Good luck this semester!

image credit: go2fresnostate.com

Comments: No Comments »

New Year, New School: Why Transferring Colleges Might be a Smart Move

Categories: College Life

time-for-changeTransferring from your current college to a new one is a big deal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right move. In fact, if it’s done for the right reasons, transferring colleges might be the best decision you make for your education and career.

If you’re thinking about transferring colleges this year, check out this list of good (and bad) reasons for doing so.

 

Good Reason to Transfer Colleges: You want to change majors.

Perhaps you chose your current college because it offers a top-notch business school; however, working as a camp counselor last summer helped you realize teaching is your life’s mission. If your current school doesn’t offer a degree program in education or whatever new course of study you choose, it could be time to transfer to a school that does.

Bad Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re unsure about your major.

Maybe you’re in your sophomore year and still don’t have a clue what you want to major in. Transferring colleges offers you a chance to delay this important decision, but it also means you could lose credits and have to spend more money. Before packing your bags, have a heart-to-heart talk with your college advisor and ask for their input.

 

Good Reason to Transfer Colleges: You don’t feel safe on campus.

College is your home away from home. If you truly don’t feel safe on campus, it’s time to transfer. While no school is 100 percent safe, some schools do a better job than others of keeping your well-being in mind. All colleges must report crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education, making it a great resource for comparing crime statistics of schools across the country.

Bad Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re convinced your college campus is swarming with thieves.

No campus is crime free. Just because you left your laptop at the library and someone swiped it doesn’t mean there’s a crime problem at your school. Whether you transfer or not, keep these campus safety tips in mind and remember safety starts with you.

 

Good Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re graduating!

You’ve just completed coursework to earn your degree from a two-year college and you’re ready to hit a four-year college campus as a junior. Transferring to a larger, four-year school can take a bit of getting used to, but it won’t be long before you’re settled in and making new friends.

Bad Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re bored.

The social life at community college has let you down and you’ve decided you want to party like a rock star at a four-year university. Slow down; there will be plenty of time to get your groove on. Meanwhile, why not form a club based on something you enjoy and meet other students with similar interests?

 

Good Reason to Transfer: The vibe isn’t right.

No matter how many times you visit campus before registering, you won’t really know if a college is a good fit for you until you’re a student there. If you’ve been trying for a few semesters but still don’t feel like you fit in, it might be time to transfer, especially if your grades (and spirit) are suffering.

Bad Reason to Transfer: Your BFF is changing schools and begs you to follow suit.

It’s always tough when a good friend transfers to a new school, but following him or her is probably not a smart move. If your dearest pal heads off to a new school, resist the urge to withdraw. Join a club, try intramural sports, or volunteer; do whatever it takes to keep meeting people. Eventually you’ll find a classmate you “click” with.

 

Good Reason to Transfer: You miss your family.

Many college-bound students can’t wait to be on their own, but a good number of students struggle with feeling homesick. If you come from a very close family, you might find transferring to a college closer to home creates the optimum balance between family and freedom.

Bad Reason to Transfer: You feel guilty about leaving your family and hate to let them down.

Some families are better than others at cutting the apron strings. If your family is distressed about your departure, video chat with them and tell them about campus activities. Eventually they’ll stop laying down the guilt trip and embrace your collegiate career.

 

Good Reason to Transfer: Tuition and living expenses are putting too much of a burden on you or your family.

If the cost of school and related expenses are more than you or your family can afford, or you’re racking up major student loans, transferring colleges might not be a bad idea. Chances are, you can find a school that offers the education and college experience you want without breaking the bank.

Bad Reason to Transfer: You have to work part-time and that’s a drag.

There’s no doubt that working a part-time job means there’s less time to socialize and take part in extracurricular activities, but it also forces you to get organized, stay on schedule, and prioritize competing demands. And guess what? Mastering those skills will help make you an attractive candidate to employers once you graduate.

 

Deciding to transfer colleges is a serious decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but if you think transferring will help you achieve your personal, academic, and career goals, it just might be the smartest move to make.

image credit: motivationandchange.com

Comments: No Comments »

Winter Survival Kit for High School & College Students

We here at Cappex Headquarters are right in the middle of a deep freeze! If you’re in an area that’s suffering from similar conditions, walking and driving to and from class can prove to be quite the treacherous journey. We’re offering up a few essential items to assemble for your winter survival kit that will help you get through the season.

0001_14_002.jpg

1. Invest in a quality coat, because it will make all the difference. In severely cold temperatures, someone who isn’t bundled up properly or has exposed skin can develop frostbite or hypothermia in a matter of minutes. Choose a coat that has down or down alternative filling – like this one from Orolay or this one from U.S. Polo Assn. – or another fluffy material that offers a good amount of insulation. Look for one with a hat to keep your entire head covered and warm during those times where the wind chill drops.

2. It’s a good idea to stock up on essential medicine before you get sick. The last thing you’ll want to do when you’re sick is go out in the cold weather to go to the store. Save yourself the trip by being one step ahead. Be sure to have on hand pain relievers, cold & flu relief medicine, cough and throat drops, and tissues. We love this adorable kit from Mom’s Medicine Chest that has all the essentials in one place.

3. If you’re not feeling well or just need to defrost after a particularly cold walk, curling up under an electric throw or blanket will warm you up in no time. For chilly nights, warm up your bed before getting into it at night: about ten or fifteen minutes before you’re ready to go to bed, lay out your electric blanket under your blankets and on top of your flat sheet. Once you’re ready, remove and unplug the electric blanket and enjoy the warmth as you drift off to sleep. We’re big fans of this heated throw from Sunbeam that’s the perfect size for wrapping up in. (Whenever using an electric blanket, be sure to follow all the safety instructions and always unplug it when not in use.) 

4. For those days when you’ve got a long, cold walk ahead of you or when you need to stay outside for an extended amount of time, keep your hands and feet extra warm with hand and feet warmers. These warmers come in all different shapes and sizes, like these hand warmers and foot warmers from HotHands, and provide tremendous warmth for hours.

autumn-blanket-cardigan-coffee-Favim.com-6325465. Winter is hibernation season, which means that going out to eat is not always an option. Delivery can get expensive, so to save a few bucks and eat in the comfort of your own home, stock up on canned goods and microwaveable food. Let’s be honest, after a cold, hard day, nothing beats effortless, on-demand, warm food. For these types of situations, having food options on hand that are quick and super easy to prepare are ideal, like soup, chili, spaghetti-o’s, mac & cheese, dry microwaveable meals, and frozen meals. Another great option is whipping up a big batch of soup, chili, or pasta on the weekend and heating up individual portions of it throughout the week. Don’t forget to also stock up on essential warm weather drinks, like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

6. To keep yourself extra warm when you have to brave the elements, wear tight clothing under your regular clothes. Tight clothing, such as leggings and fitted shirts are great in retaining warmth and body temperature. Cuddl Duds makes a huge selection of clothing made specifically for this purpose, so check them out.

7. Moisturizing and exfoliating have never been more important than now. As the cold season progresses, your skin will become dry, crackly, and flaky. To treat this, regularly exfoliate and moisturize your hands, face, and lips. Invest in a good hand cream and some lip balm. For your face, there are many DIY exfoliation and moisturizing recipes using everyday ingredients that will do the trick.

If the cold has you holed up inside, take advantage of that time by checking in on your Cappex College Message Center and maybe even applying for a few scholarships!

image credits: news.cornell.edu & favim.com

Comments: No Comments »