Tag Archives | dorm

Ultimate Feng Shui Guide For Your Dorm Room

Are you feeling unproductive and unmotivated when in your dorm room? Even for people who have never heard of feng shui, the idea that a person’s state of mind is reflected in their living space (or vice versa) seems pretty intuitive. So, studying in a clean and organized room will surely make you feel more competent. Wherever you live, you can improve your life and increase your happiness by rearranging the objects in your home and creating a warm, welcoming living space.

In Chinese, “feng” means wind and “shui” means water. These two elements are symbols for creating chi flow. Chi is the vital energy that inhabits and flows through all living things. Even though everyone and everything possesses chi, it’s possible for chi to become blocked or misdirected. This can cause distress, bad luck, and inner turmoil. Following the principles of feng shui allows you to harness good chi and avoid bad energy (sha). If your college dorm room and your life could use a burst of positive energy, follow these tips in order to make your everyday life more productive and happy:

The important aspects of feng shui

  • First and foremost, get rid of clutter in your living space. Keeping your room clean and organized promotes productivity, happiness, and improves chi flow. Get rid of anything you don’t need in your dorm, such as old books and clothes. When packing for college, only bring the essentials. Eliminating old, unused objects from your room will free your mind and open you up to new ideas and experiences.
  • In feng shui, there are nine areas of the room or house that are associated with growth in specific parts of your life. Focus on these areas with the right colors and decor to boost everything from creativity to romance.
  • Be careful with furniture placement. While a small dorm room can make it a little difficult to rearrange, try your best to make sure that your bed is facing the direction of the doorway, but is not directly in line with it. That way, energy from the outside world is let in, but will not come in so strong as to disrupt your chi flow.

Sleeping

Placing just the foot of the bed in the right direction isn’t enough, though. To have best rest energy and flow you will have to work a little harder. Keep your computer away from your bed, and if that’s not possible, at least turn it off and cover it when it’s time for sleeping. Place your bed so that it is not directly under or next to a window. If your bed must be in this position, keep a heavy curtain over the window at night or install blockout blinds. Books facing in the direction of your head while sleeping, mirrors near the bed and plants in the close vicinity to the bed are energy stealers, so try to keep them in other positions.

Desk

Your desk is your shrine. You need to focus your energy and intellect in order to prepare for exams, so it is an important aspect of your room and good placement according to feng shui can help you focus better. If possible, put it in a northeast corner, also known as the area of knowledge. Keep your desk organized to stay focused and relaxed as you study. When sitting at your desk, face the door, and if that’s not possible, put a mirror in front of you so you can see the door.

Decorations

While arranging your furniture for the best flow of chi is important, decoration can also help make most of the positive energy. Mirrors, flowers, and plants are all good for your energy. You can paint your room various colors that promote different aspirations, however if you aren’t allowed to do that, you can instead decorate it with posters. Pictures of nature or nature elements are soothing.

Conclusion

A good chi flow can increase your energy level and improve your overall life. However, keep in mind that feng shui is a very deep and complex philosophy and by reading this you’ve barely scraped the surface. Nonetheless, a simplified version of it can surely help for a simple dorm room.

This article was contributed by guest author Helen Bradford.

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Light in the Study: Why Having a Well Lit Study Room is Important for You

Image by Carl Heyerdahl, unsplash.com

Your college finals are almost here and you will probably have to pull several all-nighters in order to survive the semester. However, even though you might be desperate, you shouldn’t study in a poorly lit room. Designate a room for your studying sessions, but remember to let the light inside. Lighting in your study room is essential, because it can greatly affect your productivity. Productivity and the hours you are able to spend in there will depend on how tired your eyes are, and they get tired faster in weak light. Therefore, make sure to incorporate several layers of lighting so you will be able to pull off many hours of studying. Here’s what you should consider.

Embrace natural light
Moms always say you shouldn’t read in the dark, and they are right. Even though you think you see well, you don’t know how much effort your eyes are actually making in order to read what’s in front of you. If there’s not enough light, your eyes will try to sharpen the image and you will end up with eye strain and fatigue. One of the best ways to prevent this is by letting natural daylight into your study room. Rely on big windows or install a skylight if possible. Also, try and place your desk beside the windows so you receive as much light as possible. However, if you prefer studying during the night or evening, you will need some other lighting solutions.

General lighting
Besides the natural light, it is also important to have general lighting. General lighting will illuminate the entire room, and it is glare-free. For this purpose you can rely on ceiling and wall lights, as well as spotlights. When picking general lighting, you should focus on finding warm white light with a high proportion of indirect light, which will reduce the stress in your eyes. Another option is cold white light which will help improve your performance, focus and productivity while studying. However, some of these general lights might warm up the room too much during summer. If you want to combine quality illumination with some cooling, you can opt for ceiling fans with lights. These are great for illumination, and will create a much cozier environment so you can literally stay cool. Plus, the soft humming will relax you and enable you to focus on your work.

Task lighting
While general lights are great for overall atmosphere, you will need some more help if you plan on pulling all-nighters. Set up a task light on your desk or station for your projects. Task lighting will reduce glare and shadows that are caused by your computer. Use a desk lamp with adjustable lights to easily set the mood you need depending on how much you use your laptop. If you have a station for doing your projects, consider a bigger lamp, some pendant lighting fixtures, or wall-mounted lights that can hang above and illuminate your work. Just make sure to find the right angle in order to avoid those troubling shadows that hinder your productivity.

Illuminate your shelves and cabinets
Lighting in your study isn’t only beneficial for reducing eye strain. It can also set the right atmosphere for studying, which will make the whole process less painful. Add some light to your shelves and cabinets. You can even accentuate certain objects or points for a dramatic effect. Plus, by lighting up these areas, it will be easier to find your books and workbooks, and you will be less stressed when you realize the book you were looking for is not forever lost after all.

Take your mother’s advice and don’t read in a poorly lit room. A well-lit study room is important, because it can affect you in many ways. Your eyes won’t get tired as easily, you will create a relaxing atmosphere and you might even enjoy studying for your finals.

This article was contributed by guest Lana Hawkins.

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Off to College: How to Handle Moving Away from Home

Image by Porapak Apichodilok, pexels.com

When it’s time to leave home and go to college, there will likely be a blend of emotions. You’ll be happy to further your education so that you’ll have a career that will allow you to support yourself. On the other hand, if it’s your first time away from home (and for many college students it is) there will be a bit of sadness as you are leaving the people who love you. Even if you’re moving a short distance away, things will change, from the way you prepare meals to the people you see and talk to on a daily basis.

Help with Moving
Spend the last few days at home getting help from family and friends with packing and moving. This is a time to share memories, exchange addresses and ensure that you’ll always be a phone call or an email away. If you want to spend as much time as possible with friends and family, consider hiring a moving company, such as Bekins Ban Lines Inc, who can help get everything packed and ready to go without you worrying as much about how to get items from one location to another.

Make Friends
If you do everything you can to make friends when you move to college, it can take your mind off of being away from home. Join a few clubs or get involved with community organizations. Talk to your roommate if you share a dorm room. Don’t be afraid to talk to new people in your classes or in different areas on campus, such as the library or the cafeteria. Once you make new friends, set up activities that you can do together to keep you occupied.

A Bit of Home in the Dorm
Bring a few things from home that you can keep in your dorm room. Hang pictures on the walls, keep a stuffed animal or two on a shelf, or keep special cards in a box so that you can look at them. Remember that you can always go home if you want to see your family, especially if your college is a short distance away. And these days, FaceTime easily lets you feel like you’re back in the same room as your loved ones!

Become an Adult
Whether it’s learning how to iron your clothes or how to cook, being at college gives you a way to learn how to be an adult. Take time to learn the skills needed to become as independent as you can and/or to have a family of your own one day. When you go back home, you can show off these skills to impress your parents and the rest of your family and friends.

Going to college is a fun time, but it can be associated with heartbreak as you leave home for the first time. Meet new people, and discover what you’re good at. Keep communication lines open, and enjoy the new ways of life that college has to offer.

This article was contributed by guest author Hannah Whittenly.

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Creative Comforts: How to Make a Home Out of Your First Dorm

Image by Gabriel Beaudry, unsplash.com

Going off to college can be a very exciting and very overwhelming time for many students. This may be the first time you have ever lived away from your family and it can be scary. To quell your impending homesickness, bring a few of the comforts of home with you. Your dorm room will be your new home for the next few months, so you might as well take the time to make it feel like it. Here are a few tips to help you get your new dorm feeling like a true home.

Photos
Bring photos of your friends and family from home. Frame them, make a collage, or get creative with it. Decorating with photos will make you feel closer to home and remind you of good things when you have a bad day.

Posters and Wall Art
This is a great way to express your personality and show who you really are. Just make sure your wall art won’t distract you too much from your studies. This can also help you connect with roommates and find other friends in the building.

Mattress Pad
Dorm room mattresses are notoriously terrible and uncomfortable. Buy a mattress pad or invest in a featherbed before you arrive at college. Your back will thank you and having a comfortable place to unwind after studying is important for your mental health as well.

Bedding
This goes along with the mattress pad, but good sheets and pillows can go a long way. Bring extra blankets from home too for an extra level of coziness. Just make sure you still have room to sit and study on your bed as well.

Storage Boxes
Let’s be honest, you are probably going to overpack. It can be good to have plastic storage bins on hand for anything you don’t have space for. It is even better if you can get boxes that fit under your bed. Plus, it will keep your space clean and make packing up at the end of the year a snap. Find other moving tips here and from your college guidance center.

Lighting
Whether it is a floor lamp, desk lamp, or a string of twinkle lights, extra lighting will certainly come in handy. This can be especially useful for times when your roommate goes to bed before you and you cannot leave on the overhead lights. Lights also adds warmth to any room.

Rug
Dorm room carpets are not the cleanest surface in the world. Get an area rug to cover up those weird stains and add a touch of color to your room.

No matter how you choose to decorate your dorm room, your surroundings have a big effect on your college experience. Your room should reflect who you are, but also provide a relaxing and homey space for you to enjoy. And remember to have fun with it!

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

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6 Clever Ways to Better Organize Your Study Room

Image by Lana Hawkins

When it comes to studying, so much depends on your organization – where you study separates a straight-A student from an average one. You have to be organized, systematic and methodic in order to achieve success. And you have to repeat it day after day, from enrolment into college to graduation. The best way to get fully organized is to organize your study room – in your dorm or at home – and achieve a certain level of comfort in this area so you won’t mind spending countless hours there. Here’s how.

No Distractions
This may be the biggest problem for students across the USA – there are just too many distractions around them! Smartphones, TVs, computers, fridges, beds and other people constantly distract them from their studying, so they’d rather catch up with the revival of Gilmore Girls than do some actual work.

The best way to limit distractions is to remove them from your immediate surroundings. Leave the phone in the kitchen, unplug the TV, switch your Wi-Fi router off and forget about sleeping or eating for a few hours. Even if you are the most disciplined student ever, don’t try your luck around these interruptions and just leave them behind. Or, learn how to use them so that it’ll be beneficial for you.

Organize Your Literature
Exemplary students own tons of books, textbooks and other studying material that assist them. However, unless organized adequately, these will occupy your entire room in an instant. That’s why you need to come up with a good system. The most important thing is a proper shelf – regardless of how big it is, you must have one if you want to organize your books. If you have a problem with the space as all students do, think outside the box and, instead of purchasing a huge shelf, make one on your own or create a unique piece that doubles as a headboard for your bed.

Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
Students possess too many things and bring too much stuff into their dorm rooms – and that’s only natural with the abundance of books, magazines, foods and drinks that go through their hands every single day. But, if this mess overtakes you, you’ll be frustrated and unable to hit the books.

Find time to clean your room once a week and figure out what you do and don’t need in your study area. That way, you’ll leave enough time for studying and won’t have to waste precious minutes cleaning day after day.

Investigate Alternative Spaces
You don’t have to study behind the desk all the time, you know. When in college, you can do basically whatever suits you, as long as it brings results. So, stop forcing habits you don’t enjoy.

For example, numerous students take their books to bed. While many think this is a bad idea and that your mind associates the bed only with sleeping, others think this is the best thing ever. Additionally, explore other spaces – relocating to the floor, the window seat or the kitchen can do wonders for your productivity.

Find a Suitable Desk
The problem with US dormitories is their what-you-see-is-what-you-get philosophy. While some don’t mind adaptations and redecorations, others frown upon any changes. This could be a problem for a number of students because their default beds or desks aren’t suitable.

That’s why you should find a way to bring in your own desk. See if your old high school desk is still functional, or make a new one. Both of these options are fine, as long as they allow you to study.

Organize the Desk
Now that you’ve found the perfect desk, it’s time to organize all your writing utensils and studying material. Purchase some pencil cups, desk organizers, vertical shelves, folders, file carriers, boxes and plastic containers.

Also, organize your wires and cords with a coated wire basket – this is especially useful with those excellent ergonomic standing desks that support your spine during longs hours of studying. Finally, if you need help keeping track of all your tasks, install a bulletin board.

The Results!
Once you organize your study room – whether it’s in your dormitory or at your home – you’re ready to go! You’ve got all your necessities close by, there are no distractions and you’re completely focused on your work. Soon you’ll realize that an organized study area will result in better grades.

This article was contributed by guest author Lana Hawkins.

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10 Projects for Unique Art in Your Dorm

Image by Sophia Baboolal, unsplash.com

Image by Sophia Baboolal, unsplash.com

My freshman dorm room was spartan. It looked like just about every other freshman’s room: a couple of posters, a calendar, a mini fridge. There were some magnets on the mini fridge, but that was the extent of making my room unique.

My girlfriend doodled between classes. She drew colorful creatures like a starfish and a mermaid, with funny sayings written in the blank spaces. No one else in my dorm had “nonconformist pig says moo” or “citrus fruits are tangy” mini-posters. I graduated college almost half a decade ago, and I still have those drawings. What decor knowledge can I pass on? If you want a dorm room unlike your neighbor’s, DIY art is perfect. Plus, this leaves you with art projects that will stay with you through graduation and beyond. Let’s look at some cool projects you can do to quickly make your room stand out. Bear in mind these might not come cheap – but your dorm room will be one-of-a-kind.

Crates and paper
Care to take a guess at what the two major materials needed for this project are?

With just a wooden wine crate and wrapping paper, you can create a display case. The harder part is deciding what you want to display in the crate.

Getting the components should be hassle-free. A local winery or tasting room should have a wooden wine crate that you can buy cheap, or they might let you have one for free. You probably have wrapping paper already. Or, take a quick trip to the store. Some glue and your preferred method of hanging from a wall (that won’t damage the dorm and void your security deposit), and you’re done.

Container magnets
I would have failed college if not for caffeine. I had a lot of fancy tea tins left over after all-nighters. Glue and a magnet can turn the tins into container magnets for your fridge. If the tin is metal, you may not even need glue. Throw some pencils and a sticky note pad in, and you’ll never lack for something to write on or with. Quick, simple, and useful.

Locker and magnets
Not ready to leave the high school aesthetic behind? You can find cheap lockers for sale online, often used, to give the room an already lived-in feel. Use them as-is, or slap on a new coat of paint. A solid color or design, taping art to the sides, or just plastered with the tea container magnets, gives you plenty of options.

Chalkboard anything
Nearly every college student has a chalkboard or whiteboard on their door or wall. How do you stand out? Chalkboard paint. A few coats and now your table is a chalkboard. Or your mini fridge. Or your desk (that you brought from home. Repainting any college-provided desks is not recommended). Any flat, solid surface becomes a chalkboard with this paint, making leaving messages for your roommate a breeze. Or just watch as your new dorm friends doodle obscene images – but that’s what the eraser is for.

Pallet headboard
If you can’t find a place to give you a couple pallets for free, you aren’t looking hard enough. Just be sure to clean and sanitize the wood first, to prevent the entire dorm from getting sick off the germs that could be hitching a ride. After ripping apart the pallet and cleaning it, sawing pieces to length, and screwing it all together, voila – pallet headboard.

Custom wallpaper
Cover an entire wall with custom removable wallpaper. It’ll put those tired pop-culture reference posters to shame. This could be a giant photo of your face, a beautiful landscape completely different from what you see out the window, or a giant geometric design – whatever you can think of to send off in a digital file. Vinyl or cloth, all you need is a high-resolution photo, and you are set for a custom wall without having to actually change the wall – which could cost you a pretty penny when you move out due to lost security deposit.

Paint-dipped picture frames
You’ll need to spend some time in thrift stores for this project, looking for old picture frames that preferably still have photos or paintings in them. Use some painter’s tape to make a solid line across the photo or painting, and paint everything on one side of the tape – including the frame. Or go crazy with patterns, like diagonal stripes. Now you have a repurposed, modern paint-dipped picture frame.

Frameless photos
Don’t like frames? Use these display hacks and even the photos around your room will be different. Large paper clips can prop the photos up, or use Washi tape to affix photos to the wall. Or, hang a clipboard with a photo clipped in.

String art
A wooden board, paint, a hammer, nails, and string are all you need. It seems simple, but it can be time-consuming. Paint the board, hammer in the nails, and wind the string around the nails to create amazing string art. Hard mode: use the negative space to create the art instead. Subjects are near-limitless, so despite string art being somewhat common, your subject can stand alone. The more complex, the less likely it has been done, at least in your dorm.

Quilling
Though quilling paper is definitely easier with the proper tools, it can be done with scissors, a few toothpicks, and glue. Instead of making cards, mount your quilled art in a shadow box. Hang it from the wall. You can find inspiration from Pinterest for anything from simple designs to complex.

Washi door
Washi tape is a fixture of dorm rooms. Your roommate probably used it to frame a poster. What won’t the average student think of? Washi tape on your dorm door. You can make lines and patterns on your door, or block out your initials, all without harming the door.

Paint a chair
Not only are you going to repaint a folding chair, you are going to reupholster it, too. It’s easier than it sounds. All you need to do is cut fabric, and staple it over a cushion. Easy, right? Use the same technique from the paint-dipped frame to spray-paint the chair. It’s an extra step, but color blocking can make the chair look like part of it has been dipped in one color, with the rest of the chair another color. Coordinate the fabric with the color(s) of paint – use a color wheel and color theory. If you are using a patterned fabric, make sure to staple it facing the right direction. It’s a bit of work, but you will have a chair that is all your design.

This article was contributed by guest author Cole Mayer.

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Dorm Room Creativity: How to Make the Most of Your Space

Image by Jeff Sheldon, unsplash.com

Image by Jeff Sheldon, unsplash.com

Your things are moved in, your parents have left, and you and your roommate have claimed your spaces in your new dorm. Then it hits you: you’re stuck in this concrete box for the rest of the semester. Here are a few ways to make your dorm into a safe and well-organized home and have a happier college living experience.

Finding Space in Your Space

Maybe you have several bags full of clothes, or maybe you brought more books than you’ll have time to read. Fortunately, many dorms are laid out in easy-to-organize ways with lots of corners, ledges, and sometimes ample closet space.

Attaching caddies to existing dorm furniture is one way to find room to store school supplies. A little searching and cash can create storage space in closets and even off the side of a bed with shoe organizers, totes, and plastic storage stackers. If your dorm has bunkbeds, they can be used for shoes and clothes. It’s easy to find plastic boxes and caddies to keep track of your toiletries and make sure your roomie doesn’t walk off with your shampoo. If a bookshelf would take up too much space or you just don’t want to have to move one, you can create one using existing floor space or a part of your desk by lining up your books and using a bookend, which can be made from a box to hold your pens and other small supplies.

The Electronics Slide

It’s a common complaint: your dorm was built 30 years ago, and doesn’t have enough outlets for you and your roommate to charge all your devices. Americord power strips and extension cords are your friends, but make sure to use them safely. Don’t daisy-chain by plugging one power strip into another. It’s safest to plug your computer into a wall outlet rather than a power strip.

Along with your various cords, it’s good to invest in some Velcro strips to keep everything coiled neatly. This will also help distinguish your phone charger from your roommate’s or your friends’, who might need to charge their phones in your room. Keeping your cords neat will also prevent time-consuming tangles, and make sure you keep your external devices in order.

Dorm life can be rough. You and your roommate may part ways in sophomore year, and that class you thought would be easy may be the worst thing to happen to you. But with a few simple tweaks, your school-assigned lodgings can become a well-ordered sanctuary.

This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.

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Dorm Decor Ideas

Image by Roman Kraft, unsplash.com/

Image by Roman Kraft, unsplash.com

Starting college is a big and often scary event. Moving away from home and beginning a life in a new place with new people can be overwhelming. To make your transition easier, turn your dorm into a welcoming sanctuary! Your dorm room will be your home for the next year, and the style of it can make all the difference in how quickly you settle into your new life. Here are some tips to help:

Coordinate With Your Roomie

Getting along with your new roommate is a pretty important part of making the best of dorm life, so get to know them beforehand. One way to break the ice is to talk about what you want for your shared space. Even if you’re moving in with your best friend, coordinating the details before move-in day is important. Some topics to discuss include:

  • Figure out who is bringing what before move-in day. Dorm-living means limited space, so if you both bring a mini fridge, you’ll find yourself running out of room pretty quickly.
  • Aside from not having double items, you’ll want to be sure you have everything you need. Don’t assume your roomie is bringing something and find out at the last minute that both of you thought the other one was bringing cookware.
  • It’s also important to ask if they have asthma or any allergies to certain products. The last thing you want is to start cleaning on move-in day and have your roomie get an asthma attack.

Plan a Color Scheme

Having a room that flows together creates a more harmonious environment. Even if you and your roomie like different colors, you can still create a color scheme that works together. Here are some ideas:

  • Purple and gold make for the perfect, regal room. You can mix and match pillows and other accents to pull together a great look. Pink and orange or pink and green always go together well, too. Plus, with such a variety of shades available — in any color — there’s bound to be something you and your roomie can agree on.
  • Black, white and yellow go together well and make a kind of ‘blank slate,’ so almost anything will match it. You and your roommate can decorate to your heart’s content without worrying about clashing.
  • Keep in mind that your bedding may get dirty more quickly than usual. If you’re using your bed as a kitchen table, study and hangout area, chances are it’s getting more wear than before. While you want your bedding to coordinate with the rest of the room, be sure to get colors and fabrics that can stand up to the task of multi-purpose use.
  • Monochromatic schemes can be a great way to add some color to a room. Pick various shades of one color (think a range of blues) and mix and match with pillows, bedding and accents.

Decorate for Style and Utility

It’s pretty common for dorms to have rules against putting holes in the walls, but luckily there’s plenty of ways around that:

  • There are tons of products that are made to stick and then be removed. You can use Velcro stickies, 3M command hooks or poster putty to hang things on the wall.
  • Since floor space can be pretty limited, think vertically. Utilize the walls and ceilings to get the most from your room. Hanging organizers are a perfect way to take advantage of vertical space. Creative storage solutions will make a big difference in how much free space is available in your dorm.
  • Discuss decor with your roomie to find out what they like and dislike, as well as what common interests you may have. For a bonding experience, you can even make some DIY decor together, creating something that has a little bit of both of you in it.

Dorm life doesn’t have to feel cramped and generic. You and your roommate can make a space that showcases both of your personalities. With a little work and creativity, your dorm will be the perfect place to start your new adventure.

This article was contributed by guest author Megan Wild.

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Preparing for College: 5 Things to Make Sure You Have When You Go Back to School

Image by Georgia Southern on Flickr

Image by Georgia Southern on Flickr

Whether returning from school after a much needed summer break, or going back to school after a brief lapse to finish your degree, there are several things you need to prepare in advance to make the transition smooth. Getting organized and prepared for the school year in advance can help ease the transition to student life, calm your nerves and create a more enjoyable experience.

Access Your Syllabus
It used to be that you had to wait until the first day of class to obtain your syllabus. Now, many teachers make the syllabus available online for students to view ahead of time. Once you know your class schedule, you can often check the class website for any notes and other materials you’ll need for the class. Make a plan for your semester and schedule specific times to complete work for each class. This way, when you arrive on campus, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and not miss a single beat.

Electronics, Tablets, and Computers
These days, you can’t attend school without some basic electronics. A tablet, laptop and note-taking devices are all important items that will serve you well in college. When you consider the average cost of a year of tuition, the cost for upgraded hardware is well worth the investment. The average tablet will easily last you through a four- or five-year program. Make sure your laptop is powerful enough to run your word processing applications and any other student-specific apps you might need to participate in your classes. Install any software you need before arriving on campus. If you don’t yet have all the software you plan to use, look online for companies that provide student discounts. Often, you can get discounted or free software from your school, so make sure you check around before paying for any new software.

Get a Storage Unit
Especially for students living in shared housing and dorms, a storage unit such as The Storage Center can make your college life much safer and less stressful. Paying a set monthly fee to store your less-oft needed valuables in a storage unit can protect you from potential theft and damage of your items.

Buy Items in Bulk
Water, food, extra school supplies, and anything else that you don’t need immediate access to can be placed in your storage unit. This can help keep your valuables safe, save you time and manage your budget since you won’t have to run to the store every time you run out of paper or notebooks. Take a trip to a warehouse and buy your supplies in bulk for the entire semester. This way you can concentrate on your studies, and worry less about budgeting for school supplies along the way. Plus, when you go home for the summer, you’ll have a unit ready and waiting to store your items.

Transportation
Most college students would like to have a car, but in most cases, it’s not really necessary. Even if you do have a car for weekend outings and exploration, consider getting a bicycle as well. Using your bicycle on campus can be one of the easiest ways to get quickly between classes. This is especially important if you need to schedule one or more classes within 5 minutes of each other. You’ll be grateful during the hot, summer months that you decided to have a bicycle to trek around campus. When you go home for the summer, you can keep your wheels in your storage unit and not have to worry about taking it home with you.

School is an exciting time in your life, and by preparing for the semester in advance, you can make your experience a success. It’s important to limit and reduce your distractions as much as possible. Going to the store, dealing with car issues and wasting time trying to fix and old and outdated computer take away from time you could be using to enjoy your college experience. Save money and be prepared for anything by staying organized and planning your semester in advance.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakle.

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5 Tips for Roommate Survival

Image by Matt Radick on Flickr

Image by Matt Radick on Flickr

Moving out for the first time can be intimidating, and for many university students it’s a completely new experience. I remember my first day on residence was nerve-wracking. It was my first time away from home and I would be living with three complete strangers. Would we get along? Would they have bad habits that would cause problems? Could I potentially annoy them in some way? I went into first year residence with an open mind, and I learned many things in the process, especially in regards to dealing with roommates and solving our problems. Here are a few tips that I have for creating good relationships with your roommates.

  1. Clean up after yourself: Whether it’s after cooking or taking a shower, your roommates will not want to see your mess and will definitely not want to clean up after you. Remember that these areas are shared spaces and that it is your job to clean up after you’re done.
  2. Sharing is caring: Don’t be afraid to share with your roommates. It’ll show them that you aren’t self-centred and that you see them as friends. Better yet, they may share things with you as well!
  3. Speak up if you have a problem: In first year, I had two roommates who never spoke about their problems with each other. This caused tension between them for half the year. Don’t let problems fester and boil over. If you have a problem with one of your roommates, bring it up and find a way to solve the issue immediately.
  4. Respect your roommates’ space: Your roommates are sure to have schedules that aren’t similar to yours and have belongings that are off limits. Respect their space and in turn they should respect yours as well.
  5. Divide up the chores: If you’re living in a dorm or a house, chances are you will have to clean the place once a month. Create a schedule where each individual has to clean an area and where the work is balanced between all of the roommates.

If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it should be that communication is key between roommates. You’re going to be living with these people for at least eight months, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure that living with each other goes smoothly. A toxic relationship with your roommates can ruin the residence experience and also affect your grades. If you put in the effort to have a good experience, your roommates will certainly do the same. Treat your roommates the way you would want to be treated, and in turn you will have a great first year with them.

For some more tips on how to get along with your roommate check out this article. 

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