17 Tips To Make College Move-In Day Much Easier

17 Tips To Make College Move-In Day Much Easier

The day you’ve been (excitedly? nervously?) waiting for is finally here…but maybe you aren’t quite ready for it. Move-in day can be a bit nerve-wrecking because you might be worried about what your room will look like, if you packed everything you need, if you overpacked, but for me my biggest concern my freshman move-in day was how the hell was I moving everything from the family car to the room??? How do your items go from cozily crammed in the car to Pinterest-worthy dorm room?

Move-in day doesn’t have to be as insane as you think it might be. Sure, everyone — parents, siblings, roommate, you — may feel a little stressed on this momentous day, but I’ve got some tips that’ll definitely help you get settled easier and thus worry less. I’m about to be a junior in college, so this is going to be my third time doing all this, and I’ve definitely learned a lot the first two times!

1. Pack your storage bins ahead of time. 

Stacked organizers and bins can definitely be packed ahead of time with the things you intend to keep in there. This saves space in the car and gives you much less stuff to unpack when you get to your room. I like keeping any extra towels, bed sheets and laundry supplies in one of my bins, so I make sure I designate all related items to that one bin — and I don’t even have to remove a thing from it!

2. Tape things shut.

PLEASE tape any drawers or open things shut, including the door of your mini fridge! You don’t want the door flying open while you’re trying to move it through the hallways! If you have even a sneaking feeling that a container or organizer might open itself up on the way or while you’re moving it, trust your gut unless you want your belongings scattered on the floor of the parking lot.

3. Put cling wrap over the tops of bottled items to prevent spills.

I started using this hack on my makeup bottles and hair and body products and it actually works! I get paranoid that my bottles of lotion will open up and spill all over the inside of my bag *shudder*. Just unscrew the cap, place a small square of cling wrap evenly on top of the opening of the bottle, and screw the cap back on tightly. A mess in your bag or suitcase will no longer be a worry!

4. Remove bulky packagings ahead of time.

There’s no reason to keep the packaging around a pack of pens or pencils, or the annoying plastic flashlights come in when packing to leave. You’re going to need to remove them when you get to your room, so you might as well get rid of the packaging when you’re still at home and can take a meat cleaver to particularly annoying packagings. Bulky packaging only takes up space in your containers and bags, and the fewer boxes and bags you can bring with you, the better.

5. Bring water and snacks.

Moving is tiring. Make sure you bring enough water for you and your family. You’re kidding yourself if you think that you won’t want even a sip of water by the time you’re finished with everything. I also like bringing granola bars and my favorite flavor of Cheez-its as a snack (you’ll also likely get hungry in the process).

17 Tips To Make College Move-In Day Much Easier

6. Arrive as early as possible.

Most colleges have a designated time period during the day for students to move in (because building offices might close after a certain time of day). The earlier you get out there and get started moving in, the earlier you can be done with it all! Plus, if you realize that you need to run out to a Target or grocery store because you forgot something, at least you’ll have more time to do so.

7. Decide ahead of time who gets which side of the room.

Hopefully by move-in day you will have spoken to your soon-to-be roommate at least once. Decide who gets the window bed and who gets the bed by the door ahead of time so if you get to the room first you don’t have to worry about taking the side of the room your roommate wanted.

8. Bring a hand cart.

This is extremely useful when moving large, heavy items like a mini fridge because you sure as hell don’t want to drag it with your bare hands from the parking lot to the fifth floor of your building! My parents and I also use the hand cart to stack my suitcase, travel handbag, and duffle bag all in one go — so fewer trips to the car!

9. Locate the building’s RA office first.

You need to go to your building’s office to check in and receive the key to your room. DON’T forget to do this! If you do, you’ll arrive at your door and realize you don’t have a key to get inside (if you’re unlucky and the people you’re living with haven’t arrived yet), and you’ll have to trek back downstairs to look for the office and get your key.

10. Find an elevator.

You’ll definitely have at least one item that you’d hate to have to lug up the stairs! Elevators are Godsent inventions for soon-to-be weary college students. Sometimes they can be a bit slow when everyone’s trying to use it at once (another reason why it’s good to arrive as early as you can!) but it beats using the stairs when your arms are wrapped around three different containers.

11. Disinfect everything.

The desk, he dresser, the mattress! I like to take a can of disinfectant spray and mist it over the mattress before I start putting on any sheets. It’s also a good idea to give the desk and dresser a once-over with Lysol wipes to remove excess dust (especially if you have allergies, like me!).

12. Need space to move around? Temporarily put some things under the bed.

I’ve lived in suite-style living for the last two years, so if I needed space to move around in the room, I kept belongings I didn’t need straight away in the living room area. But if you’re in corridor-style living and don’t want to leave some belongings in the hallway where they can get in the way of passerbys, temporarily chuck them under the bed. This way, you can just reach under and pull them out as you need them and you’ll still have space to move around in the actual room.

13. Plug in your mini fridge and get items that need refrigeration inside.

If you have FROZEN items or items that just need refrigeration (like yogurt), you need to get them in the fridge ASAP, especially if you just drove 2+ hours in the late summer sun without refrigeration for your food. This is one of the first things I do when I get to my room because I don’t want anything to spoil. Plus, since the fridge is bigger, I like to find a space that works well for it; it’s easier to find space for smaller items.

14. Get your family to help!

Need your bed to be raised a little higher? Better get dad to help you out before he leaves! Get your family to help you do whatever they can so you don’t have to beg your roommate to help you move the couch later on!

15. Know the location of the nearest Target or Walmart. 

Just in case you need to quickly run over there to pick something up! Speaking of knowing the locations of things, also know exactly how to navigate to your dorm building because nothing stresses people out like not knowing which turns to take when they count the most!

16. Help your roommate get settled as needed. 

If you’re all done but your roommate could use some extra hands, you should try to help out. If it were you, you’d be grateful for the extra help. Plus, this is a great way to make small talk and get to know your roomie better (and start off on the right foot with them!).

17. Relax!

Because you just survived move-in day!

Hopefully you’ll find my tips and tricks for conquering move-in day helpful! Like I said, move-in day doesn’t have to be super stressful; make it easy on yourself so that you can live to survive another move-in day!

ALSO, don’t forget to check out my post on things that aren’t allowed in college dorms and what you can bring instead so that you can save money and space!

What are your tips for making move-in day easier? 

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19 Things I Learned From My First NYC Conference

My HerConference Experience

This Saturday I attended Her Conference, a conference for young, awesome college women from all over to come together and learn from inspiring and hardworking speakers in the media industry (and each other!). I’m a writer at my school’s chapter of Her Campus and I’m also a member of Her Campus’s InfluencerHer Collective for bloggers, so I really couldn’t wait to hang out with other girls who do the same thing as me and maybe even want to go into the same industry.

It was a two-day conference but I only attended the Saturday portion, which was INCREDIBLY life-changing in so many ways. I didn’t want that to sound cliche, but it’s really how I feel about my experience, but if it helps I don’t call too many things ‘life-changing.’ Anyway, everything was spectacular from start to finish so I’ve decided to tell you all about it! I’m not gonna lie; this post is pretty long so please bear with me! I’ve split up my thoughts into two categories to make things more organized because not only did attending my first ~fancy~ NYC conference give me important life/career advice, it also taught me a lesson or two about conferences in general! So without making this post any longer than it needs to be, here’s what I learned this weekend. Oh, btw, this is NOT a sponsored post! I just want to share my experience with you and maybe even hear some of your experiences too!

her conference 2016

When attending conferences…

1. Know exactly how to get to the conference location.

Getting lost on your big day can be really stressful! The last thing you want is to ruin your hair, hurt your feet from walking extra, and sweat through your clothes in the summer heat trying to find the location. I was able to scope out the area a few days before the conference so that day of I wouldn’t have to figure out where to turn or how far to walk. If you’re able to do this, I definitely suggest it. But if you can’t, at least know exactly what transportation you’d need to get you there and how long it would take so that you can plan ahead and allow enough time to find your destination.

2. Also know more than one way to get there!

After I hopped off the train the morning of the event, I started heading down the street the way I had done a few days before. I was going to make a left across the street, except I couldn’t…the amazingness of Manhattan decided to make an appearance that morning in the form of a movie set in the middle of the street!! I was told that I couldn’t walk there and needed to turn in a different direction. Great. This was NOT the route I practiced! I knew I’d screw myself over without exact directions, so I used a GPS app on my phone and luckily it worked really well and still got me to the conference on time! If you’re using public transportation, it’s also a good idea to know alternative buses or trains because delays and service changes can occur and you need to be prepared!

3. Always bring proof of registration.

Check-in went smoothly for me, but if you’re attending ANY event that you had to register for in advanced, always bring proof that you did in fact sign up (especially if you weren’t able to print out a physical confirmation!). Take a picture on your phone and save it as proof. It would absolutely suck if you came all that way only to not be admitted because you didn’t have proof of registration. And if you do have a physical ticket printout, DON’T FORGET TO BRING IT WITH YOU!

4. Always know where the bathroom is.

Even if you don’t need to use the bathroom right that very second, at least know where it is in relation to everything else because you might need to pop in there to touch up your makeup, fix your hair, or pee after all the hydration you’ve been giving yourself. Bathrooms are also one of the most important places you should be able to find no matter where you go — class in a new lecture hall; the movie theatre; another country.

5. Be ready to take notes.

I know you’ll probably feel like you’re back in class taking notes, but bring a small notebook or journal and a pen. At Her Conference, we actually received a really cute spiral journal, but you should still come prepared just in case. I heard so many inspirational words from speakers like fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff and Editor-in-Chief of SELF Joyce Chang, and I wanted to be able to remember that, and remember the pieces of advice we got from them and panelists. Don’t think that you’ll be able to remember everything in the heat of the moment, because I guarantee that after you get home, crash on your bed and wake up the next morning, you would have forgotten half the amazing advice you were given.

6. Free stuff is and always will be GLORIOUS.

free stuff from her conference

Holy mother of all that is free and fabulous. I knew that we would be getting some free goodies from sponsors like ULTA (yaaaassssss), Tinder, and Vera Bradley, not to mention a free lunch courtesy of the ever-amazing Shake Shack, but I didn’t expect to get THIS much free stuff! I got full-sized cosmetics, magazines, a t-shirt, and way more! There was also a table set up where Suja, this awesome brand of organic cold pressed juices, was set up so we could speak to the rep about the juices and get free bottles of their probiotic waters and juices. I tried the Pineapple and Cayenne (strange combo, right!?!?) probiotic water and it was SO tasty! I really want to try more of their drinks now. Another freebie fave of mine is a tube of Urban Decay’s Vice lipstick in ‘Firebird’. It’s such a gorgeous purple-y lipstick! Even if you don’t get basically a suitcase of free things, whatever items you do get will certainly be useful, be it pens, water bottles (yassss), or notepads.

7. Pockets are Godsent.

I was wearing this green button down dress and I’m not used to wearing things that actually have real pockets (not fake ones!) so I was pleasantly surprised to find that my dress had pockets! I had been stuffing my phone into my handbag because I didn’t want to hold it in my hand and drop it should I accidentally bump into someone. But after realizing I had good, deep pockets I started keeping it there. It was way easier to pull it out to snap a picture! If you can wear something with pockets, you’re golden. You will thank yourself!

8. Bring a small bag that’s still big enough to hold all your necessities.

Thank goodness my bag wasn’t too big because I would’ve had a really hard time walking around with that and my giant conference swag bag! In case you’re curious, I packed my wallet, phone, portable charger, blotting sheets, lipstick, a small journal, a pen, and business cards. Large handbags aren’t necessary, unless you have so many items that you actually need to bring a large handbag (and even so, make sure you’ll actually need everything that you bring).

9. Dress comfortably!

I wore the green dress I told you about along with cute, leopard print flats. My outfit didn’t have layers or a whole lot of accessories as I normally like to have, but I was very comfortable the whole day. Oh, by the way, the conference lasted from 8:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening! That being said, I didn’t want to wear heels because I knew I’d personally regret it. If the conference duration were shorter I probably would’ve taken a chance and worn wedges, but you should definitely use your discretion.

10. Know exactly where you should head next BEFORE it’s time to go there.

At Her Conference there were some really great panels that we could choose to attend, but because some of them were going on while others were, choices needed to be made. I’m glad I attended the panels that I did because they all really helped me! Anyway, my new friend (who I met at the conference!!) and I made sure we knew the room locations of the panels we wanted to attend because we needed to get over there as quickly as possible so that we could get seats because the panels got crowded. FYI, we only stood once! 

11. Try everything!

her conference 2016

I tried that Suja juice and did not regret it one bit! I also took pictures at a Tinder station and against one of those cool backgrounds with sponsor names that celebrities take pictures in front of (I felt so fab!). I even got to take professional headshots! My point is that you should do everything you want to do because if you don’t you’ll regret it. If you want to take a picture with a panelist, go for it! If you want to try out a cool workshop, the world is your oyster!

I also learned…

12. I don’t want to go to graduate school anymore.

At first I thought that applying to grad school for a Master’s in Journalism should be my next step after I get my Bachelor’s — I even worked out which school was my first choice! But after listening to the EIC of SELF magazine say that she 110% would’ve gotten where she is now even without grad school, well, that really put things in perspective for me. Going to grad school for Journalism isn’t the same as going for Business, for example. If anything, after grad school you’d be competing against undergrads for entry level jobs in the industry. This really made me decide that I shouldn’t make that my next step.

13. Don’t be afraid of coffee and an email.

I learned that it’s okay to email someone in the industry, like an editorial assistant, and ask them to grab lunch or coffee with you. It sounds like a gutsy move (one that even I wouldn’t think to make!), but we shouldn’t be afraid of going through with it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? They could say they’re busy and can’t make it, or they could just not respond. Either way, at least you tried.

14. Always own up to your mistakes no matter how terrible they are.

We got to hear some mistakes made by some of the panelists during their editorial careers thus far, and as bad as this sounds, it was refreshing to know that mistakes do happen, even to our role models, and they were able to overcome them. The best way to do that is to own up to your mistakes! Don’t try to sweep them under the rug or make up some b.s. excuse. We’ll all probably make a huge mistake at some point in our careers — no one is above that — so it was nice to really hear a truth from real people.

15. There’s no 9-5 in the media industry.

This can be exciting or intimidating (or both!) depending on how you want to look at it. Breaking news doesn’t happen on schedule; you might find yourself prepping for a trending piece at 11p.m., or you might come to work earlier than usual to have enough time to shoot a video. You need to be able to understand that and work with it and still put your best work forward. This isn’t what we’re used to as college students, and honestly, this sounds pretty hardcore, so kudos to all those who slay at doing that!

16. Networking starts when you walk in the door.

her conference 2016

In other words, if you’re working, interning, etc., you should be making connections and getting to know your co-workers everyday. I’ll admit that on my very first day of my internship I was super quiet. I did what I was told and asked questions but otherwise I didn’t try to get to know anyone. Fortunately, it was something that I caught early and started working on. Don’t wait until you walk through the office door one last time before you decide to add your co-workers on Facebook, or get their contact info to go to lunch in the future.

P.S. be sure to check out my post on internship mistakes to avoid making for more tips like this!

17. I’m doing pretty well for myself so far.

It has been just under a year since I’ve decided that the media industry is where I want to be after graduation, and I’ve realized that all my efforts thus far to put my work out there for professionals, brands, fellow students, and like-minded individuals to read has really paid off. That along with getting an internship and developing skills in other areas to make myself well-rounded is what will really help me get noticed, and that’s another thing I learned this weekend. This was a great confirmation because everyone should know that yes, they’re killin’ it at what they’re doing right now and they’re completely on the right track!

18. It’s okay that I’m not pushy.

I’m an assertive person, but I just don’t know how to shove myself in front of someone. Like, I actually fight with myself on whether or not I should give someone a business card sometimes! I also sometimes decide against it just because I think that this person has already gotten so many. Some may say that that’s a missed opportunity, but after hearing that you really shouldn’t come on too strong, I’m actually okay with those decisions. I guess sometimes we’re so caught up in being as impressive as possible and making sure that we don’t walk away without giving that person a business card that we forget that a personal connection is just as important!

19. Nothing will happen as you expect it to.

I love having a defined plan and I love sticking to it; that’s just the type of person I am. Sure, I can go for some spontaneity here and there, but when it comes to things like my future, I’d rather have that timeline for security. However, I learned that I should chuck my timeline (the words of Andi Dorfman from ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’!!!) Surprisingly, that was comforting to hear. I, like many others, have this image of where I’ll be later in life and everything I will have accomplished. But who knows what’s really going to be in store along the way? Things could be way more life-changing than you expect it to be, so don’t be discouraged if things don’t start taking the direction you thought it would.

Whoo! Sorry for that super long post, but I just had SO MUCH to tell you! I’m super glad that I went to this Conference and got to listen to everyone who spoke, because I definitely learned some valuable things that I probably would’ve learned the hard way later on! I definitely can’t wait to go again next year! Have you ever been to a conference before? What are some things that you’ve learned? Let me know in the comments!

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8 Ways to Stay Close With Your High School Friends – Guest Post by Alyssa From Living In Full Bloom!

How to stay close with your high school friends

Hey there! When you graduate high school, you and all your friends are going to be going in different directions. You all have your own lives and your own goals, and most of you will probably be moving away from your home town. This doesn’t have to mean, however, that you can’t be friends anymore! My three best friends and I all went in different directions, and we are still very close three years later. With these tips, you too can stay in contact and remain close with your high school friends!

Keep in mind that it is possible that you may grow apart and realize you simply aren’t the same people you were before – and that’s fine! These tips are focused on helping you stay in touch with those friends that you still feel connected to and want to maintain a relationship with!

1. Make a Facebook group chat with your best friends.

You can share anything strange and exciting that’s happening in your life, just like you would have in person! The Facebook group chat I have with my best friends is still used almost daily three years later!

2. Another fun way is through snapchat!

I make an effort to maintain a “snap streak” with my high school best friend, which means we each snap each other at least once a day! This lets you see a different side of each other’s lives through photos instead of words!

3. Call and text each other!

My advice is to strive to communicate with your friend at least once a day. Even just one text or snapchat! If you start to forget, you may suddenly realize it’s been two weeks before you talked last – and that is how friendships start to fall apart!

4. Snail Mail!

While this isn’t for everyone, I know most people love getting mail when they are in college! Exchange addresses and send each other letters every month or so – add a few stickers, or photos, and just share your lives! Handwriting letters to someone definitely makes you feel closer to one another!

5. Skype or other video chatting services!

Sometimes when you really need to talk to someone, texting or calling just isn’t enough. For me, I can more easily share personal things with my best friends from high school, because they have known me longest and I feel comfortable with them. I tell my best friends everything about my life, and when I really need to talk I know I can always turn to them!

6. Visit each other at school.

One of my favorite things to do is visit my friends on their campus, or have them visit me! Have them bring a sleeping bag (those dorm beds are not meant for sharing), and have a sleepover just like you did in middle school! Show them around your new home and introduce them to your new friends! College campuses almost always have fun, free things to do – my school for example has a gorgeous art museum and a free planetarium!

7. Make plans for holidays and breaks!

During your first few years at school, you will probably be spending your holidays and breaks in your home town, so coordinate with your friends and make plans to hang out while you are all home! Once you permanently live in your college town this may get more difficult, so enjoy it while it lasts!

8. Go on vacation together!

Make a plan with your best friend(s) to go on a road trip or go on vacation together over the summer. Last summer I went camping with my three best friends for a weekend – it wasn’t very expensive and we had so much fun! This summer I am going on a road trip with one of them – a bit more pricey, but definitely worth it! It’s important to make new memories with your friends, not just depend on your times together in high school!

So, with these tips, you should be ready to move away to college without worrying about losing any of your best friends! With just a bit of effort on both sides, it can be easy to stay close (and become closer), even from hours away! If you’ve gone through this before, what advice would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Guest Blogger: Alyssa Larsen 

About Alyssa

Alyssa Larsen is the writer behind Living in Full Bloom, a blog focused on helping collegiate and twenty-something girls thrive and live to their full potential in the years before, during, and after college. She is currently a junior at Ball State University, and loves history, reading, traveling, going to concerts, and late night dance parties.

You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

5 Summer Nail Polishes Under $5

5 summer nail polishes under $5

One of my favorite things about season changes is being able to buy new shades of nail polish that go with the season. In my opinion, any time is a good time for buying nail polish, but new seasons make it even more exciting because I can’t wait to see what shades brands put out. The one thing I love more than pretty nail polish is affordable pretty nail polish, and I know I’m not the only one who gets a little stingy when it comes to spending money! So I have found some really pretty nail polishes that are super summer-worthy and cost less than $5.

1. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails in ‘Hot Tamale’ – $2.99

Sally Hansend Hot Tamale

Wow, this is the most flavorful red-orange I’ve ever seen. The only time I ever wear orange nail polish is for Halloween, and I usually don’t like red-orange as a color at all, but this nail polish was just so appealing because it reminded me of all the colorful fruit pictures I’ve been seeing on Instagram for the summer. If this nail polish were a fruit, it’d definitely be something citrus-y and refreshing!

2. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails in ‘Coral Reef’ – $2.99

Sally Hansen Coral Reef

This color kind of reminds me of Patrick from Spongebob! It’s a really pretty pink that’s perfect for a playful day at the beach because it isn’t too light and it’s also not a hot pink (for some reason I don’t find hot pinks too appealing). Like all other Sally Hansen Hard As Nails products I’ve tried, the quality of this one is really good — not thin and watered down, but not thick and globby.

3. Wet n Wild Wild Shine in ‘Lavender Creme’ — $0.99

Sally Hansen Coral Reef

I like nail polishes from the Wild Shine collection because I find that the quality of the polish is pretty good for just a buck! The shades are all really pigmented, so I really only use two thin coats of polish. Plus, as the name suggests, it has a nice glossy finish, so I never feel the need to put on a top coat for shine. The color of the bottle isn’t exactly true to the color you get on your nails (the bottle color is just a teeny bit darker and prettier in my opinion), but nevertheless this is definitely a hot color for a summer party!

4. Jesse’s Girl in ‘Jasmine’ – $3.99

Jesse's Girl Jasmine

First thing’s first, I had no idea that I shared a name with this shade until I just checked the name on the bottle! Anyway, I honestly have never heard of Jesse’s Girl brand cosmetics before (I found it at my local Rite Aid) and I was just so taken with this light, minty color that I had to buy it! This cool color will definitely keep you cool for the summer because it’s just so chill and casual and wearable at literally any event — party; barbeque, outing with friends.

5.  Salon Perfect in ‘Gone Sailing’ – $3.99 

Salon Perfect Gone Sailing

‘Gone Sailing’ is seriously the perfect name for this shade because it truly makes me feel like I have the sea at my fingertips. Okay, maybe not the entire sea, maybe just my own underwater kingdom. The color is gorgeous and so mermaid-like (and why wouldn’t you want to channel your inner mermaid for the summer?). Unlike the other polishes on this list, this one actually has no type of shiny finish whatsoever; it’s completely matte!

So these are some great summer colors if you’re on a budget, and they’re definitely my favorites this season! If I had to pick just one to crown my absolute favorite of the summer, it would definitely be ‘Jasmine’ because the mint color is so refreshing!

If you want to see more of my favorites, check out this list of products I totally fell head over heels for in May!

What’s your favorite summer nail color? 

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7 Tips For Cutting Soda From Your Diet

Let me just begin by saying that I’m not a nutritionist, nor do I claim to be; I’m just speaking from experience! I know that sometimes there’s nothing like a can of sweet, bubbly soda to wash down your slice of pizza or a plate of pasta; it can just be so satisfying sometimes! But I also know that there’s a ton of sugar in various cans of soda — sugars that aren’t good for you. The amount of sugar in most cans of soda is actually more than two times the recommended daily amount (yikes!)

When I was in high school, I decided to stop drinking soda and drink only water, because I knew that my family had a history of Diabetes, so I was old enough to really start making myself more wary of some of the things that went into my mouth. If you’re trying to stop a soda habit in its tracks for whatever reason — health, fitness, you just don’t like it anymore, you’re drinking too much, etc. — then here are some tips to make ending the habit so much easier!

1. Cut the amount you drink in half. 

If you usually have a full can, drink only half of the can, and from there you can continue to cut down on the amount you drink. This way, you can still have the taste of soda, but just a little less than you usually have. It also helps to cut down on the number of times per week you have soda. If you typically have soda five times a week, try cutting down to three times a week. It’s okay to take things slow; you don’t need to quit cold turkey!

2. Substitute soda with a less sweet drink. 

Iced tea is a great substitute for soda. Personally, I like the Turkey Hill brand iced teas (my favorite is the Mango Green Tea!) This one in particular actually contains zero grams of sugar, and it’s just naturally sweet because they put honey in the tea. Juices are also great things to drink instead of soda, as long as the sweetness you taste is natural. This way, when you drink something else you can still have something that’s a little more pizzazz-y than water.

3. Always keep a bottle of water near you. 

Keeping water near you will make you more likely to reach for that the next time you get thirsty. Plus, I don’t know about you but sometimes drinking soda makes my mouth feel even more dry, and not always as refreshed as I would like to feel. You can buy a reusable water bottle and always keep it, full, in your room so you don’t even have to travel to the kitchen unless it’s for a refill. This is going to sound extremely terrible, but at one point I used to make it a daily game to see how many water bottles I can drink completely in a day. I know, it’s super bad for the environment! But it did help me drink more water and less soda!

4. Stop buying bulk packs of soda. 

You know, the packs of 36 sodas that you can get from places like Costco? Those bulk packs aren’t going to help you cut soda from your diet. When you have so much, you might want to drink regularly and for longer, but if you buy smaller packs of 6 or 12 then, well, when you’re done, you’re done and you can either bother yourself to go back to the store again, or you can do without and drink something else.

5. Keep soda out of the house all together. 

This would definitely be hard if you live with other people because you aren’t just buying groceries for yourself (trust me, I’m in this boat as I’m still a college student). But if you can convince your family to stop purchasing soda, this would be a great step toward giving soda the cold shoulder. Out of sight, out of mind! If you can’t get your family to stop bringing soda into the house, then meeting your goal will require some self control.

6. Try developing a taste for different drinks. 

For me, developing a taste for tea really helped me stay away from soda. I started off by drinking green tea (completely unsweetened and without milk). This is somewhat of an acquired taste, but soon I started adding natural lemon juice and ice to my green tea, and I even went on to try out other teas from the grocery store. If you know inside and out that you just simply aren’t a tea person, try something else. I also highly recommend coconut water!

7. Remind yourself why you want to stop drinking soda in the first place! 

Sometimes thinking about why we set certain goals can really help kickstart a journey or keep us on track. Just thinking about what the end result could be can give you a big surge of focus and desire to keep doing what you’re doing. So the next time you feel yourself slipping off the horse (is that even an idiom????) remind yourself why you decided that it’s time to kick your soda habit.

I hope you enjoyed reading the tips I have for drinking less soda and eventually removing it from your diet. Doing these things really helped me out, and if there’s anyone else out there who wants to trade in the pepsi can, then I hope you have found these tips useful!

Btw, if you’re looking for more tips for adjusting your lifestyle, be sure to check out my post on simple food swaps you can make.

What are your tips for drinking less soda? 

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5 Types Of Pinterest Boards That Will Make Life Easier

pinterest boards that make life easier

I, like many other people, could spend hours looking through cute DIY projects, recipes, and outfit inspiration on Pinterest. It’s such a great site for organizing everything that inspires you in one place, but sometimes some pins just sit there — never to be visited by us again. But there are so many ways you can actually use what you pin in your everyday life, and they make things so much easier! I haven’t been a user of Pinterest for as long as many others have, but the boards I’ve created and the things I’ve saved have been super useful to me, and I hope that everyone is able to say that that’s their experience with Pinterest as well. That being said, here are the types of Pinterest boards that can make your life so much easier and that you must have.

1. Professional outfit inspo.

professional outfit inspo pinterest

This is one of my favorite boards because I got a summer internship and muscle shirts and short shorts aren’t exactly allowed in an office. I’ve found so many outfit ideas that make me look well put together and like a professional, even though I haven’t even graduated from college yet! It’s basically like having your own little lookbook, and you can definitely find professional outfit inspo that’s suitable for all seasons.Of course, it definitely depends on the type of work you do, and the dress code of the company, but you’ll still be able to find pieces that can fit. Having ideas for professional outfits is also great for upcoming job interviews and meetings. You won’t have to worry about not knowing what to wear!

2. Hacks.

life hacks pinterest

Hacks are literally blessings! Without a doubt, they make performing tasks and living life much easier, and they can even teach you how to still get something done cheaply. So a Pinterest board full of ideas for making your life easier will seriously make your life easier! I’ve found and pinned hacks from how to remove every type of pesky stain to dorm room meal hacks. One of my favorites is probably hacks/uses for nail polish around the house, because I HAVE A LOT OF NAIL POLISH! You can find hacks for literally anything, and to be honest, searching for them is a lot of fun too. If you’re a college student, you should definitely stock up on the multitude of dorm room hacks. If you love cooking or baking, different food hacks would be super helpful for you the next time you make dinner.

3. Recipes/cooking inspo.

lunch ideas pinterest

Need to cook dinner for your boyfriend or girlfriend, but you’re drowning in the 20 billion recipes the internet is throwing at you? Maybe mom’s old recipe box just isn’t cutting it anymore. Having a Pinterest board of delicious recipes can save you so much time when looking for meal inspiration. And you can choose your own difficulty; you can create a board strictly for super easy recipes, or recipes that will really challenge you. You can also recipes that contain specific ingredients (like avocados!!) and you’ll always be up to date on whatever’s new in the food world. I’ve found some of my new favorite chicken recipes by doing this. I’ve also found more ways to eat healthier that I love so much!

4. Room decor.

dorm room decor pinterest

Whether you’re thinking about decorating a college dorm room or an entire apartment, these kinds of boards will help you put together the space of your dreams (or at least come very close!) There are so many styles and looks you can search up, and you can save articles that give you helpful tips when it comes to decorating. I love finding new ways to decorate my dorm room — where to place DIY art canvases, subtle ways to add some color to the room, how to dress things up with some plants without going overboard…you get the idea. If you need some dorm decorating inspo, also remember to check to see if certain items are allowed in your college’s dorms.

5. Gift inspo. 

gift ideas pinterest

There are literally so many things you can give gifts for: Christmas; Mother’s Day; Father’s Day; Birthdays; Teacher Appreciation Day; Valentine’s Day; Best Friends Day…the list goes on and on, and sometimes you don’t always have the time and energy to sit down and really think about a great, fun, unique gift idea when you need to. This is where the helpfulness of a Pinterest board for gift ideas comes in. I personally love buying small things and creating my own gift baskets or bundles out of them. This way, it’s so easy to really personalize the gift and make sure that you’re giving the recipient exactly what they love and would use. Pinterest doesn’t just have DIY gift ideas (so that’s great news if you’re not into DIY projects). I found some awesome Harry Potter themed gifts (yessssssss) and also some really awesome, sassy mugs that I’d be so excited to give as gifts. Also, this Pinterest board really takes the hard work out of coming up with funny, adorable puns for the gifts!

gift ideas pinterest

This is definitely a really fun board to put together!

So did I convince you that you just need these kinds of Pinterest boards in your life? These boards are serious time-savers after you create them, and you’ll really enjoy putting them together!

What are some other really useful Pinterest boards? 

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12 Internship Mistakes To Stop Making Right Now

things to not do at your internship

Internships are fantastic ways for you to gain experience in the field you hope to have a career in, or even in an adjacent field. We all definitely want to make sure that we make a great impression (especially on the first day) and that our boss actually loves having us as a part of their team. Despite our best efforts, from time to time we may…slip up a little — unintentionally, of course. And when we finally realize what we accidentally did or didn’t do, we’re already kicking ourselves because we wish we had done or said something differently. It happens! But the person in charge may not always be super forgiving…a mistake could literally cost you your position! So to make sure those mistakes don’t happen again, it’s important to first acknowledge those big internship crimes, and while we’re being honest here, I’ve definitely found myself being guilty of a few of those! That being said, NEVER…

1. Arrive late.

In fact, you should be in the office/on the job before your boss is! Get there and get right to work. If you don’t know what task you should be working on first thing in the morning, then make it your duty to plan ahead and find something to work on before you even begin the day. I always feel comfortable when I leave the office with an approved article pitch for next week, so I know exactly what I’m working on next time.

2. Not talk to anyone.

This isn’t the place for you to be shy and not speak up or offer input in some way. Yeah, you’re there to learn but that doesn’t mean that you should sit on your hands while you do it. Try to talk to your coworkers — even if you’re just contributing to a small conversation. Your coworkers are also great connections for the future, so you don’t want them to think of you as the quiet intern they hardly knew — or worse yet, forget who you are! Before I leave the office, I like taking some time to talk one-on-one with my boss, sometimes about non-work related things as a way for us to get to know each other better.

3. Get too comfortable.

Yeah, you want to be comfortable where you are, but there’s a boundary you don’t want to cross…You’re an intern — a fresh, temporary member of your team. Avoid thinking that you can do as you please or push your luck in any way. Make sure you play by all the policies. Also, physically speaking, don’t slouch lazily in your seat — you might come off as uncaring!

4. Use your phone the entire time.

Okay, I doubt anyone would actually use their phone the entire time they’re working, but don’t pick up your phone every time you get a text, tweet, or notification that someone liked your photo on Instagram. Once in a while (like during a lunch break) is okay, and to respond to an extremely urgent message is fine, but don’t push your luck with Snapchat selfies at the desk, or tweets about how much of a struggle walking through the city in high heels is.

5. Apply makeup at your desk.

If you need to to reapply the lipstick that you accidentally ate off when you had lunch, go to the bathroom — don’t sit at your desk and hold your phone up to your face in an attempt to fix your makeup or hair. Your boss expects you to work when you’re at your desk, and if you get caught in the middle of a touch-up, well, good luck.

6. Be rude to coworkers or your boss.

Your friends may think that you’re the sassiest person they’ve ever met, but that won’t seem very cute to your boss or coworkers! Be polite and respect everyone around you.

7. Talk badly about anyone behind their back.

If for whatever reason there’s gossip going around the workplace or you overhear coworkers talking badly about someone else on the team, NEVER chime in; it’s not your place and it’s none of your business. Also keep in mind that you literally just got there and don’t actually know everyone the way they all know each other, so you don’t have the grounds to assert any reservations appropriately.

8. Not ask for feedback when someone says that something could be improved. 

ALWAYS ask for details about improvements. ALWAYS. You can really learn something for next time so that you can put out higher quality work, and it shows that you actually care about the work you’re doing.

9. Neglect a task.

Never assume that because someone didn’t remind you about something it means that they no longer need you to fulfill the task. It’s your responsibility to stay up to speed on everything that you have to do. If you have questions, ask. If a problem arises concerning the task, let your boss know as soon as possible — don’t try to brush it under the rug (or is the idiom sweep it under the carpet??)

10. Take on a task without consulting your boss first.

I know that having a sense of independence is a great feeling, and it’s a great way to grow, but you still need to clear your ideas with your higher ups first before you even begin work. Requirements for the task could be changed as needed, and it would be a waste of time to go ahead and do something without approval if you screw it up. Plus, your boss will definitely remember if you do that.

11. Leave the office without completing all of the day’s tasks.

If you didn’t finish something that you began doing, and you did not get the permission of your boss to leave it for next time, make sure you work until you get it done. Try not to rush things either because it’s way better to do things right the first time rather than to turn in sloppy work. Trust me, staying an extra 20 or 30 minutes to do something properly is worth it!

12. Leave the office without saying bye to your boss.

I know that some people say that your boss should leave the office before you do, but if there’s a certain time that you must be out of the office by, always say goodbye to your boss before you leave. And say goodbye to your coworkers as well — it’s just common courtesy.

So go forth to your next day of work feeling a little more aware of some common mistakes, but also confident that you won’t make them! Btw, if you’re still looking for a position, be sure to read my post on how to get an internship. And if you like to hit the office in style (and comfort) like I do, check out my post on shoes to wear for your internship.

What other things should you never, ever do during an internship? 

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A College Girl’s Ultimate College Packing List + Free Printable!

college girl's ultimate college packing list

It’s that time of the year again: high school graduates have walked their tassels across the stage, signed yearbooks, and basically peaced out of their high school lockers. And now it’s time to plan for college. I could tell you all about how awesome college is, and how the end of your high school chapter is actually the beginning of your college one, but you’ve probably heard that at least a hundred times from at least a hundred people, so let’s get to the good stuff.

If you’re going to dorm on campus this fall, you’ll definitely need to pack some really essential items with you, and no, your entire wardrobe actually isn’t an essential! You’re probably already getting those college packing lists from a bunch of stores and from college, but take it from a college student who thought those lists were basically biblical at one point: you actually don’t need everything on those lists! 

The summer before I started college, I practically memorized those packing lists, and tried to buy the things they suggested. Guess what: some of those items were totally unnecessary. So I created a packing checklist of my own and have been using it since then. I found that when I followed my packing list I didn’t have the issue of overpacking like I did my freshman year, and it helped me keep my room in college tidier than it was my freshman year. Plus, I was always able to find a place for everything I had, and I actually used everything I packed. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but my list was pretty on point. In fact, it was so on point that I’ve decided to share my list with my wonderful fellow college goers — a.k.a., you! So here’s my ultimate packing checklist.

the ultimate college packing list

Click here to download a printable PDF. 

Aren’t you excited just thinking about gathering everything you need for college? Checklists are super organized ways of making sure you get everything that you need, and I had so much fun making this! I’d definitely love to do more free printables for you all (‘cuz who doesn’t love cute printables??) Be sure to check out my post on things that aren’t allowed in college and what you can bring instead!

What’s on your packing checklist? 

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