About College: The parts that are more valuable than the degree

 

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As tuition prices sky-rocket a lot of people have started asking if college degrees are worth the money. In some ways they are, but the degree itself doesn’t mean much unless you’re becoming a doctor or a lawyer. It’s a piece of paper, a line item on your resume, that over half of the other applicants have on their’s as well.

In my opinion, college isn’t really about the degree. Sure it’s the end goal, you definitely want to get it if you start it, but it’s not the most valuable part. The value of college comes in other activities only available on a college campus. And I’m not talking about a social life. I’m not taking about taking another four years before hitting the real world. I’m talking about the resume items colleges offer.

My resume was beautiful leaving college, at least, beautiful for a kid in her early twenties who had never had a full-time job before. That wasn’t the focus though, you didn’t see the part-time work at the fro-yo place, you saw list of college activities and courses that counted as real world experience.

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The Simplest Planner Fix:

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At the end of last year I found myself using to do lists more than my planner, which wasn’t effective, because my daily stuff got checked off but I had to keep moving my “side errands” from list to list. So this year I wanted to do something a little different with my planner. Above you can see that there isn’t anything fancy going on with that week… but the highlighters? They’re coded. Purple for social. Blue for work/babysitting. Yellow for appointments. And those “side errands” I was discussing? Post it notes, as seen below.
IMG_2492One last upgrade I’ve made? Other than some fun stickers, which I’m going to stock up on as soon as possible. Washi tape for days on end. Below I’ve marked off my far in the future fall break. There’s no mistaking it.

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Tips to Keep College Great: Two Week In

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So you’ve been back to school for a week or two. You’re settled in, hopefully loving it, if not just waiting to find your groove. So, the hard parts mostly over right? The butterflies are dissipating. You think you’ve got it figured out- and your not wrong about it! But here are some things to remember and keep remembering:

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College Packing: What you Really Need in a Dorm

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  • Appliances: A mini-fridge is a must, a microwave is helpful, and my favorite thing I’ve brought is an instant hot water boiler. I’m a tea drinker. The truth is most schools won’t let you bring hardly any appliances into a dorm. They’re a fire hazard… and a huge waste of space.
  • Utensils: One or two sets of silverware, two food storage containers, a bowl, a plate. The basics, you’ll be eating in the dining hall more than anything in a dorm room… but hey, bring A LOT of cups and water bottles. You’ll go through them.
  • Laundry: Detergent, lingerie bags, a stain stick, and a basket or bag. You will not use that iron enough to bother or that drying rack. I’ve only met one person who uses their iron and hey towel bars are great for those bras you can’t put in the dryer. Wrinkled clothes? Throw them in the drier for a hot second and shake them out. You’ll need to bring some hangers though!
  • Entertainment: No, you don’t need to bring eight books and all your DVD’s. You might watch one movie that’s not streamed, and you might have time to read three books that aren’t assigned. I don’t think you really need a TV either… unless you are a gamer, everything can be done online through a laptop, save the room!
  • Lighting: A desk lamp is so important if you have a roommate. That overhead is impossible to sleep with on. Have some respect!
  • Office: A printer is not necessary on most campuses because you’ll have printing money built into your tuition, plus paper, ink, and storage will always be short. Bring index cards and sticky notes. You should have a notebook for every class, buy the kind with the tear out pages and forget the loose leaf. Very few people use binders, get a nice folder or two instead. Bring a stapler, paper clips, and tape. And for heaven’s sake always have a highlighter and a pen(cil) with you in class!
  • Extras: Command hooks/strips are great, storage is amazing (but shouldn’t be bought in bulk till after you see the room). Bed risers normally come with the room. Extra seating is nice, but expect people to sit on your bed/use your desk chair. Tote bags are cute, but you’ll find you want a backpack or messenger bag for long walks across campus, those text books weigh a ton.

I feel like somethings go without saying, such as bedding, towels, and clothes. These things are just things that people tend to over (or under) buy for!

If you have anything else you’re questioning… feel free to ask! I’m going into my forth year in a dorm room, so I’ll probably know!

Learning: You’re Not Done Yet

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I hear “when I’m done” a lot as a college student. Everyone’s excited for classes to end, for papers to stop being due. But recently I’ve realized how many of these students surrounding me really mean that they won’t be picking up more skills other than the ones taught in their trade. They count on the same hobbies, the same amount of knowledge, for as long as they possibly can.

It’s been said that 42% of college graduates don’t pick up another book after they finish school. (x) That’s nearly half! And I know that books aren’t the only way to deliver knowledge, but this gives you a base idea. We as a culture say “when I’m done getting my education” as if there is ever a time we stop learning.

I don’t know about you, but there is so much I never got the chance to learn about. Am I going to read books on it? Yes. Am I going to take lessons to learn piano or pottery or something new and exciting just because I can? Of course.

If we stop learning we stop growing, we become less cultured and we become more biased. We can’t make correct choices and then we complain about the situation as if we didn’t help create it. The situation can be something political or it could be the fact that it’s a Saturday afternoon and you’re bored out of your mind and your old hobbies don’t interest you anymore.

Wise up world, you’ve still got a lot of learning to do.

How to Blog in College:

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Can we agree that most of our favorite bloggers blog from studios or gorgeously lit houses that always seem to be cleaned and decorated professionally? It leaves us beginners, a little out of luck when it comes to settings am I right? Even more so for us… college students in student housing. You know, with cinder block walls that are more yellow than white. Ugly fake wood furniture. It’s an unfortunate setting to say the least. Then it comes to money. We’re college kids. We don’t have any! What about how often we post? Do we do it around class schedules?

It’s hard to begin in a setting like this. So how do you deal?

  • Learn how to color adjust in a photo editing program. If you end up taking photos in a dorm room you’ll need to get rid of that yellow shade from the bad walls and horrible lighting.
  • Get something with a good background for product shooting. Sometimes it can be as easy as a white piece of poster board. If you want to get fancy, buy a piece of plywood and stain it, or chalkboard paint something!
  • Get outside, not just for your photos sake, but also because in college money is tight and we need to have those adventures without that kind of money. Nature is free. Go explore. Capture good pictures. Create a adventure worth talking about.
  • Buy a good tripod. Yeah, I know I just said we don’t have money. But if you’re taking your own pictures and want to be in them, this will make all the difference.
  • Post at least twice a week. Write it down in your planner. Treat the posting time like a due date, but be sure to have fun with it while doing it. It’s discipline not homework.
  • Talk about it! Hey there are a lot of people reading blogs in college. Everyone wants to hear about people who are in the same place in life they are.

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62.5% Done.

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Outfit Details: Target. Target for everything.

We are now on the third week back on campus. My courses this semester don’t seem too bad. Last semester was pretty relaxed, but I’m surprised sophomore year didn’t kill me. I suppose I need a nice little break before senior year comes through with it’s 300 and 400 hundred level classes. Though, break is a loose term. I’ve been super busy these past few weeks. I’ve been running around with some great friends, and though there isn’t more of them than last semester, it sure feels like it. It’s been great though. I’ve really built an incredible network around me these past two years. I’m a little scared about two of my closest friends graduating this spring, but, I guess everything will work out. I’m going to make a guide soon about surviving college and making the most of your time, because it is definitely something learned not given.

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