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10 Things You Need to Pack for Your First Year of College

Six years ago I was loading moving boxes into our family car, completely unaware that I had packed way too much stuff for a room I was going to share with two other girls. Yes ya'll, I was placed in a triple dorm room. Three girls in one room, and two of them shared the same freaking name! Living with two Jessicas in a room not big enough to serve as a jail cell was a mission, but thankfully we communicated beforehand to avoid bringing any duplicate items.

When I first began dorm shopping I was all about those shopping lists that stores like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond provide, but after spending four years doing the whole undergrad experience, I can tell you with full certainty that you don't need half of the stuff on those lists.

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But since you're excited and this is the one time you can convince your mom that you need all of it, just make sure you don't forget any of these items. Cause this is the stuff you'll actually need once the semester starts. Trust me, you don't want to be like someone I knew who unfortunately forgot to pack something as basic as a towel.

Warm bedding.
Don't skimp when it comes to purchasing a comforter! The temperature in your dorm room will be controlled by the building, not you, which means if you're cold you have no say whatsoever. Purchase a comforter or blanket that will keep you warm in the winter months, and possibly even through the spring. Once it starts to heat up outside you can pack it up and send it home to save space.

Twin XL sheets.
There's a reason all those packing lists stress that you need twin XL sheets, cause you do! Twin sheets are never gonna fit on your new bed, so unless you're cool with sleepign on a bed countless others have without any sort of barrier, make sure to buy the correct size.

Related Post: 10 Things You Don't Need to Pack Your Freshmen Year of College

Command strips and poster goo.
No way in hell that your university is okay with you hammering holes into the walls, so save yourself the stress and just purchase some supplies that will allow you to hang all you want on the walls without the bill at the end of the year. Things like this are great for stringing up lights, hanging posters and displaying photographs on any surface.

Bulletin or dry erase board.
These two items were life savers all throughout college for me. I dont know about you, but I'm terrible at keeping a planner, which is why I kept all my important deadlines displayed on posts its and my boards. Having one for your desk and one on your door will make it easy to stay on top of assignemnts and communicate with hallmates when you want to be left alone or make plans.

Hanging closet organizer.
With such limited space, having a way to be able to fold and organize your clothes without having to bring in storage containers is essential. Closet organizers are super inexpensive and make it easy to keep your jeans and tshirts in one place without the clutter of a dresser. Plus, they also make shoe ones that will keep your flats from piling up in the corner all year long.

Full length mirror.
Unless you want to step out of your dorm room to use the mirror in the communal bathroom, invest the five dollars in a full length mirror. Nowadays they sell them with easy to install over the door hook attachments, so you dont have to worry about drilling any holes or having to buy extra equipment. This way you can get dressed in privacy and not have to run every outfit option by the crowd in the hall.

Pop up hamper.
You know what's annoying? Having to find a place to store a laundry basket when you don't even have any dirty laundry. Instead purchase a pop up laundry hamper that can be folded when not in use. With dorms being so small nowadays, something big like a hamper can take up space that could be used for something else instead.

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Surge protector.
Unless you're incredibly lucky and manage to get a single dorm room, you will be sharing power outlets with your roommate. Avoid an argument and electrical fire by purchasing a surge protector that will ensure you both have enough outlets for all your electronics. Plus, they now sell some that come with a USB port which makes it even easier to charge your phone at night.

Shower caddy.
One of the most important things any girl buys while dorm shopping is her shower caddy. As someone who uses more than just a bar of soap, cough every guy everywhere cough, a shower caddy is there to hold all my essentials from shaving cream to deep conditioner. Grab one that not only has holes for the water to drain but that can also be used to hold your heating tools when outside the shower. Trust me, you dont want to risk dropping more than just your shampoo on the way to the shower room because you didn't want to spend a few dollars on a shower caddy.

So let's say you ignored my advice to get a shower caddy. Fine, have it your way. At the very least purchases a robe you can wear to and from the showers. As someone who has seen too many slipping towel accidents, I cannot advocte enough how much you want to make sure you're not locked out of your room, toiletetries on the ground, wishing you had bought a freaking robe so that your bare butt wasn't out for everyone to see.

So tell me, what's something you couldn't have survived without your freshmen year of college?

How to Survive Going to the Emergency Room Alone

When I was young I never imagined adulthood would mean I would start a life across the country in a city where I had no support system. Yet that's exactly what it's been like so far. Part of growing up means learning how to take care yourself, whether that means you make your own doctor's appointments or attend those appointments alone.

As someone who has spent the last six years apart from my mom, starting when I went to college away from home, I've learned how to cope with emergencies without the help from family members. And trust me, dealing with paperwork and catching the correct bus line is hard when you're writhing in pain and wishing you could just curl up in bed and not deal with any of it.

Dealing with being sick doesn't have to feel like a chore just because you don't have family or friends to lean on, even if that means you have to go to the emergency room. While I can't promise the wait will be short or that the doctor's will be courteous, I can help make the overall experience a little more bearable if you have to face the situation without a plus one. With minimal preparation beforehand, you should be able to survive a solo trip to the emergency room without feeling any worse than when you arrived.

Bring a charger. 
Emergency rooms may as well be synonymous with long waiting periods, cause you never know how it's gonna be until you get there. And since most likely it's an emergency, there's no option to turn around and go grab that charger you forgot. Do yourself a monumental favor and bring a charger for any electronic you may be carrying.

Don't forget your laptop. 
Sure, you can now watch Netflix on your phone, but you may want to save your phone battery for actual phone calls. If you can manage to bring your laptop along the time will pass by so much faster. Plus, most hospitals are now offering free WiFi, which is a total lifesaver when you wanna block out everything that's going on around you.

Remember your headphones. 
Just because you have the option to watch your favorite sitcom in the ER doesn't mean everyone else wants to. Be courteous and grab a pair of headphones to go along with whatever you're streaming. This will also make it easier to Facetime with any friends or family that want an update.

Pack snacks. 
The past few times I visited the emergency room there was no cafeteria nearby, which meant I was left waiting for hours without anything to eat. If possible, stop by a store and quickly grab some snacks you can eat while waiting to be treated.

Prepare for the cold temperatures. 
I'm not sure why but hospitals are always so cold. Avoid having to curl up with your hospital gown and remember to bring a cardigan, regardless of how hot it is outside.

Be sure to grab all necessary documents. 
Nothing makes visiting a doctor harder than not having all your insurance or allergy information. To make things easier keep all of this in one folder that you can easily grab when an emergency comes up. At the very least you wont be scrambling looking for your insurance card while feeling like you rather lie down and stay down.

How do you manage coping with sickness on your own? Leave your tips and stories in the comments below!

20 Small Signs Your Relationship Is Getting Serious

Dating lately for me has been kind of overwhelming. Every time I meet a guy the same thought crosses my mind, "He might be the future father of my kids, he might be a guy I yell 'fuck you' to across a street in a couple of weeks." Fifty-fifty chance.

Navigating the dating scene in my twenties has been a bit odd, because it seems as if I'm walking a thin line between wanting to show my interest without looking like I'm desperate for love. And as a self proclaimed crazy girl, it's kind of hard to find a guy who's okay with my nonstop texts, voice that always sounds like I'm screaming and picky eating habits. But sometimes the universe rewards you by leading you to someone who is just as picky, and that my friends is a nightmare when trying to decide on a place to eat. But I digress.

How do you know if you're simply seeing each other or dating? With dating meaning so many different things to so many different people, how is one to weigh the relationship without officially defining it? Well friends, there's some clues you can look out for. So let's all channel our inner Olivia Benson and start solving the mystery of whether our relationship is getting serious or not.

1. You can sit in the same room and completely ignore each other.
But not in a weird way! Think of it as you scrolling through your Instagram feed in bed while he scrolls through Reddit on the couch.

2. Getting ready together.
So long are the days where he can't see you until your hair is done and your liner is winged. Now you fight over counter space and which of you takes longer.

3. Your deodorant is their deodorant, and vice versa.When you're dealing with a humid summer like I am, sometimes you're okay with smelling like mountain rain and he won't mind the scent of cucumber melon.

4. Sharing of the Netflix password.
This is so much more than being too cheap to pay ten dollars a month. We're all human, which means we're lazy. Which means that his Netflix password is most likely very similar to the Facebook, Gmail, Snapchat passwords. I told you I was a self proclaimed crazy girl.

5. Not having sex isn't a big deal.
When you first start dating, sex is sort of implied when you come over, at least a little bit. But once things are getting a bit serious, sometimes all the both of you want are to get bloated together and binge watch trash TV.

6. Everything doesn't have to be a date.
Somewhere along the way you two stop going on dates and just start spending time together.

7. You're each other's automatic plus one.
Don't have plans Sunday afternoon? Think again, he didn't ask but he and all his friends are expecting to see you.

8. They buy the snacks you like when grocery shopping.
Forget guys who buy you dinner, look for a guy who remembers which Tostitos bag you prefer and grabs one when shopping for his usual groceries.

9. Stores your clothes in a specific place.
If your bag, dress, tshirt is always put in the same spot, you're in! You're basically two weeks away from having a designated drawer.

10. Doesn't freak out when you leave a toothbrush.
I once accidentally left my toothbrush on a guy's sink one morning when getting ready, to which his reply was, "you're forgetting this." We're not on speaking terms anymore.

11. You no longer worry about how you look in the morning.
Gone are the days of waking up before each other to brush your hair and teeth. Love me in my frizzy glory or get out!

12. Their doorman starts to know you.
Once the security guard let's you in no questions asked, you know it's getting serious.

13. Follow along with your work/friend drama.
Do they know any of the people who you're referring to? Probably not. But that won't stop them from asking how they are and if anything has happened since you last mentioned it.

14. You both delete your dating apps.
Things like Tinder and OkCupid mean you're still open to the possibility of finding someone, so deleting the apps can be a pretty big step.

15. They know your favorite item on the menu.
If you can go to a number of restaurants and not have to tell them what you want, hold onto them and never let them go!

16. Care for your pet without being asked.
Pets in your twenties are like kids in your thirties. Your phone is full of photos of them and you cant stop talking about what they did. If your partner makes the initiative to feed them or pull out their favorite toy, then you know they wouldn't mind sharing the responsibility of caring for them as much as you do.

17. You each have a designated side of the bed.
Sure, his bed is his bed, but if he knows you prefer the right as well as the more firm pillow, you're more than just casually seeing each other.

18. Watches a show only you love.
My ex boyfriend couldn't be paid enough money to sit down and watch the Real Housewives with me. This new guy I'm seeing hasn't missed an episode. So yeah, you can say things are getting pretty serious.

19. You can double text and not be called a stalker.
Call me crazy but if you feel smothered because I'm blowing up your phone with two whole texts, that's a sign that I need to get the hell away from you.

20. Isn't embarrassed by your social media habits.
Anyone who isn't embarrassed by you standing up to photograph your food or using the puppy filter in public is someone who plans to stick by your side through all your weird habits that make being in public with you sometimes kind of hard.

So tell me, what's something you look out for to know if your relationship is getting serious?

8 Reasons Your Coworkers Dont Like You

Nothing prepares you for working your first office job, nothing. Certainly not anything I encountered during my four years in college got me ready to spend the better part of my days working an office job that has nothing to do with my career plans. But hey, I'm a twenty something earning a masters degree, my job isn't supposed to be relevant, it just needs to pay the bills.

Before applying to my first post grad job I watched a lot of The Office, and okay, I also watched a lot while in the office of my new post grad job. The Office thankfully gave me a real representation of how basic our everyday lives can be, I mean, Pretzel Day can only fall on one day a year after all. Thankfully I went into my new job fully aware of all the things that would drive my coworkers crazy, unfortunately not everyone has a Netflix account and a few hours to kill each night.

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So I'm here to tell you all the things that I, along with my coworkers, cant stand dealing with when a new person is hired. Or even an old veteran who doesn't give a crap about you and your rules. Let's begin...

Poor email etiquette.
If you think your personal email gets flooded with useless information, then you haven't yet been given access to your work Outlook account. And yeah, you're gonna have to put up with Outlook most likely. Unless every person CCed absolutely needs to read that email, rethink the people you consider including in your conversation. Seriously though, stop including me.

Making our public space private.
Personal phone conversations sometimes can't be avoided in the workplace. I get it, we spend 8 hours a day in the office, when else are we supposed to schedule our appointments and yell at Comcast. The thing is, there are private areas around the office. The break room is not one of them. And don't get me started on people who love using the speakerphone feature. Please, take your private conversations somewhere private, unless you're cool with all of us hearing how your boyfriend has been a total dick the past few days.

Not using your indoor voice.
Okay, as a fellow loud talker I can sympathize, but I'm just here to warn you. People on the other end can here us, without us having to raise our voice or stress every word coming out of our mouth. If you work in a small shared space I recommend just staying conscious of how loud you are. While I'm not saying whisper 24/7, definitely avoid making angry calls to customer service while at work or shouting across the work area to get someones attention. I know it sounds ridiculous but trust me, it happens.

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Pay attention to what you eat.
Remember your college days when you would camp out at the library for hours, stressed over finals and really trying to learn the information after a semester of scrolling through Instagram? Then all of a sudden, CRUNCH. Someone at the next table was munching on a bag of Doritos. The sound of someone else eating something loudly or uncomfortably fragrant is just as annoying in adulthood, except this time you cant tell them to go away because you're supposed to get along.

Being unreliable.
While this is definitely seen more in staff members who have been around a while, earning a reputation of being late or out of office often is a surefire way to lead people to dislike you. If you work in teams or in an environment where your absence causes a disruption, think again before hitting snooze one more time or calling out of work without proper cause.

Marking everything urgent.
As someone who wears headphones 24/7 at work, nothing is more startling that having the chorus of my favorite song interrupted by a loud ringing sound. Just like CCing, not every email is worth marking important. Limit these emails for when it's something that actually needs immediate attention.

Dressing inappropriately.
I get it, figuring out what to wear to a new job is hard, which is why you get a pass for the first week. After that first week you should be able to figure out what those around you are wearing though. Showing up too work looking too casual will make others takes you less seriously, and unfortunately will probably, definitely, lead to people talking about you. Don't overdress though, if your office is more casual don't feel the constant need to show up in a suit.

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Taking up people's time.
Do you remember being in class and seeing that student raise their hand just as class was about to be over? Never mind that they had an entire class period to ask questions during, they waited until the last possible minute. Don't be that person at work, please, don't. Asking questions are fine, but if you wait until the last possible minute when just about everyone has checked out, that's an easy way to make your coworkers not be able to stand you. Either ask while everyone is engaged or ask the presenter directly after wards.

Are you guilty of any of these office crimes? What's something you can't stand that your coworkers do? Let us know in the comments below!
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