How to Avoid Freshman Year Roommate Awkwardness

Categories: College Life

The start of college is just a few weeks away. The prospect of cool classes, new friends, and more independence are all exciting, but there’s one thing most incoming freshmen are worried about – their new roommate.

If you’re going to the same school as a friend and chose to live together, great! But most of us end up with someone completely random, and we’ve all heard horror stories about the weird roommate who does rain dances in their underwear, doesn’t believe in showering, or keeps you up all night playing the bongo drums. Luckily, these situations are far from average – in fact, we’d say they’re pretty darn rare.

But chances are you want to get to know the person you’re going to be living with next year before you move in. You have to know what to expect, right? Here’s how to make sure you don’t wander into a sticky situation come move-in day.roommate

Talk on the Phone or in Person When You Can
Texting and social play a huge role in communication, but that doesn’t mean you should stick with them exclusively. Chat on the phone or meet in person if you live fairly close to get a better feel for how outgoing your roommate is, what they find funny, and how they express themselves. Plus, it’ll be a relief to hear a familiar voice once your parents leave and you’re surrounded by unfamiliar people on move-in day!

Use Social to Your Advantage
Admit it – if you haven’t already talked to your new roomie, you’ve at least Facebook stalked them. Checking out someone’s social profiles can tell you a lot – what their hobbies are, what sort of music and movies they like, and what they do with their free time. But at some point it’s time to stop lurking and have a real conversation.

Don’t just rely on Facebook or Instagram, either – start Snapchatting your new roommate and get a feel for their sense of humor before you move in. You may even have some great inside jokes and feel super close by the time it’s time to start school. Plus, getting a feel for someone’s personality makes it easy to…

Find Some Common Ground
Maybe you and your roommate are both really into live music, or maybe you’re a gym nut and they’re trying hard to get in shape. Figure out what your common interests are – if you don’t have any, find something you’ve both always wanted to try and do it together. Bonding over a mutually loved activity or new experiences relieves some of the tension you might feel living with someone new. Plus, you’ll have something to talk about when the conversation hits an awkward pause.

Who’s Bringing What?
Even if you got lucky enough to live in a fabulous dorm, your school probably isn’t providing you with every single thing you’ll need. Want a TV, gaming system, fridge, or microwave? They usually aren’t supplied. Make sure you don’t wind up with two microwaves and no fridge because you failed to figure it out in advance.

Set Expectations
Much as you may want to, you can’t ban your roommate from inviting friends don’t like to your room or making a ton of noise coming in late after a night of partying. But you can set up reasonable expectations in advance. Have a quick chat about lifestyle habits – like how clean you expect it to be, when you’re usually asleep, and how often you need some personal space – and see if your needs match your roommate’s. If they don’t, figure out how you can work around it – maybe you’re a neat freak who’s happy to clean up someone else’s dishes to keep the room tidy, but you realize you’ll need to put on the headphones when listening to music at night so your early-bird roommate can get some sleep. It’s all about compromise!

Original Post Date: July 23rd, 2015

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Top Tips for Your Freshman Year of College

Categories: College Life

Summer is halfway over and college is probably the top thing on your mind. But while you’re planning your first semester classes and getting your dorm essentials ready, let us remind you of a couple other key things you’ll need to remember for your first year.cuny

Studying
College is about fun. But if you don’t study hard and keep your grades up, you could lose scholarships or even your place on campus. Avoid academic probation by making school work your top priority. There’ll be plenty of time for fun after you’ve finished your essays and put in some time studying for exams.

Networking
Meeting new people on campus is easy, especially if you’re at a big school or living on campus. It’s great to make new friends – and you should – but don’t forget to network with professors, teaching assistants, and campus program leaders. You should aim to build a few new relationships each semester on campus. Who knows, these people may be able to write you a recommendation letter for grad school, help you find a dream internship, or know of a job opening after graduation.

Sleeping
With so much going on it’s easy to get to bed late and wake up early to head to a lecture. Make sure you’re giving yourself a full eight hours of sleep each night. You’ll perform better in class if you’re well rested and you’ll have more energy for time with friends, too. Try to stick with a regular bedtime – it’s key to surviving freshman year.

Enjoy your last few weeks of summer!

image credit: brooklyn.cuny.edu

Original Post Date: July 21st, 2015

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Want to Boost Your SAT or ACT Score?

Summer is in full swing. What does that mean, besides spending lots of time in the sun? It means it’s time to sign up for ACT or SAT retakes.

Maybe you got a great score the first time around. Maybe you could have done a little better. Or maybe you completely bombed it. No matter how you think you did, it’s worth taking the test one more time.

Why?
standardized test

It’s simple. Data from both SAT and ACT show more than half of students who take the tests a second time earn higher scores.

Even if you got a great result the first time around, it doesn’t hurt to see if you can boost it a little higher. The better your score, the greater your chances of getting into your reach schools. Schools that seemed unattainable may no longer be such a stretch if you can really improve your scores.

More importantly, higher scores could mean more scholarships. Taking the test one more time is an easy way to earn more financial aid.

Start prepping today with our list of study tips. And don’t forget to tell any friends who weren’t too happy with their first scores either!

image credit: petersons.com

Original Post Date: July 21st, 2015

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