Uncertain Goals


Normally I post about what my semester goals are and why I want to achieve them, but this time I can’t really think of any. I’m not really sure what I want out of this semester because I achieved pretty much all of my academic goals I set for myself last year. Maybe after I get back in the groove and feel this semester out a bit it will come to me. For now I have a blank canvas.

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After a Stressful Week…Finally Moved Back Into College


I moved back to Pittsburgh this past Monday and it’s taken me forever to write a post about it! My dorm (which is a school apartment) is really freakin nice. It’s probably going to be nicer than my first apartment ha. The kitchen has black appliances and even a dishwasher. Living room is kind of small, but it has decent furniture. All the rooms have floor to ceiling windows with a beautiful view of the river and Station Square. I accidentally moved into the wrong bedroom at first (Point Park assigns bedrooms and I moved into bedroom C instead of B). So I had to move all of my stuff into the right room. I feel incredibly stupid for doing that, but all is well now. On top of moving into the wrong bedroom, I dropped my phone and now it’s not working, so I’m getting a new one sent to me.

Since I’m an Honors Program mentor I got to move in before my other roomies and practically more than half of the school. Everyone is moving in today so there are boxes and crap all through the kitchen and living room. Not really excited, just apprehensive about new roommates since I’ve had so many bad situations in the best. Who knows, this year could go smoothly in that area.

On top of moving in, I’ve spent the past four days cramming in Honors Program events. They lasted pretty much all day. Tuesday we had all day orientation where we had a trainer from The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania come and do a presentation for us. We learned about what role a mentor plays and how a mentor relationship is different from natural relationships (friends, parents, etc). It was really interested and a good learning experience.

After the presentation we had a free lunch…WOOT. The Honors Program is well-known for providing free food during their events so I devoured some delicious R&B’s Pizza (best pizza in downtown and my personal favorite). When we were done chowing down, we learned how to make towels animals for our resident mentees. I made two towel dogs and one towel elephant. They were kinda cool but kinda cheesy…meh oh well. We also put together some goodies bags for all of the new Honors students.

While delivering the goodies to their rooms I met one of my mentees on the elevator so that was cool.

On Wednesday we had the new Honors students move in so we helped them out with that and set up a move in table where we gave them their room keys and all that fun moving in stuff. Later that night we had an orientation dinner in the park. They served sandwiches and salads. A bit informal, but the food was good. We were supposed to play a group game but most of the kids bailed so it never happened. This is where everyone got to meet their mentees, but a lot of them didn’t show up. I only met one of mentees there and the mentee I met on Tuesday was there as well.

After the dinner another mentor and I took some of the mentees on a walk all around downtown which was a lot of fun. I was able to get to know some of the new students and they were able to learn about the city so it was a win/win situation.

Thursday we did a City As text activity which is where all the mentee groups paired up and toured different sections of Pittsburgh. After touring around the groups came back to school and put a presentation together to give the next morning to fellow Honors students. My group got downtown so again I walked all over downtown and North Shore showing kids around. It was a beautiful day and I had a pretty good time, plus we had some bangin grub at Mullen’s.

Friday morning we had the City As Text presentations and then we did a community service activity with the Animal Rescue League. Near the school we had cuddle a kitty for a dollar and in Market Square we had pet a puppy for a dollar. We also had a pet gift basket raffle for $1. It went really really well and I think we made a lot of money for ARL. People in the city really responded to seeing cute little kitties and puppies in the middle of downtown ha.

That was the last long day of Honors Program activities and events so now I have all weekend to chill out and the first day of class on Monday to look forward too. I’m not completely done with my room, but when I am, I will defiantly post pictures.

Toodles for now!

PS. I almost forgot to mention that in September I’m having a back to school giveaway in honor of the blogs belated one year anniversary. I know I’m way late on the giveaway considering the anniversary date was August 8, but hey, its free stuff. Keep checking back to hear more.

Ultimate College Packing List


Students will be starting college in just a few weeks from now. It’s a good time to get started on college shopping for your dorm or apartment. This list contains everything you will need to bring. Some things may not apply to certain colleges and universities.

Bedding

  • Pillows
  • Pillow Cases
  • Mattress Cover
  • Egg Crate Mattress Pad
  • Extra Long/Twin Sheets
  • Extra Long/Twin Comforter
  • Under the Bed Storage Containers

Toiletries/Bathroom Supplies

  •  Comb/Brush
  • Hairdryer/Straightener/Curling Iron
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Face Wash
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Hair Gels/Mousse
  • Barrettes/Hair Tyes
  • Nail Clippers/Nail File/ Manicure Set
  • Q-Tips/Cotton Balls
  • Shower Tote/Caddy
  • Body Wash
  • Medicine/First Aid
  • Lotions
  • Towels
  • Toilet Paper/Tissues
  • Shower Flip Flops
  • Tweezers
  • Mouthwash
  • Chap Stick
  • Mirror
  • Bath Robe
  • Perfume/Cologne
  • Dental Floss/Brush Ups
  • Make-Up/Cosmetics
  • Shower Curtain

Computer Related

  •  Cables
  • Computer
  • Headphones
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Printer
  • Printer Ink
  • Printer Paper
  • Surge Protector
  • Digital Camera/Memory Card/Camera Accessories
  • USB Flash Drive
  • External Hard Drive
  • Microsoft Office

Desk Area

  •  Calendar
  • Desk Chair
  • Desk Lamp
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Stationary
  • Glue
  • Paper Clips
  • Scissors
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Stapler
  • Stapler Remover
  • Ruler
  • Rubber Bands
  • Three-Hole Punch
  • Waste Basket
  • White-Out
  • Blank CDs/DVDs
  • Extension Cords
  • Bulletin Board
  • Highlighters
  • Index Cards
  • Assignment Book/Planner
  • Binders
  • Tape
  • Post-Its

Room

  • Full-Length Mirror
  • Alarm Clock
  • MP3 Player/Stereo
  • Television
  • DVD Collection
  • Video Game Console
  • Posters/Pictures
  • Laundry Basket
  • Storage Bins
  • Decorations
  • Over the Door Hooks/Adhesive Hooks
  • Area Rugs
  • Floor Lamp
  • Beanbag/Chairs

 Kitchen Supplies

  •  Can/Bottle Opener
  • Chip Clips
  • Cups
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dish Detergent
  • Oven Mitts
  • Dish Towels
  • Silverware
  • Microwave
  • Mini-fridge
  • Mugs
  • Paper Plates
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Pizza Cutter
  • Plastic Food Containers
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Water Filter
  • Plates
  • Pots/Pans
  • Cooking Sheets
  • Spatulas/Cooking Utensils
  • Measuring Cups (Liquid and Dry)
  • Coffee Filters
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Saran Wrap
  • Trash Can

 School Supplies

  •  Backpack/Messenger Bag
  • Calculator
  • Dictionary
  • Notebooks
  • Folders

 Laundry Supplies

  •  Clothes Hangers
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Fabric Softener
  • Laundry Bag
  • Stain Remover
  • Iron/Ironing Board
  • Lint Roller

 Cleaning Supplies

  •  Window Cleaner
  • Rags/Scrubbers
  • Dust Wipes
  • Bleach/All Purpose Cleaner
  • Vacuum
  • Air Fresheners
  • Toilet Bowel Cleaners

 Miscellaneous

  •  Bank Info/Checks
  • Debit/Credit Cards
  • Medical Insurance Card
  • Photo I.D.
  • Social Security Card
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Light Bulbs
  • Fan
  • Sewing Kit
  • Safety Pins
  • Duct Tape
  • Tool Kit
  • Umbrella
  • Rain Boots
  • Febreeze
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I the Only College Student That Cleans?!?


Ever since I was little and capable of doing things for myself my parents taught me how to clean. My brother and I would have a list of chores that we had to around the house. When school was in the chore list wasn’t big. Wash the dishes, clean your room, sweep, and help our parents with whatever they asked. During summer the list got bigger. We had to water the plants, feed and take care of the dogs and cats, sweep upstairs and downstairs, dust the house, do yard work and wash dishes. Once we got older we were given more chores. I started doing the laundry and cooking while my brother mowed the grass and even helped me cooks sometimes. There was always a punishment if we didn’t do our chores. For example, we had to do them before we went anywhere with friends and if we didn’t do them we couldn’t go anywhere that weekend. Of course there was always a scolding involved too. Also, if you didn’t do the chore correctly and did it “half assed” as my mom would say, you would redo the chore completely.

Well this looks familiar

At the time I hated that we had to do chores because none of my other friends were made to do things like my brother and I were. I hated cleaning and never wanted to do it, but now I am so thankful for my parents making me clean because I have realized how important it is. I have also realized how many of my peers now don’t take any responsibility or time to clean. Not even in the slightest bit. I learned that the hard way when I went to college.

I have roomed with nine different girls since I started college and none of them have ever taken responsibility when it comes to cleaning or sanitation. The first room I lived in was the worst experience for me. One of the girls never cleaned in the whole year I lived with her. That includes dirty dishes. She would leave her food mold in the fridge, borrow my dishes without permission and ruin them because she couldn’t cook, never cleaned the dishes she used and kept her room a mess. Another girl wasn’t too bad. She wasn’t around much so never really made a mess, but never took part in cleaning our kitchen or living area that we all shared. The other girl would help me clean, which was good, but she was a messy, cluttered and unorganized person. If she cleaned by her self she would do a half assed job of it.

I would come back to Pittsburgh from being home for a weekend, walk into my dorm and see how much of a complete mess it was and start crying. I don’t mean just a little dirty I mean it was unsanitary. Its hard to describe how bad it was, but it was terrible.

The second room started off okay. The girls would clean the kitchen and living area every so often. Maybe three or four times in the whole time I lived with them, but considering we had bed bugs for six months the entire living situation was always a complete mess. There was a lot of times where Travis (boyfriend) would come out to see me for a weekend and clean the place for me because he knew how stressed it made me.

Now I am in a third room and new school and I still have the same problem. I clean every weekend and by Friday this place is a disgusting, shit hole. My roommate hasn’t cleaned ever. She barely does her dishes. The other two girls in the next room wash there dishes, but they have never taken time to clean the kitchenette or shared living space that they use more than I do.

When I clean I go all out. I use bleach and other disinfectant sprays. I scrub the shower and the toilet, clean the inside of the toilet, clean the bathroom sink, faucet, and count top, wipe the mirrors, vacuum, swifter, mop, scrub the kitchen counter, clean out the microwave, clean the garbage can, the whole nine yards. It usually takes me three-four hours to clean the whole place.

I think the most frustrating part about it is that I work (15-20 hours) and am taking six class on top of that. I’m also a junior who is close to graduating and they are only sophomores. All three of them have jobs but they don’t work nearly as much as I do. So I have less time to worry about cleaning up after someone’s mess. But this place is so gross that I keep cleaning because of how much living somewhere that is unsanitary stresses me out. I don’t deserve to clean up someone’s mess because they are too irresponsible to do it themselves.

I don’t understand how someone can be okay with living that way. Do they just not care? Did their parents never bring them up to clean up after themselves? Are they just spoiled brats who are used to having everything in life done for them? I’m not sure, but from my experience its not going to get any better.

A Big List on How to Save Money in College


Finances/ Credit Cards/ Investing

Avoid ATMs – Most ATM’s apply a surcharge fee for withdrawing money. See if you bank offers free ATM use.

Don’t get a credit card – Credit cards are a mess waiting to happen. If you do have one pay off purchases right away but cards to can lead to splurging.

Have an Emergency Fun – You never know what could happen.

Pay Bills on Time – Not paying your bills on time can result in bad credit or an increase to your interest rate

Free Accounts – Find a bank that gives free student bank accounts

Invest – Pay attention in economics class or do some research and buy a stock. Just make sure you follow the stock market.

Exercise

Campus Gym – See if you campus has a gym for free student use.

Athletics – Join a school sponsored sport or athletic club.

Exercise DVD’s – Buy work out DVD’s like Hip Hop Abs or The Brazilian Butt Lift.

Go Natural – Run, bike, walk, and jog around campus.

I wish money grew on trees. Photo Credit: schoolloans.org

Alcohol

Don’t Drink – I don’t condone underage or binge drinking in anyway but here below are some tips to save money if you do drink.

Cheap Beer – Natural Ice, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Keystone, Old Milwaukie, etc your typical cheap college beers.

Parties – Go to parties where you can have free alcohol.

Personal Brew – Brew your own beer or wine but double check with your dorm rules first.

Specials – Find bars and restaurants that offer happy hour or drink specials and only drink during those times.

Transportation/Travel

Drive As Little As Possible – Start walking everywhere. Its good exercise and will save you from putting gas in your tank

Carpool – If you commute to campus start carpooling with other commuters and take turns

Public Transportation – Use public transit whenever possible. A lot of schools offer discounts for bus passes or have their own free shuttle system.

Buses and Trains – The Megabus can take you far distances for as little as $10. Amtrak is also very cheap and don’t forget to try Greyhound.

Skip Spring Break – Of course going to some beach would be totally awesome and amazing but is it really worth it? Not at all, you’ll end up regretting it sometime later in the year when you don’t have money.

AAA – Get a triple A membership to get discounts on travel, hotels, and road side assistance.

Road Trips – Keep road trips short. Don’t drive across five states and think you’ll be able to rough it. Try going somewhere within your state or nearby.

Camping – Very old school but very fun. You can get a camp site at a state park for free or for a cheap price. The only thing else you would have to pay for is food and gas.

Food

Buy in Bulk – Buying in bulk is always cheaper than buying a few things at a time. It also saves you from taking another trip to the grocery store after a week.

Coupons – Don’t go Extreme Couponer but look through the Sunday paper and if you see a coupon for items you purchase then cut it out. Even its 50 cents off a product it will help out in the long run.

Shopper Rewards – CVS, Kmart, Giant, Giant Eagle, and many other stores have shopper rewards cards. These cards can give you discounts on items or a percentage off your entire purchase.

Generic Brands – Ever hear of the saying quality over quantity? Well this never applies to college students. Buy generic brands because they are way cheaper and at the price you won’t care if it doesn’t taste as good as name brand foods.

Plan Meals – Planning meals will help you see what ingredients you really need which brings us to our next tip on the list.

Make a Grocery List – Move over soccer moms, college kids can make grocery lists too. A list will help you stay on task and not over buy things that you really don’t need. Plus it saves you time from wandering around the store.

Meal Plans – Make use of your meal plan if your school provides one. The cost gets covered in your loans so you can pay it off when you have a full time job.

Coffee – A tall latte at Starbucks is over $3 in Pittsburgh and it sure as hell isn’t getting cheaper anywhere else. Skip the café and make your own coffee. If you like flavors you can buy flavored creamers or flavored syrups in grocery stores.

Books

Buy Used or Rent Textbooks – Try Barnes and Noble’s website for used books, check out half.com by eBay for used books, or see if your school store rents out books

Say No to Bookstore Prices – Your college bookstore is usually overpriced for used, rentals, and new books so search elsewhere to save a few bucks.

Electronic Books – Download an electronic book right to your PC or Mac for a smaller price than a hard copy.

End of Semester Sale – Make sure you sell your textbooks back at the end of the year. You won’t usually get the full price but a couple bucks is better than nothing.

Shopping/Entertainment

Thrifty Shopper – Check out thrift and second hand stores that carry name brand clothing.

Discount Departments – TJ Maxx and Marshalls sell brand name clothing for a portion of the original price.

Sign Up Online – Sign up for Groupon and Livingsocial to get coupons and deals to business and events in your area.

Student ID – Your student ID can get you a ton of discounts or free entry to a ton of places.

Campus Events – Look into campus events like movie showings, concerts, games, etc. They’re usually free or at a discounted price and offer free food.

Netflix – Netflix offers unlimited DVD’s to your doorstep for $7.99 a month.

School Library – See if the school library rents out movies and video games to students.

Water – Ordering water at restaurants can save you a couple dollars every meal. If you’re not a fan of plain water ask for lemon with your water, squeeze the lemon into your glass and add a couple sugar or substitute sweetener packets into the glass. You now have lemonade.

Living Spaces (Rentals and Dorms)

Find a Roommate(s) – If you’re living off campus find a roommate(s). This way you can split the cost of rent and utilities. Make sure find someone you can trust.

Utilities – Find a place that includes utilities in the rent. This way you don’t have to shell out another hundred dollars and its all one bill.

Appliances – Rent from someone that includes appliances such as a washer, dryer and refrigerator. This can save you about $1,000.

Go Low – On air conditioning and heat that is. Keep it to the bare minimum that you can stand.

Unplugged – When you turn off something that electricity is still running through it. Unplug items so save a few bucks.

Lights Off – Keep lights off as much as possible.

Décor – Minimize on decorating. I know it’s really exciting to finally be able to decorate your own space, but it’s not a necessity.

Look familiar? Photo Credit: inspiringinterns.com

Hygiene

Manicure – Learn how to paint your own nails or have a friend do them. That saves you $30 every other week from a manicure.

Hair Cuts – Find a salon that offers student discounts or go to a cosmetology school to have a student cut your hair for free.

Laundry

Detergent – Buy your own laundry detergent from the super market instead of spending a butt load for little packs at the laundry mat.

Washing – Wash your clothes every other week and fill up the washers to save time and cash.

Electronics

Student Discounts – Apple and PC offers education stores that sell products to student for a cheaper price. You can also buy software for a student price as well.

Pay as You Go – Consider a pay of you go cell phone plan instead of a monthly plan with all that extra charges.

Socializing – To minimize phone bills try instant messaging, email, and/or Skype.

How to Make Money

Sell Old Clothes – Take your unwanted clothes to a thrift store that purchases name brands.

Have a yard sale – Sell all of your unwanted junk for a few bucks.

Recycle for cash – Some places take aluminum cans for 10 cents apiece.

Collect your change – A little change can go a long way if you keep it in a jar.

Sell Yourself – No not prostitution! Sell your expertise such as tutoring, repair services, music lessons, etc

Part-Time Job – Find a part-time job. A lot of schools can help you find one. It’s not impossible to keep a job and get good grades in college.

Work Study – Ask your school if your work study applicable. You can make minimum wage by working at your school. It’s very convenient because they work around your class schedule.

Yard Work – Rake some leaves, mow lawns, gardening. You can do all of this and charge for it.

Babysitting – Find parents to babysit or if you’re not a fan of children try pet sitting.