Monthly Archives: July 2013

Getting Along with your College Dorm Mate

Sharing a dorm room with a total stranger is similar to a marriage. And just like a marriage it takes compromise and consideration to get along.

Getting Along with your College Dorm Mate

The main issues in rooming with someone will usually be noise levels, cleanliness, and third party guests. Here’s where the consideration part comes in…

Noise

Assume that the other person likes their noise level at library standard, unless otherwise stated. Keep your alarm clock, music, and phone chatter to a low level when your roommate is around. (You can always crank up the noise when they leave!)

 

If you have an alarm clock, make sure to keep the ringer low and cut it short when it rings. Don’t hit the snooze button 3 times in a row so you can catch a few more winks. The alarm clock is for you not your dorm mate.


Cleanliness

Let’s go there.

If you’re used to having a maid (mom), then now’s the time to start picking up after yourself and learning how to live in a tidy manner.

Do not leave your personal items scattered around, as it leaves the room with an unappealing appearance. Food should never be left out as it can cause odors and bug problems.

Not to mention that it’s bad chi in your sleeping environment.

On the contrary, a clean room gives you a serene space to assist in studying and concentration.

Visitors

Ok. The original agreement was that the dorm was for you and your dorm mate- nobody else. Keep visitors to a minimum, and if possible, try to arrange for friends to come by when your dorm mate is not around.

Never let your guest touch or snoop in your dorm mate’s stuff. That is a big no-no! It’s important to respect your dorm mate’s boundaries, as you would want the same consideration.

Cat fight!

To prevent potential problems like hurt feelings, grudges, or disputes, it may be a good idea to draw up a request list, or set of rules.

You and your dorm mate can list your pet peeves, and then discuss how each issue can be worked out. This little step could prevent future problems.

 “To be or not to be…”

…best friends, that is.

When you live with a dorm mate, you may spend an average of about 14 hours with that one person: three to six waking hours, plus about eight hours spent sleeping in the same room. (Assuming you get 8 hours of sleep each night.)

That’s a lot of togetherness. Human beings need their space, and a good formula for two dorm mates sharing the same space together is to allow for a certain amount of distance, “me” time.

Summary

Remember to keep your eye on the ball, and in this case the goal is keeping the peace and providing the best environment for studying and recuperating from tough exams. Remember that, and things should be smooth sailing for a productive semester.

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Dorm Room 101: 15 Tips to Kill Clutter

So you’re a college student and assigned a 12×14 foot dorm room to inhabit for the next 4 years…and sharing it with another person. But what to do if you’re creativity-challenged?

Dorm Room 101: 15 Tips to Kill Clutter

No sweat! We’ve got you covered!

Use smart space

The key to maximizing space is obviously to use as much empty area as possible. Fill your dorm room with double-function furnishings, which mean furniture that has storage capacity. Some examples are plastic three-drawer units such as nightstands, ottomans with lifting tops that have storage inside, and beds with built in drawers underneath.

The second rule of thumb is: a place for everything and everything in its place. When things are stored properly in caddies and containers the dorm room has a tidier, more organized appearance.

 Top 15 Tips for organizing your dorm room

  1. For those with standard-sized beds, the space underneath can be used to store stuff.
  2. Most container and house furnishing stores have large plastic caddies with lids.
  3. Slide two or three underneath to store items.
  4. Seat sacks which are fabric seat covers fitted with pockets can be slipped over backs of chairs to also hold stationary supplies.
  5. Walls can be shelved all the way up to the ceiling to hold all your books and other items.
  6. Hooks can be hung for everything from baseball hats, purses, necklaces, scarves, to towels and backpacks.
  7. Dorm room doors can be hung with plastic shoe caddies to keep not only your shoes but also your personal items.
  8. A shower caddy hung over the shower nozzle can store items, as well as the towel rack on the far end of the shower. Use it for shampoo bottles, so the water that drips down doesn’t create mold.
  9. Keep baskets and organizers on top to make sure things stay organized.
  10. Make sure to keep your things in the containers.
  11. Corkboards hung over beds and desks can be used to tastefully hang photos, notes, and personal items instead of taped messily to a wall.
  12. A great trick for storing makeup is to take an old chalkboard, paint it black, then hang it on a wall, since most chalkboards are magnetic. Take sticky magnetic tape and tape it to eye shadows and compacts.
  13. Shoe boxes can be used inside drawers to hold underwear and socks as well as in desk drawers to hold pencils and paper clips.
  14. Sides of bookcases can be fitted with baskets found at stationary stores for papers and desktop items.
  15. Another great trick to keeping your desk organized is to use the large black and metal art paper clips to hold your computer and USB jacks. Clamp the black part to your desk edge. Then use the metal eye part to fasten the jacks up and off the floor.

Remember: good organizational skills, proper storage, and maximizing space usage will help keep your dorm room sane and get you through your next four years of college neatly.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

5 Ways to Cut College Textbook Costs

2012 Colleges that were Ridiculously Expensive

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College Road Trips on the Cheap- 9 Money-Saving Tips

So, you’re planning a college road trip this summer, but you don’t have a lot of spending cash? You’re already saving a lot of money by taking to the road instead of the friendly skies, so give yourself a high-five. Here are some helpful tips for exploring all the universities you’ve been accepted to without breaking the piggy bank.

College Road Trips on the Cheap- 9 Money-Saving Tips

1- Get a checkup.

The first day of your college road trip is not the best time to suddenly discover that you need a tune-up, so visit your car doctor a week before your trip.  Your checkup list should include tires, transmission, fluids, and brakes. Don’t forget to pack a spare tire!

2- Figure on gas.

Calculate gas costs by using this miles per gallon calculator. Map out all the colleges you plan on visiting, and decide how much time you want to spend at each stop. Always fill up on cheap gas when it’s available.

3- Prepare to rough it out.

This is no time to be picky about your lodgings. If you’re going to explore all the colleges that are out there on a limited budget…and limited time schedule, then prepare to take frugal living to the max. Have a competition between your road trip buddies to see who can out-cheap the other. Sleep in your car, freshen up at rest stops, and just enjoy the freedom of the open road.

4- Lighten the load.

Save trunk space and avoid annoying your buddies by packing the bare minimum in your duffle bag. Make a packing list, and then slash it in half. You don’t need to pack a complete makeup collection or every decent pair of blue jeans you own just to tour a few colleges. It’s one or two weeks out of your life that will seem much longer if you have to sit squeezed between miscellaneous sports gear and other nonessentials, so pack light.

5- Go with the flow.

Having a sensible budget and schedule will keep things running smoothly…except for when they don’t. Because no matter how well you plan your road trip ahead of time, things don’t always go as planned. Try to take things on a day-to-day basis, and keep things flexible. You may decide that a college you thought was a no-go is starting to look pretty good, and include it in your route. Or, you may find that college road-tripping isn’t everything you hoped it would be, and may want to cut out some of your stops.

6- Sleep around.

Plan to sleep cheap or free. Check out local youth hostels, camping sites, or connect with friends who live in the area. Check in with Couchsurfing for hosts willing to lend out a room for friendly college students touring the area.

7- Pass the can.

Everybody should chip in for basic necessary expenses like gas, food, and lodging. Pool together spending money, and don’t be tempted to use it for souvenirs or luxury items.

8- Don’t buy junk.

Speaking of luxury items, just don’t buy them. The real point of the trip is to tour colleges and make a decision for the fall, not to add to your novelty spoon collection. Souvenir items are always overpriced- if you need a memento to treasure the moment, collect sea shells, rocks, or pinecones.

9- Sight-see for free.

If you really want to get a feel for the area, skip the costly sightseeing tours. Find out what other college students of the area do for fun, and follow their lead.  Go for a hike, check out the best beaches for surfing, or take a walk through town.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

2012 Colleges that were Ridiculously Expensive

5 Ways to Cut College Textbook Costs

Image courtesy of Zach Dischner

 

2012 Colleges that were Ridiculously Expensive

The Department of Education just released a list of the most expensive colleges from 2011-2012. While you may not think it’s fair to compare the sticker price for the University of Pittsburgh with the tuition for a private 4-year university such as Harvard, it helps to put things into perspective, especially if you’re part of the middle class struggle for a decent, affordable college education.

2012 Colleges that were Ridiculously Expensive

Which colleges are the most expensive, and which provide a more economical tuition scale? Like Einstein said, it’s all about relativity. Things to consider in choosing a college include highest tuition, overall highest cost per year, and financial aid opportunities.

Are you really dead-set on the college of your dreams, but your professors want you to spend thousands of dollars on college textbooks? You don’t have to shop around. Go to a used textbook search engine, like the one at Book Bargain, and find the best price for your college course materials instantly. Search by USBN number, title, author, or subject.

List of most expensive colleges from 2011-2012

Public colleges with highest tuition

1. University of Pittsburgh- $16,132

2. Pennsylvania State University- $15,984

3. University of New Hampshire- $15,250

4. University of Vermont- $14,784

5. Colorado School of Mines- $14,453

Private colleges with highest tuition

1. Columbia University, New York- $45,290

2. Sarah Lawrence College, New York- $45,212

3. Vassar College, New York- $44,705

4. George Washington University, District of Columbia- $44,148

5. Trinity College, Connecticut- $44,070

Public colleges with highest net price

1. Miami University-Oxford, Ohio- $22,210

2. Pennsylvania State University- $21,342

3. University of Guam- $21,296

4. St. Mary’s College of Maryland- $20,521

5. Pennsylvania State University, Altoona- $20,457

Private colleges with highest net price

1. School of the Art Institute of Chicago- $42,882

2. Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida- $40,222

3. The Boston Conservatory- $39,602

4. Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts- $38,814

5. California Institute of the Arts- $38,802

 Like this? Read this!

5 Ways to Cut College Textbook Costs
Is Your Used Textbook Sell-Back Worthy?

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