Archive for the ‘College Life’ Category

Have Questions Before Heading Off to College?

Categories: College Life

Are you headed off to college in the fall?

If so, you’re probably thinking about all the things you have to do to get ready. Get in touch with your new roommate. Register for classes. Apply for some more scholarships. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to do most of these things, and you can always turn to your parents when you need help.

But what about those other questions you have? You know, the ones that you’d feel weird asking Mom or Dad. You don’t always want to go to the adults who know you well when you have questions about relationships, alcohol, or campus safety – after all, they worry enough as it is!

College life expert Harlan Cohen will answer some of these questions during a webinar later this month. 17 Things High School Grads Need to Do Before Going to College will take place on Monday, July 29.

Harlan is The New York Times bestselling author of The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College, so you can rest assured he knows what he’s talking about. He’ll give you some tips and advice to help you get comfortable before you head off to campus.

Want to find out more? Register here.

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Why Going to Community College Isn’t Just Like High School

Categories: College Life

community collegeCommunity college offers plenty of benefits. The costs are far below what you’d pay at a private school, and often in-state public schools as well. They’re close to home, which is great if you don’t want to live on campus. And they give you some more time to figure out what you want to major in or which four-year school you want to attend if you still aren’t sure or think your interests could change after taking some gen eds.

But oftentimes, it’s difficult for students to see the benefits of community colleges because of one thing: They think it’ll be just like high school. Being in the same area, going to school with people they already know, and living with their family makes them believe community college is just a two-year extension of high school.

Don’t let this common fear put you off applying to your local two-year college. Here are just a few reasons community college really isn’t anything like high school.

It’s Bigger
Some high school students assume going to community college means they’ll have to interact with everyone they knew in high school all over again. But community colleges take students from multiple local high schools and typically have thousands of students – there’s no way you’ll walk onto campus knowing everyone! Even if you do see a few familiar faces, it’ll be in a completely different environment (and truth be told, you may feel reassured when you do see people you recognize if you’re overwhelmed your first week).

You’ll Have More Class Options
Ever get sick of taking mandatory math or foreign language classes in high school? At community colleges, they may be optional. While you’ll need to confirm you’re fulfilling any gen ed requirements, chances are if you really don’t like a subject, you won’t have to take much of it, just like at a four-year school.

Similarly, you’ll be exposed to a huge variety of classes that a K-12 education just can’t offer. Medieval history, sculpture, ethics, and fashion merchandising classes may not have existed in your high school, but they’re probably available at your local community college.

Your Schedule is Flexible
Sure, your high school may have allowed upperclassmen to go off campus for lunch or take advantage of late arrival or early dismissal periods. But you probably didn’t get to customize your schedule based purely on your wants and needs. Are you a morning person? Schedule your classes for the morning and find yourself free all afternoon. Want to work hard and save money? Create a schedule that will allow you attend class two or three days a week and put in your hours on the job the other four or five days. You definitely didn’t get that sort of flexibility and freedom in high school.

There’ll Be a New Range of Extracurriculars 
Maybe your high school didn’t offer many clubs or sports that interested you. Or perhaps your school was so small there really wasn’t much available. That changes in college, even if you’re going to a two-year school. Join a poetry club, get involved with a political movement, or nab a spot on the Quidditch team if you’re a Harry Potter fan. There’s something for everyone on a community college campus.

With all this in mind, can you really keep saying community college is just like high school? Add your local two-year school to your college list. You never know, you could end up enrolling even if you’re set on another university.

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5 Ways to Plan for the Perfect Dorm Room Atmosphere

Categories: College Life

dorm room decorationWhen you think about venturing off to college, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it was starting a life on my own – my own place, my own plans, my own rules (well, for the most part). I was ready to find myself, and discover who I wanted to be professionally.

It was an incredibly exciting time, but just like any new adventure, there were tinges of fear. Of all of the things that helped me transition into this new life, I found the most satisfaction in the creation of a stress-free environment in the one place on campus I had some control over: my dorm room.

Faced with a shared space that was barely large enough to fit two beds and felt like a concrete dungeon, my roommate and I tasked ourselves with creating an atmosphere in which we could thrive. It wasn’t perfect from the start, but it became a place of our own and a place we were proud of.

Here are five takeaways from our adventure to help you make the most of your new place.

1. Plan Ahead
Find out what the facility furnishes for you and what you’ll need to bring. You can also ask ahead whether or not you can remove any of the furniture they provide. Perhaps you have a great dresser at home that will work better in the space than the one available. Also, get in touch with your roommate to coordinate who will bring what shared items and if either of you have a theme in mind for your space.

2. Think Functional
While out shopping or perusing your home for items to take, look for things that are just as functional as they are visually appealing. The best pieces allow you to make storage space below, can easily be stacked upon or serve multiple purposes. The perfect desk accessories are a must, because they keep you organized yet stylish.

3. Set Spaces
You’re about to move from a full home to a single room, but you have to accomplish many of the same tasks with much less space. The best way to do this and not get overwhelmed is to designate a space for everything. A place to study, lounge, sleep, get ready, and hang out with friends. Think about what spaces can pull double-duty for you. By assigning spaces, you’re not only making sure you make the most of the items you bring into your room, but you’re also setting yourself up for success. (Planned study space is key!)

4. Less is More
When you first move into your dorm room, take only the basics along with a few key decorations. You can always add to your room, but parting with an item once it has already made a home is easier said than done.

5. Bring Home With You, But Make the Space Yours
Whether it’s furniture, knick-knacks or pictures, bringing in items that remind you of home will help alleviate some of that homesickness. Find the right balance of old and new by carrying over pieces from home with new items just for you. A great way to do this is to create new, more functional items from old ones. Whether that’s getting a new frame or print of an old photo or repurposing a piece of furniture, bring items into your new space that make you feel at home.

Moving into your dorm room is just the first milestone of your college career. Take this first step of your new adventure by letting your space be the best representation of yourself—past, present and future.

Catherine is a young communications professional who loves empowering the next generation of graduates. In her spare time, Catherine is a career development and home décor writer for Tiny Prints, her recommended site for personalized dorm room décor (here). Follow Catherine on her blog (here).

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