My Experience At The Red Carpet Premiere Of Good Fortune: The John Paul DeJoria Story

red carpet premiere of good fortune

My Thursday nights are usually full of the clicking of keys on my laptop and the sound of me dying of laughter from watching one of my favorite TV shows, “Impractical Jokers.” But this past Thursday night was full of laughs, inspiration, painful heels, and a little bit of Patrón tequila *wink wink* I was lucky enough to have been invited to the Red Carpet World Premiere of “Good Fortune,” a documentary on the true rags to riches story of John Paul DeJoria. John Paul DeJoria is the co-founder of the salon-famous Paul Mitchell Systems (you’ll probably recognize their iconic black and white shampoo and conditioner bottles on the shelves of hair salons). He also went on to become the founder and CEO of Patrón tequila a.k.a. the $200 bottles on the top shelf. I don’t know about you, but I love a good “started from the bottom” story because it truly depicts the very lesson our parents, teachers, and bosses have drilled into our minds over and over again: hard work pays off. But John Paul not only worked hard. He also tackled challenges and went the extra mile with his heart on his sleeve. He, both literally and figuratively, proved that when you’re at the bottom, the only way you can go is up.

red carpet premiere of good fortune

I was lucky enough to be my best friend’s Carrie Bradshaw for the night, as I was able to bring her as a plus one (yay!) When we walked into the AMC Lowe’s on Lincoln Square (where the screening was taking place) we were immediately immersed in a bustling crowd of photographers taking photos of attendees at the red carpet. It was so spectacular and so surreal (and very, very hot!) We didn’t get the chance to take photos on the red carpet ourselves (hopefully next time!) but we still got some great photos at the screening. Escalators led upstairs to a much cooler area, and we received complimentary popcorn, water, and candy (yum!)

red carpet premiere of good fortune

You can probably already tell that I loved the movie so much (Psst! You can get it on DVD starting in August!) and I also thought the Q&A portion was super insightful. I had no idea that John Paul was on “Shark Tank” (my parents’ favorite show) and people asked him some fantastic questions. Afterward, everyone cleared out ASAP because the next portion of the evening was about to begin…The reception and after party!!!

red carpet premiere of good fortune

The reception and after party were held at Lincoln Square Steak, about five minutes or less from the theatre, except my GPS wanted to take me the long way, so a five-minute walk ended up being a 10-minute walk…in very painful 4.5-inch heels. Luckily, I brought flip flops to change into, so my feet were saved. When we got there, I felt like such a V.I.P. because my name was on the list and we were invited in. I got to enjoy a delicious cupcake in honor of the movie, talk to some really great people who told me that they admire my work right here on this ol’ blog, and I even got to take photos with J.P. himself! Not to mention the fact that my best friend and I accidentally stole the seat of an entrepreneur from “Shark Tank.” Oops.

red carpet premiere of good fortune

The night was topped off with a wonderful, and might I add, aesthetic, little goodie bag with Marula Oil shampoo and conditioner from the John Paul Mitchell Systems!!! The whole evening was so surreal and so worth the painful shoes and sleep-deprived brain at work the next morning. Of course, I love telling you all about the lessons I learned from my experiences, and I love giving you tips in case you find yourself in the same position, so here are some things I learned/tips for attending red carpet premieres.

1. BE POLITE! 

The person standing next to you in line for tequila could be the editor of one of your favorite magazines, or an entrepreneur on one of your favorite TV shows! Always, always, always be polite and smile no matter how hot and sweaty you are, no matter how many people just bumped into you within the time frame of two minutes, and no matter how many times you skillfully dodged splashes of alcohol on your dress. A positive attitude goes a really long way!

2. ATTEND THE AFTER PARTY, NO MATTER HOW LATE IT IS. 

I was surprised to see that it was already almost 10p.m. by the time the screening and Q&A were over. I actually told my parents I’d be home by 10:30 or 11p.m. and that so clearly wasn’t happening. But staying out longer was so worth it because the after party was so great! Of course, let your parents know if you’ll be out later than you said you would. There’s always an experience waiting for you; it’s your job to welcome it. Plus, if I hadn’t attended the party, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to great people, meet John Paul DeJoria, or try the tequila everyone is in love with.

3. ARRIVE AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE TIME ON YOUR INVITATION. 

If your invitation says to arrive by 8p.m., plan to arrive by 7:30p.m. at the absolute latest. In fact, in the future, I would arrive at least 40 minutes early to an event like this because there are so many people that it gets crowded quickly. Plus, it’s easier to enjoy the entire experience when you aren’t rushing to get there. If you have to wait five minutes for doors to open or for the red carpet to be set up for photos, waiting won’t kill you.

4. BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES TO CHANGE INTO. 

This was my savior that night and I am forever grateful to the person who invented flip flops. At first, I just wanted to be extra sophisticated and bring just a wristlet, but then I knew I wouldn’t walk in heels the whole night, so I decided to use a bag that was just big enough to snugly fit my flip-flops, and it was really worth it. This is especially important if you’re wearing brand new shoes you haven’t broken in yet.

5. SOME THINGS ARE REALLY WORTH WAITING FOR.   

My friend and I waited on line to meet J.P. for nearly 40 minutes because, well, everyone wanted to meet him! And it’s obvious why: he’s genuinely a caring, positive individual and he literally radiates inspiration. Of course, there were also friends and businessmen and businesswomen who were apparently his lifelong friends so I guess they had meet & greet priority. But when we were finally able to talk to him, I was so stunned all I could do was say my name and smile really big. Nevertheless, it was awesome and I will probably brag about it for the next year or so. #sorrynotsorry

 

This was such an amazing experience, and certainly one that I never expected to have! Maybe as the editor in chief of a magazine, but certainly not as a 21-year-old college girl, and I am so grateful to have been able to attend! I really hope that I can go out to more awesome events like these in the near future, and I hope that even more people will become familiar with John Paul DeJoria’s story because his story of hard work is also our story.

Thanks for reading! 

Natural 3D Mink Lashes Review + Tips For Applying False Lashes

Private Extensions Lab Natural 3D Mink Lashes

Thank you Private Extensions Lab for sending me false lashes to try. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Macarons & Mascara possible! 

 

This summer is unlike any summer vacation I’ve ever had before, because for the past month, I’ve been attending beauty events, meeting beauty writers from different magazines, and interning at a really well-known fashion and beauty site. So, naturally, I want to make sure that I look professional and very well-put together and, well, like I belong at a beauty magazine! Not gonna lie, it can feel kind of intimidating being surrounded by so many people who have mastered the art of winged liner, ultra matte lips, and fleeky eyebrows. And while the dress code at my internship is pretty chill, I still try to look as nice as possible.

Typically, I do foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and my favorite liquid lipstick. But sometimes I want to add a little extra flair to my everyday look. While I do have naturally long, curled eyelashes, I love kicking things up a notch by applying mascara to make my lashes look extra long and volumized. And while I like to think that I’m a pro at getting eyelashes so long they rub against my glasses, I always fall in love with the way false lashes look.

I recently tried the Private Label Extensions Natural 3D Mink Lashes in the styles “Milan” and “Bangkok” to really amp up my look, and, well, let’s just say I can’t stop loving them.

Private Extensions Lab Natural 3D Mink Lashes

In the past, I’ve purchased lashes that ended up being the same length as my natural eyelashes or shorter (ugh!). Obviously, there’s no real point to wearing them in that case, but as you can see, “Milan” (top) and “Bangkok” (bottom) are both very full-looking, so I had very high expectations for these lashes. By the way, these lashes are SUPER SOFT to the touch. It felt like I was holding feathers in my hand, which I liked because I felt like these lashes wouldn’t weigh down my eyelid the way lashes I’ve tried in the past have.

Private Extensions Lab Natural 3D Mink Lashes

Private Extensions Lab Natural 3D Mink Lashes

I applied “Milan” one morning for my internship and was blown away by how long and pretty they were. I definitely understand why spending a little money on really good false eyelashes is a good investment, especially because these lashes can be reused many times. While trying these lashes, I did reuse them both and I noticed that the band remained strong and didn’t get gross or weak after I removed them, which is really good since a destroyed band will prevent you from using false lashes. A definite win there.

Private Extensions Lab Natural 3D Mink Lashes

I was extra excited for “Bangkok” because I wore these babies to the red carpet world premiere of the movie Good Fortune this week (I’ll have a post all about my experience up soon!) and I have four words to describe them: LARGE, AND IN CHARGE. I felt like such a movie star when I put them on! “Bangkok” is clearly the more dramatic one of the two and certainly fit the occasion. Unfortunately, my photos from the movie premiere are very dark and you can’t see them too well, so I reapplied “Bangkok” the following day and took much better photos. I was shocked (in a good way!) at how dramatic they were when they were on my eyes. If you’re looking for a show-stopping look then I think “Bangkok” is literally the ultimate false eyelash for truly head-turning makeup.

Private Extensions Lab Natural 3D Mink Lashes

I know a lot of people have trouble with applying false eyelashes (been there!) so I wanted to throw in some of my tips for applying them. Of course, what works for me may not work for everyone, but I still wanted to fill y’all in in case you were interested in trying them out for yourselves (you know ya girl wouldn’t leave you hanging!)

1. INVEST IN REALLY GOOD EYELASH GLUE. 

Honestly, I have used really crappy eyelash glue, and I have used really great eyelash glue. It makes a huge difference! I try to avoid the squeezy tube ones because I feel like I always squeeze as hard as I can and either nothing comes out or I get too much out. I used eyelash glue from Kiss when applying these lashes and it worked really great. But talking about eyelash glue brings me to my next point…

2. MOVE QUICKLY, BUT CAREFULLY. 

Because, well, it’s glue. It will dry before you get the chance to apply the lashes and then they’ll just fall right off. This definitely takes practice — you likely won’t perfectly apply false lashes on the first try (and if you do, you must share this sorcery with the world). Just stay calm and make sure there are no distractions around you when you apply them.

3. DON’T USE TWEEZERS. 

I know, SHOCKER! Contrary to what my other makeup loving friends and YouTube beauty gurus have taught me, I actually found that simply applying false lashes with my bare hands works best for me. I find that I work faster and surprisingly more precisely when I do this, so I’m just going to stick with it. Tweezers make me nervous anyway, so it’s okay. But if using tweezers works for you, then by all means, stick with it.

Pro tip: If you already have long eyelashes insert the false lashes at an angle. My natural lashes sometimes get in the way when I apply fake eyelashes, so I have found that slightly angling my wrist when I go in with the false lashes helps me get them as close to my lash line as possible without making mistakes.

4. WASH YOUR HANDS IMMEDIATELY IF YOU GET GLUE ON THEM.

Those sticky fingers will make it extremely difficult to apply lashes to the other eye! Do yourself a favor and wash off with soap and water if you happen to get glue on your hands before handling the lashes (trust me on this one!)

5. APPLY THE LASHES TO MIDDLE OF YOUR LIDS FIRST, THEN SMOOTH OUT THE EDGES.  

This tip from beauty gurus definitely works. It’s much easier than trying to go from the outer corner to the inner corner of your eye. Whether you choose to go in with tweezers or be brave and use just your hands, this tip is golden.

What’s your favorite way to add a little extra glamour to your look? 

Related: 10 College Beauty Essentials 

Dealing With Dry Skin This Summer + Tips For Moisturized Skin

Summer has never really been my favorite season (I'm more of a fall kind of girl). Some days are too hot to do anything fun outside, I always get the most uneven tans, and my shirt is literally plastered to my back after walking two blocks. Too many times I have found myself pacing in front of my closet wondering what to wear to work or to a hangout with friends only to pick up my signature pair of black leggings and a flannel top, because showing a little leg is a bit tough when you're worried about people judging your dry skin. Let's be real here, if you were also blessed with parched skin like me, you probably know the feeling of eyes boring holes into your dry patches. And you probably also know the feeling of layering on all the best ~ultra moisturizing~ lotions you can get your hands on only to be left with your arms feeling greasy and heavy, and extra gross after sweating all day. I know most people think that dry skin is a problem associated with the cold winter season but the truth is that you can experience dry skin at any time of the year, and you shouldn't ignore it. My mom used to tell me that if I don't moisturize my skin properly, excessive dryness can lead to cracking and breaks in the skin, which sounds really painful. Definitely be aware of this if you have really dry skin! But because dry skin won't resolve itself, a solution that I found is the Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer. According to the directions, you shower as per usual and apply the moisturizer while your skin is still wet, then you towel dry as you normally would. I know, the idea of applying lotion to wet skin sounds really strange, but hear me out (and get ready to take notes on this super quick science lesson!) Your skin is like a sponge after you shower, so the skin cells expand to allow moisture to better penetrate into just-showered skin. They certainly didn't teach me that in my freshman year health science classes. And what's more is that Curél® Hydra Therapy is formulated with an Advanced Ceramide Complex. This either sounds really scary or really fancy, but I promise there's nothing scary about it! It's super good for your skin because ceramides are naturally present in the skin and when they're lost, your skin gets dry. So, this lotion works to replenish those moisture-rich building blocks. I showered as per usual, but instead of towel drying immediately, I reached for the Curél® Hydra Therapy. First off, holy WOW, it glided right on! I couldn't help but be in awe because I had never tried a moisturizer that has to be applied to wet skin. Most lotions give you a sticky feeling right off the bat, but this one made my skin instantly smooth and soft after just one use. Second, toweling your skin afterwards isn't as weird-feeling as you might think. And because the Curél® Hydra Therapy isn't greasy, putting my clothes on afterward was really easy (another pet peeve of mine when using other lotions is the fact that greasy, sticky skin makes putting your clothes on WAY harder than it needs to be!) I got instant dryness relief in no time. I even applied this to my extra dry areas like the backs of my elbows, and they felt MUCH softer after the first use. My skin was nice and hydrated and healthy-looking all day long, and I think I found a new summer favorite. Keeping it right next to my bathtub is also an excellent reminder to use it everyday, so I'll be sure to keep it in my dorm bathroom when I return to college in the fall. And because I want to make sure you really treat your skin right this summer, here are some of my favorite skin moisturizing tips. 1. Avoid scrubbing dry patches of skin. I know you think that exfoliating and scrubbing helps lift the dry, dead skin cells to promote healthier ones, but instead you'll be left with red, irritated skin, and your healing time will be lengthened. It's fine to use a very light exfoliator once a month or so, but anything harsh will damage your skin. 2. Pay extra attention to your elbows and knees. These areas are often neglected (guilty as charged) and get super parched, especially during the summer time. This can lead to really rough, ashy elbows. 3. Drink lots of water. As with most things dealing with the skin, you often have to start healing from within to really put yourself in a healthier position. Drinking water helps your body get rid of excess toxins. And while drinking eight glasses a day for three days straight won't deliver you a speedy radiant glow, it sets crucial building blocks for an overall healthier lifestyle. 4.  Moisturize your lips.  I wanted to throw this one in there because people forget about taking care of their lips so often, and it can lead to painful consequences. Moisturize your lips daily with your favorite lip balm. And if you don't have a favorite, find one. How do you combat dry skin in the summer? If you want to try the ~magic~ of Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer for yourself, pick up a bottle at your local Walmart in the lotions isle.  Related: 12 Skin Goals That Will Change Your Life

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EndYourDrySkin #WetSkinIsBestSkin #CollectiveBias

Summer has never really been my favorite season (I'm more of a fall kind of girl). Some days are too hot to do anything fun outside, I always get the most uneven tans, and my shirt is literally plastered to my back after walking two blocks. Too many times I have found myself pacing in front of my closet wondering what to wear to work or to a hangout with friends only to pick up my signature pair of black leggings and a flannel top, because showing a little leg is a bit tough when you're worried about people judging your dry skin. Let's be real here, if you were also blessed with parched skin like me, you probably know the feeling of eyes boring holes into your dry patches. And you probably also know the feeling of layering on all the best ~ultra moisturizing~ lotions you can get your hands on only to be left with your arms feeling greasy and heavy, and extra gross after sweating all day. I know most people think that dry skin is a problem associated with the cold winter season but the truth is that you can experience dry skin at any time of the year, and you shouldn't ignore it. My mom used to tell me that if I don't moisturize my skin properly, excessive dryness can lead to cracking and breaks in the skin, which sounds really painful. Definitely be aware of this if you have really dry skin! But because dry skin won't resolve itself, a solution that I found is the Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer. According to the directions, you shower as per usual and apply the moisturizer while your skin is still wet, then you towel dry as you normally would. I know, the idea of applying lotion to wet skin sounds really strange, but hear me out (and get ready to take notes on this super quick science lesson!) Your skin is like a sponge after you shower, so the skin cells expand to allow moisture to better penetrate into just-showered skin. They certainly didn't teach me that in my freshman year health science classes. And what's more is that Curél® Hydra Therapy is formulated with an Advanced Ceramide Complex. This either sounds really scary or really fancy, but I promise there's nothing scary about it! It's super good for your skin because ceramides are naturally present in the skin and when they're lost, your skin gets dry. So, this lotion works to replenish those moisture-rich building blocks. I showered as per usual, but instead of towel drying immediately, I reached for the Curél® Hydra Therapy. First off, holy WOW, it glided right on! I couldn't help but be in awe because I had never tried a moisturizer that has to be applied to wet skin. Most lotions give you a sticky feeling right off the bat, but this one made my skin instantly smooth and soft after just one use. Second, toweling your skin afterwards isn't as weird-feeling as you might think. And because the Curél® Hydra Therapy isn't greasy, putting my clothes on afterward was really easy (another pet peeve of mine when using other lotions is the fact that greasy, sticky skin makes putting your clothes on WAY harder than it needs to be!) I got instant dryness relief in no time. I even applied this to my extra dry areas like the backs of my elbows, and they felt MUCH softer after the first use. My skin was nice and hydrated and healthy-looking all day long, and I think I found a new summer favorite. Keeping it right next to my bathtub is also an excellent reminder to use it everyday, so I'll be sure to keep it in my dorm bathroom when I return to college in the fall. And because I want to make sure you really treat your skin right this summer, here are some of my favorite skin moisturizing tips. 1. Avoid scrubbing dry patches of skin. I know you think that exfoliating and scrubbing helps lift the dry, dead skin cells to promote healthier ones, but instead you'll be left with red, irritated skin, and your healing time will be lengthened. It's fine to use a very light exfoliator once a month or so, but anything harsh will damage your skin. 2. Pay extra attention to your elbows and knees. These areas are often neglected (guilty as charged) and get super parched, especially during the summer time. This can lead to really rough, ashy elbows. 3. Drink lots of water. As with most things dealing with the skin, you often have to start healing from within to really put yourself in a healthier position. Drinking water helps your body get rid of excess toxins. And while drinking eight glasses a day for three days straight won't deliver you a speedy radiant glow, it sets crucial building blocks for an overall healthier lifestyle. 4.  Moisturize your lips.  I wanted to throw this one in there because people forget about taking care of their lips so often, and it can lead to painful consequences. Moisturize your lips daily with your favorite lip balm. And if you don't have a favorite, find one. How do you combat dry skin in the summer? If you want to try the ~magic~ of Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer for yourself, pick up a bottle at your local Walmart in the lotions isle.  Related: 12 Skin Goals That Will Change Your Life

Summer has never really been my favorite season (I’m more of a fall kind of girl). Some days are too hot to do anything fun outside, I always get the most uneven tans, and my shirt is literally plastered to my back after walking two blocks. Too many times I have found myself pacing in front of my closet wondering what to wear to work or to a hangout with friends only to pick up my signature pair of black leggings and a flannel top, because showing a little leg is a bit tough when you’re worried about people judging your dry skin. Let’s be real here, if you were also blessed with parched skin like me, you probably know the feeling of eyes boring holes into your dry patches. And you probably also know the feeling of layering on all the best ~ultra moisturizing~ lotions you can get your hands on only to be left with your arms feeling greasy and heavy, and extra gross after sweating all day.

I know most people think that dry skin is a problem associated with the cold winter season but the truth is that you can experience dry skin at any time of the year, and you shouldn’t ignore it. My mom used to tell me that if I don’t moisturize my skin properly, excessive dryness can lead to cracking and breaks in the skin, which sounds really painful. Definitely be aware of this if you have really dry skin!

But because dry skin won’t resolve itself, a solution that I found is the Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer. According to the directions, you shower as per usual and apply the moisturizer while your skin is still wet, then you towel dry as you normally would. I know, the idea of applying lotion to wet skin sounds really strange, but hear me out (and get ready to take notes on this super quick science lesson!) Your skin is like a sponge after you shower, so the skin cells expand to allow moisture to better penetrate into just-showered skin. They certainly didn’t teach me that in my freshman year health science classes. And what’s more is that Curél® Hydra Therapy is formulated with an Advanced Ceramide Complex. This either sounds really scary or really fancy, but I promise there’s nothing scary about it! It’s super good for your skin because ceramides are naturally present in the skin and when they’re lost, your skin gets dry. So, this lotion works to replenish those moisture-rich building blocks.

Tips For Dealing With Dry Skin This Summer

Tips For Dealing With Dry Skin This Summer

I showered as per usual, but instead of towel drying immediately, I reached for the Curél® Hydra Therapy. First off, holy WOW, it glided right on! I couldn’t help but be in awe because I had never tried a moisturizer that has to be applied to wet skin. Most lotions give you a sticky feeling right off the bat, but this one made my skin instantly smooth and soft after just one use. Second, toweling your skin afterwards isn’t as weird-feeling as you might think. And because the Curél® Hydra Therapy isn’t greasy, putting my clothes on afterward was really easy (another pet peeve of mine when using other lotions is the fact that greasy, sticky skin makes putting your clothes on WAY harder than it needs to be!) I got instant dryness relief in no time.

Tips For Dealing With Dry Skin This Summer

I even applied this to my extra dry areas like the backs of my elbows, and they felt MUCH softer after the first use. My skin was nice and hydrated and healthy-looking all day long, and I think I found a new summer favorite. Keeping it right next to my bathtub is also an excellent reminder to use it everyday, so I’ll be sure to keep it in my dorm bathroom when I return to college in the fall. And because I want to make sure you really treat your skin right this summer, here are some of my favorite skin moisturizing tips.

1.  AVOID SCRUBBING DRY PATCHES OF SKIN.

I know you think that exfoliating and scrubbing helps lift the dry, dead skin cells to promote healthier ones, but instead you’ll be left with red, irritated skin, and your healing time will be lengthened. It’s fine to use a very light exfoliator once a month or so, but anything harsh will damage your skin.

2. PAY EXTRA ATTENTION TO YOUR ELBOWS AND KNEES. 

These areas are often neglected (guilty as charged) and get super parched, especially during the summer time. This can lead to really rough, ashy elbows.

3. DRINK LOTS OF WATER.

As with most things dealing with the skin, you often have to start healing from within to really put yourself in a healthier position. Drinking water helps your body get rid of excess toxins. And while drinking eight glasses a day for three days straight won’t deliver you a speedy radiant glow, it sets crucial building blocks for an overall healthier lifestyle.

4. MOISTURIZE YOUR LIPS.

I wanted to throw this one in there because people forget about taking care of their lips so often, and it can lead to painful consequences. Moisturize your lips daily with your favorite lip balm. And if you don’t have a favorite, find one.

How do you combat dry skin in the summer?

If you want to try the ~magic~ of Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer for yourself, pick up a bottle at your local Walmart in the lotions isle. 

Tips For Dealing With Dry Skin This Summer

Related: 12 Skin Goals That Will Change Your Life

 

7 Common Roommate Problems + How To Solve Them

7 common roommate problems and solutions

You’ve probably seen movies or tv shows where there’s always that crazy roommate who throws loud parties, gets intimate with their, um, guest while you’re trying to study, and is basically just a rude, inconsiderate person. News flash: this is actually sometimes really accurate. Yep, you read that right. In the real-life college world, these kinds of roommates do exist, and these scenarios are known for stirring up trouble. Whether or not your issues with your roommate are that wild, they can still be very annoying and need resolutions as soon as possible. After all, no one comes to college to be a crappy roommate.

Let me tell you, I am no stranger to roommate problems. I have had so many ups and downs that I could probably write a book about them. And that doesn’t even include the terrible problems and experiences my friends went through. That could probably be a sequel. Roommate problems are to be avoided at all costs because they can add extra, unnecessary stress to your already hectic life. Plus, it’s super awks if the two of you are fighting and you have to sit in silence together and pretend the other doesn’t exist. Here are some issues that you hopefully won’t run into, but if you do I also included handy solutions!

By the way, be sure to check out my post on 5 Things To Do Before You Meet Your Roommate for more tips!

1. They always have guests over.

Bonus points if they’re always being obnoxiously loud. It’s fine to invite some friends to hangout, but if you find that you can no longer walk into your room without seeing Tom, Dick, and Harry taking over the already small space, it’s time to have a chat with your roomie. Passive aggressively storming out of the room and hoping someone will notice is not the answer.

Solution: Be straight up about the fact that your roommate’s visitors are inconveniencing you. Your roommate may not realize that you’re not okay with this, so you have to tell her (or him in case any guys are reading this). Say something like, “hey, would you mind not having so many people in next time? I have an exam I really need to study for and I’d love to do it here.”

2. They invade your space and touch your belongings without asking.

I know some roommate contracts have you say whether or not you’re okay with your roommate using certain items of yours, and if you are not okay with any of that, you should use the contract to discuss this with your roommate on day 1. It’s never okay for anyone to take your personal items without asking. And it can be extra frustrating if you personally aren’t the type of person to do that to someone else. This has always been a pet peeve of mine, and it honestly drives me crazy.

Solution: Be polite but stern. There’s no way of sugarcoating this so don’t even try to. Say something like, “I’d be happy to share my [item], but please don’t take it without asking me.” Keep in mind that some people are really used to sharing everything with their friends or siblings, so to them, borrowing your hair dryer may not be that big of a deal. Make sure they know that it bothers you so they can stop.

3. They don’t take out the trash.

While there is cleaning staff in the dorm rooms, they are not responsible for taking out the garbage in your room. I know that after late night study sessions and half-eaten breakfasts the garbage can really pile up. Trash makes the room smell and it attracts bugs and things you don’t want sleeping under the covers with you at night (did I gross you out?). One year, I had a suite mate who would pretty much be the only person filling up the garbage bin in the living room, yet she would want us to take turns throwing the trash out. I found it annoying to have to be the one tossing out gross leftovers and huge boxes when I wasn’t the one who put them there, so I simply started using my own trash bin. I told her that I no longer use the one in the living room, so it would be her responsibility to dump it. But if your roommate isn’t good about taking out the trash at all, that’s a worse problem…

Solution: Create a trash schedule with your roommate if you share one garbage bin. This way, they can’t try to be slick by worming their way out of taking out the trash (you won’t believe how many arguments arise from who’s turn it is to drag the bin down the hall to the nearest trash room). And if you each have your own garbage bin but your roommate just doesn’t take out their garbage or forgets, politely suggest they set a reminder on their phone to take the trash out on the same day every week.

4. They’re always making the room too cold or too hot.

Boy, do I have stories about this…The room temperature is vital for focusing on your studying. If it’s too hot or too cold you may not be able to concentrate and be productive. And it’s not fair to you to always have to leave the room every time your roommate decides to leave the window wide open in December.

Solution: If your roommate controls the window and always keeps it closed, bring a fan for your side of the room if you think it’s too hot. It’s okay to politely ask if your roommate would open the window from time to time, but don’t take it upon yourself to invade their side of the room to open the window. And if your roommate always keeps the room cold, unfortunately, space heaters aren’t allowed in dorm rooms, so this situation requires a little more communication. Try to reach a compromise; suggest that the window is closed at night when it’s colder than in the day.

5. They turn the lights on when you’re trying to sleep.

If you’re a heavy sleeper, this may not bother you. But if you aren’t and you find yourself awake many times because of it, you may find yourself feeling sleep deprived, and you’ll probably lowkey hate your roommate for it.

Solution: Speak up. Your roommate may be trying to study and they won’t know that it’s bothering you if you don’t say something. Ask your roommate to use a desk lamp so you can turn the room light off. Don’t think that you can just sit on your hands and power through a semester of this, because if you don’t say anything, sorry but you can’t really complain here.

6. They smoke inside the room.

I’m pretty certain that smoking inside of residence halls is not permitted on any college campus, and if caught, the consequences can be serious, but what do ya know — people do it anyway. It happens more often than you might think, and it can be really difficult to be in the room if your roommate smokes inside it, especially if you have asthma.

Solution: You can’t tell your roommate to “just quit smoking” — some people smoke because it relaxes them when they’re stressed. Instead, make your room a smoking-free zone. Tell your roommate that he or she can smoke outside in the open air, but not indoors in your tiny room. Be nice but be stern and straightforward.

7. A room for two becomes a room for three (with only two beds).

You’ve probably heard horror stories of roommate bringing in friends with benefits, boyfriends, or girlfriends and having them practically live in the room too. If you know your roommate’s boyfriend or girlfriend well, it’s a little less awkward but it can still get annoying if it happens too often. Let’s face it — sometimes you want the room to yourself and they’re always in there. Plus, a room meant for two just cannot effectively accommodate three.

Solution: Say something like, “Would you mind going to the living room with your boyfriend/girlfriend after such-and-such o’clock? I have an exam that I need to start studying for.” This way, you’re still letting them hang out and have their fun, but you get the room to yourself when you really need it. Keep in mind that maybe your roommate always has someone sleeping over because that person lives really far from campus and needs to be in class early. If anything, have a conversation about it with your roommate so you see where the other person is coming from.

What’s the best/worst/craziest roommate experience you’ve ever had? Let me know in the comments! 

5 Things You Can (And Should) Rent For College

5 Things You Can (And Should) Rent For College

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. 

 

When I began my freshman year of college, I think I spent more money than I really needed to. I didn’t know too much about what to expect when I walked onto campus and into my dorm room, and I was always getting mixed information about what I really needed for college life. Let’s not try to sugarcoat it — college is already expensive enough and students can’t go spending money left and right! Obviously, there are some items that truly are great investments for college that you should splurge on (a laptop, a really sturdy backpack, shower shoes, etc.) but there are also some items that will definitely come in handy that you don’t need to splurge on and have stare at you in the face for the rest of your life. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, but still.

Renting items is ideal if you don’t think you’ll need something after you graduate or for more than a semester or two. You’d be surprised by how tiny your room back home really is when you come back with a ton of things you bought for college and have nowhere to put them. I know some people prefer to just purchase the item and hold onto it forever or sell it back, but renting saves so much money, and it’s actually easier to do than you might think. So without further ado, here are some things that you should definitely try to rent for college.

1. Textbooks.

During my freshman year, I was studying health science and PURCHASED over $500 worth of textbooks. I’m now a JOURNALISM major and have no need for all those chemistry and biology textbooks taking up space under my desk at home. I could’ve saved hundreds of dollars if I had rented as many necessary books as possible, so that’s why I’m telling you to rent those back-breakers if you can. You could end up changing your major like I did and you won’t even need those books anymore. Also, there are some textbooks that are complete nonsense that you probably won’t ever need to refer back to for the rest of your life. In my three years of textbook experience, there has been ONE textbook that I actually could see myself using for the rest of my life.

If you have a sibling attending college who is studying the same thing as you, then buying your textbooks is a good option because you can just hand them down to your brother or sister. Be sure to check out my guide to buying textbooks for all of the sneaky textbook-buying tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years!

2. A car.

It’s no 10-pound chemistry textbook, so the decision to rent a car for college should be really carefully thought out. For the most part, it will depend on your personal circumstances. Will you travel back home often? Does going back home mean having to book a plane ticket? Do you have an off-campus job that’s kind of far away? A car definitely would have helped me out this past semester, because I had to travel to a lot of places to report on stories for my journalism class, but I simply can’t afford insurance right now so I just had to deal with it. Plus, if I’m being honest here, I don’t think I’d be fond of waking up early to shovel my car out of the snow in January. An alternative, however, would have been to rent a car (which I stupidly forgot that I could do until the semester was basically over). My campus offers a car rental service that gives students free membership for a year. Students don’t have to worry about gas money, and they just pay for the number of hours they plan to reserve the car for.

If you don’t want to have to bother your friends for rides and just need to be able to get around from time to time, consider renting a car for at least one year.

3. Any extra furniture.

We all probably lowkey lust after a Pinterest-esque room but that would probably burn holes in every pair of pants we own. Still, having a cozy place is nice for when you want to relax after a long day, or have a place for you and your friends to chill indoors when the weather is bad. Many off-campus apartments may not even come furnished, which can make things even more expensive. CORT Furniture Rental  is a convenient service that helps students get what they want for their rooms and takes it off their hands when they no longer need it. This is perfect if you’re attending a college really far from home and need a few things without the hassle of flying them over and then back home again. I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t have room in my parents’ house for furniture I only need during the semester. That’s why I have this storage ottoman that I bought freshman year serving as a little coffee table in the living room because I don’t have space for it in my bedroom!

5 Things You Can (And Should) Rent For College

Being able to rent furniture also comes in handy if you’ll be living in your first apartment (yay!) and don’t really have any furniture for it. CORT can help you turn a bland apartment into something that’s completely you by delivering rented sets. Plus, CORT is accessible to a large number of universities across the country, so you don’t have to worry about your school being left out! You can have a comfortable room with rented furniture from the day it arrives.

5 Things You Can (And Should) Rent For College

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Dorm Decor + Free Wall Art Printables!

4. A storage unit.

If you’re attending a college that’s hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your home, a storage unit can really come in handy for the next four years. Moving bulky items and boxes back and forth is expensive and tedious. If you don’t have the means to keep doing so, you’re better off finding some storage space near your campus. I have had friends who come from states across the country and ended up renting a unit because going back and forth would have been way too much trouble. Plus, some storage companies even offer student discounts, so do your research to find one that fits your needs. Obviously, you don’t need a storage unit if you live literally 30 minutes or even two hours away from campus, but if you’re going to college in another state or country, definitely keep this in mind.

5 Things You Can (And SHould) Rent For College

5. A mini fridge.

I know some people may say that you actually don’t need a mini fridge for college because you have meal points for campus dining on your ID card, but I say it depends on the person. Personally, I prefer eating my breakfast in my room, and that usually consists of yogurt or a smoothie, or cereal, which I definitely need to keep refrigerated. Buying my fridge was kind of stressful for me because I didn’t know how big of a fridge I needed, and sometimes they’d go on sale for a few days only to be expensive again. And thank goodness my dad drives an SUV with ample trunk space to carry ALL my move-in essentials (including the fridge) in one trip, because moving that thing from one place to another is HARD.

Now that I’m home for the summer, the fridge is chilling in my basement, unplugged until August. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it after college — sell it, perhaps, to someone willing to buy it with all the stickers I managed to paste on there over the years? If you can rent a mini fridge that’s compact, clean, and not super gross, definitely consider it. You won’t have to worry about what will happen to it after you graduate, and you won’t have to go through the hassle of driving it back and forth every year.

What do you recommend renting for college? 

 

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21 Things To Avoid Doing Your Freshman Year

For many people, freshman year of college is pretty much the year of the most regrets, and it’s easy to see why. You’re on a new campus surrounded by new people; there’s so much pressure to be as well-rounded as possible and make good on the “best four years of your life”; and you realize that cranky high school teachers don’t compare to college professors who clearly think that their class is the only class you take.

There are a ton of ups and downs (that definitely are NOT exclusive to freshman year, too) but college is what you make of it, and you have to be willing to try, and yada, yada, yada. Do yourself a favor and check out these 21 things to avoid doing at all costs so you can bypass some major college mistakes.

1. Holing up in your room all day.

I’m definitely guilty of having done this from time to time. Trust me, even if you’ve just created the coziest dorm room in the world, locking yourself in there isn’t always as fun as wandering around campus and seeing who you can meet. The social scene in college can be a little stressful if you’re shy about putting yourself out there, and I was so nervous about it that I refused to go to events or extracurriculars alone, which often led to me not going at all if none of my friends wanted to attend. Get out of your comfort zone and give it a shot!

2. Only sticking to one group of friends.

Honestly, a lot of times your first semester friend group won’t even make it with you to Spring Break. Don’t be surprised if the friends you meet during the first month aren’t still your friends by next semester. Sometimes there’s just a natural drift. That’s why you shouldn’t only latch onto one group. Go to events and mingle to meet new people. Talk to the cool people in class.

Related: 10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College

3. Late night snacking on junk food.

I know the freedom of not having your parents around to yell at you when you dive into the fridge at 12a.m. can be so empowering, but don’t go crazy with the unhealthy treats in your campus dining hall — and trust me, there are A LOT of them! Too much junk food can lead to unhealthy habits and wasted meal points, which are super valuable and should be treated like gold in college.

4. Not getting to know your RA.

RA’s are the ultimate peer resource because while they have some authority in your residence hall and on campus, they’re students just like you. Stop by their rooms to chat for a few minutes a couple of times during the week. Add them on Facebook and say hi. You never know what opportunities they can help you out with.

5. Not getting to know the people in your hall.

It is entirely possible to get to know everyone who lives in your hall, you just have to put in a little effort. You never know what new friendships you can form, plus getting along with the people in your building can make your semester a whole lot more enjoyable. Go to building meetings and say hi to the people there. Socialize during RA events in the building. Even knock on your neighbor’s door just to say hey.

6. Starting a dorm room fire.

Unfortunately, some people bring items that are prohibited on campus, and accidentally start fires. There are judicial consequences for this, not to mention the fact that everyone in your building will hate you for reducing their belongings to ashes. Also, whatever you do, DO NOT push the popcorn button on the microwave when making popcorn! You WILL set off the fire alarm.

7. Partying a little too much.

Social party life is a huge part of almost any college you attend — even if your college isn’t on every list of major party schools. It’s nice to get dressed up and go out and have a good time, but you don’t have to go out every week. Plus, partying is expensive, so there’s that.

8. Skipping class because it’s “boring.”

I get that not everyone can appreciate the same topics being taught as one another because of different interests, but at least try to make the effort to attend. You’re hurting yourself by attending class a total of two times for the semester because come finals week, you won’t have any idea what to study for. But if you want to learn the right way to cut class, check out my Ultimate Guide To Skipping Class Like A Pro.

9. Sticking to a major you don’t love.

It hurts my heart when someone tells me they don’t love their major but don’t want to go through having to change it. I was in that very same boat from freshman year to sophomore year. I changed my major around six times until I finally settled on Journalism and Digital Arts. Get out of a major you despise early so you don’t feel like you’re behind. And don’t worry about what other people will think of you for changing it — you’re the one getting the degree and it should be something you love.

21 Things To Avoid Doing Your Freshman Year

Related: What To Do If You Want To Change Your Major

10. Losing your student ID or room key.

Your student ID is one of the most valuable possessions a student can have. On my campus, it’s how we get into our residence halls, pay for meals, get into free events, and even get discounts on purchases. As for your room key, losing it could mean having to pay hundreds of dollars to have it replaced. Be extra careful with them! Get a lanyard for your key and get a wallet case for your phone to store your ID (just don’t forget your phone!)

11. Plagiarism.

This is obvious for SO many reasons. If you got away with copying and pasting from Wikipedia when you were in high school, you certainly won’t get away with it in college. Professors have assignments submitted online so they can use software to search for instances of plagiarism. If you do cheat, you will be caught and the consequences will be severe.

12. Keeping fake friends.

You deserve friends who are as true and genuine as you are. Fake friends will only bring drama and agitation, and honestly you will NOT have time to babysit hurt feelings and gossip. Cut them off and move on.

13. Conflicts with your roommate.

It’s not a good idea to fight with the person who could potentially pour hair removal cream in your shampoo while you sleep. Getting along with your roommate will help your semester run so much more smoothly. Living with a stranger can be stressful, and getting along is sometimes easier said than done, but be welcoming and courteous, and also check out my post on things to do before you meet your new roommate to help you!

14. Not getting help if you need it.

Leave your ego in high school; there’s nothing wrong with not understanding the class material. And in college, there are so many resources to help you succeed no matter what your situation is. Letting your stubbornness take over can earn you a one-way ticket to failing the class.

15. Not taking a class you’re interested in.

If you have time in your schedule, take a class just for fun! Ever been curious about philosophy? Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Greek. Is there a wine tasting class you’re dying to take (I wish!) Make it your mission to not graduate without having taken the one class you’ve always wanted to take.

16. Not considering study abroad or exchange programs.

Before junior year, I didn’t think studying abroad was an option for me. I had never traveled anywhere and didn’t really have a desire to. But then I got curious about seeing other parts of the world, and decided that this would be the year I did. My only regret is not studying abroad sooner! It’s honestly life-changing and you make so many memories and learn so many new things that actually stick with you because it’s like a hands-on experience times a hundred. Check out my posts on things to consider before you go abroad, and my post on how to be money smart while traveling.

21 Things To Avoid Doing Your Freshman Year

 

21 Things To Avoid Doing Your Freshman Year

17. Buying items not allowed in your dorm room.

Not only can you potentially start a fire in your room if the item is a fire hazard, but it’s simply just a waste of money to buy things you can’t even keep with you. There are also some items that are just plain unnecessary (like those wretched bed risers!!!) Do yourself a favor and check in with your campus housing office before you buy something you may not be allowed to have.

18. Overpacking for college.

Try to limit yourself to necessities when you move in because first, it makes things easier, and, second, over the course of the semester you’ll accumulate even more stuff in your room and you don’t want to drown in too much clothing and too many pairs of shoes.

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

19. Not checking in with your career center.

It’s actually never too late to start thinking about ways to get into the field you want to work in after graduation. Career centers can help you with pretty much all of your professional needs — resumes, cover letters, business cards, interview skills, what to wear, where to apply, how to accept or reject an offer — you name it. Pop in at some point your freshman year to at least get acquainted with the resources so you know what’s there when you need it.

20. Going home too often.

Missing your family is real, but you also don’t allow yourself to experience other aspects of campus life when you go home literally every weekend. Everyone is awkward/shy/energetic/excited-to-try-new-things freshman year, so you’re not the only one feeling antsy. Compromise and go home every other weekend in the beginning and see if that suits you.

21. Not getting involved on campus.

There are too many things going on in college for you to not be interested in something. Join a club or Greek organization; get an on-campus job; run for a residence hall council position; join an intramural sports team. It’s a great way to build your resume as a freshman, and you’ll make new friends. Also, don’t be afraid to let yourself try new things. This is probably one of the biggest college mistakes ever. You don’t have to try something that could put your life in danger, but every time you find yourself asking why, always ask why not.

Do you have any cool/crazy/funny stories from freshman year? Share them below! 

The Ultimate Guide To Skipping Class Like A Pro

the ultimate guide to skipping class like a pro

When I was in high school, I would never dream of skipping class. In fact, if there was a chance I’d have to miss a day of school for any reason, I’d get upset and cry because God forbid I didn’t get my perfect attendance award at the end of the year. I’m not super proud of the fact that I’ve skipped some college classes before, but I don’t regret the instances when I did. In college, you’ll likely find yourself faced with the decision of whether or not to skip a class, and sometimes that decision is really tough, especially if you’re a nerd like me and the mere thought of missing a day’s worth of lecture notes gives you heart palpitations.

But here are two things no one tells you about skipping class in college: First, it’s extremely easy to skip class. Your professors don’t patrol the hallways like your high school teachers do, and your parents aren’t making sure you leave your dorm room. You’d have to just be really unlucky to skip your 8a.m. bio lecture and then run into your professor on campus later in the day. Second, skipping class is a skill. Throwing your hands up and saying “I don’t feel like going to class today so I’m not gonna go” is too easy. So to help you out, I’ve basically compiled all my class-skipping advice and things you should consider right here in this one blog post.

Skip class if…

1. You’re really sick. 

Honestly, if you’re coughing up a lung and running a fever, don’t hold out hope that a dash of chicken soup will help you power through a day of long lectures and pop quizzes. Do yourself a favor and just stay home or stay in your dorm room so you can recover quicker. Check out my post on how to avoid getting sick in college for some tips because catching a cold is NOT fun.

2. You feel mentally drained or exhausted.

We’ll all likely feel this way at some point, and it’s important to note that if you feel this way it’s okay to miss class to recuperate. This is especially important if you’ve been running around all day. Use the hour that you’re skipping class to take a nap or do something for you to unwind.

3. You have an important interview or meeting during class time that couldn’t be rescheduled. 

Do you want a summer internship or brownie points from the professor? If I had to choose one, I’d take the internship without hesitation. But, you can actually have both in this situation. If you have to skip class for an interview for a position, let your professor know ahead of time if it’s a really small class and your absence will be noticeable.

4. You haven’t used any free skips yet. 

Some professors will allow you to skip up to three classes without your grade being penalized. I’m not saying you should become skip-happy and use all your free skips for no good reason. But if you have a few weeks of class left and you feel like you’re going to need to skip class at some point, you have these freebies as a cushion.

5. You will definitely drop the class within the next week. 

Only skip if you are 110% certain that you will never walk into the classroom again after a week. No need to waste time on it anymore. I actually did this for one class this past semester. I was actually on the waiting list for the class, but I still attended the first week because not going to the class even though you’re waitlisted is actually a bad idea. After that first week, I decided that it was just too much for me and I was already falling behind, so I decided that I can and will drop the class and transfer into a completely different one. I didn’t attend the next class and I dropped it the following day and moved on with my life.

the ultimate guide to skipping class like a pro

Don’t skip class if…

1. The weather is bad. 

Boo-hoo, it’s raining outside and you hate walking in the rain. You poor thing. Throw on your rainboots and grab an umbrella. If the weather in your area is bad enough, your class would be cancelled. If you’re a commuter and you don’t think you can make it to class safely from home, that’s a different story.

2. The weather is really nice outside. 

I know a lot of people love cutting class to soak up the sun, but fight every urge to do this. You’ll have your chance to be in the sunshine eventually. Just try to get through the next hour and a half of class without thinking about sunbathing in the grass.

3. You have an exam or presentation you’re unprepared for. 

A lot of colleges don’t allow you to make up exams, so getting a 50% is better than getting a zero. If you’re unprepared for your presentation, email your professor in advanced to let them know so they can plan material for the day or ask another student to present, and don’t just not show up. It’s way worse if you inconvenience your professor in this situation.

4. You hate waking up early. 

Tough turtles. Take a cold shower, have a cup of coffee, and get your ass out the door. Avoid taking early morning classes next semester. Take a look at my post on creating the perfect class schedule for tips. And if enrollment stresses you out, read my post on how you can make class enrollment less hectic.

5. There’s a class discussion and you didn’t do the reading. 

I know you may be thinking that there’s no way you’d be able to contribute if you didn’t read, but here’s a pro tip for that: Read whatever you can right before the class begins — if you can get just one page in, that’s fine. And just participate in the very beginning before everyone really delves into other parts of the reading. Boom. You give the illusion that you actually read when you didn’t. Another tip is asking a question in response to someone’s statement so you seem engaged, but be careful with this because you may be asked to give your own stance on the reading!

Extra pro tip: If the professor asks who didn’t do the reading, be honest and raise your hand. If they call on you randomly and you weren’t honest, you’re screwed.

6. You may be failing the class. 

Don’t torture yourself by missing out on opportunities to learn and help your grade. Going to class will allow you to ask any questions and get help from peers before it’s too late. Plus, if your grade in class is attendance based, DON’T throw away those points! It’s better to attend and tell the professor that you’re struggling than to not go and have to figure it out on your own later.

Related: How To Improve Your GPA For Next Semester

7. You’ve already used up a lot of free skips. 

Free skips are valuable in college and shouldn’t be wasted. If you’ve used up two out of the three and you still have two months of school left, I’d save the last one for an emergency if I were you.

8. You’re convinced you can do the material in your sleep. 

If that’s the case, you should use class time to further your knowledge by asking advanced questions or asking the professor to explore something related to the class that you’d like to learn more about. Plus, no one likes a cocky know-it-all.

9. Your class is starting a new chapter/topic.

Not being in class for fresh material is one of the worst things you could do. You’ll fall behind and it’ll be harder to take in next class’s lesson if you weren’t here for the intro.

10. You plan to ask the professor for a letter of recommendation. 

Definitely don’t skip! You need as many brownie points as you can, and you need to show that you’re committed to the class.

What to do if you plan on skipping class

1. Check the syllabus for the attendance policy. 

I mentioned before that some professors give you free skips. If you don’t remember if that’s a thing for your class, always check the syllabus. The syllabus will also tell you if there are any days when class isn’t being held, so you get a free skip anyway!

2. Email the professor ahead of time.

And if necessary, email them after class instead. Like, if you were sick and used the time to rest, when you wake up, tell the professor that you were ill and ask if there are any resources you could use to catch up on what you missed. They’ll love that you’re taking responsibility and taking their class seriously, and they’d be more willing to help you themselves.

3. Make sure someone in your class can fill you in. 

If you have a friend in the class who takes great notes, ask if you can borrow them for a night, or ask for a recap of the class. If you don’t have a friend in the class, this is a great reason to start getting to know the cutie who sits behind you.

Related: 10 Secrets For Making Friends In College

4. Don’t make up bull crap excuses. 

Never pretend you were in a car accident or you were ill. If you have to email your professor to give an excuse, don’t be too specific about your situation, or else they may think you’re lying!

5. Use your skipped class time wisely. 

Don’t skip class so you can watch the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Use the time that you would’ve been in class to get ahead or catch up on the homework assignments, study for an upcoming exam, or do an assignment you know you won’t have time to do the next day.

Related: 13 Tips For Getting A’s In Your Classes

What are your tips for smartly skipping class?

What has been your favorite and least favorite classes so far? Let me know!

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

During the winter months, everyone around me sees a winter wonderland with snow angels, igloos, and hot chocolate. I see a death trap with black ice, wet socks, and poofy jackets that make me look like a marshmallow. I’d gladly take the hot summer any day. When you go to a college in a region that experiences all four seasons, you don’t actually get to enjoy the summer on campus with friends. In New York, it starts getting chilly around October, and even when spring officially begins in March, we often still have cold weather through May! But I think we’re finally starting to see more sunlight and more gorgeous weather, which hopefully isn’t just a fluke. That said, it’s the perfect time for hanging out with friends and making memories. Whether you’re chilling with friends from your hometown who you haven’t seen all year, or you’re meeting up with your new college pals you saw just a few weeks ago (though, it feels like a year), here are some ways you and your friends can have some fun this summer.

1. Attend a free outdoor festival.

Be on the lookout for food and art festivals in your neighborhood. I go to school on Long Island and there’s always some sort of festival happening around the spring and summer — the Oyster Festival, Lobster Festival, music festivals. You can get into these festivals for little to no money, and you can spend as long as you want and try everything you see. A quick search on Google for fun festivals in the area should give you some ideas.

2. Go to the beach.

This can be a meticulously planned day-long trip or a spur of the moment stop for an hour or so. You can never go wrong with taking photos while your hair blows in the breeze, or building sand castles and collecting pretty rocks. If you decide to go for the entire day, make sure you come prepared with sunscreen, water to keep you hydrated, and cute sunglasses so you look as sharp as the sun.

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

3. Go for an ice cream run.

Well, unless you or one of your friends is lactose intolerant. In that case, go for a dairy-free ice cream run. One time, my friends and I stopped by this ice cream shop in town that was known for having the best ice cream in the area and it was SO good! Turn it into a journey for finding the best place for soft serve. You can also never go wrong with hitting up a childhood favorite for a vanilla cone with sprinkles.

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

4. Make ice cream together.

On the other hand, if you’re really feeling your inner culinary genius, try making your own ice cream at home. I’ve done it when I got bored of eating whatever’s from the store, because it’s so easy to really customize it and turn it into something of your own. If you’re going for a plain vanilla ice cream, simply whip up some heavy whipping cream until you see peaks (but not butter!) and mix in condensed milk. Freeze and you’re ready to eat! From there you can add whatever toppings and things you want, and you can turn this activity into an ice cream party for you and your friends.

5. Have a picnic in the park. 

It has been my dream to have a picnic photoshoot. You can invite as many friends as you’d like, and you don’t have to worry about there not being enough space because you’re outdoors and there’s certainly room for everyone. It can be a potluck-type of picnic where everyone brings some food or drink item to share so one person doesn’t have to do all the work.

6. Go for a run and turn it into a routine.

This is perfect for hanging out with friends from your hometown. You can plan a daily or weekly run through the neighborhood with them to make up for not being able to see each other all year. This is a great way to reach any health and fitness goals with a buddy. And if running isn’t your cup of tea, you can always walk or get creative and do outdoor yoga.

Related: How To Make Time For Going To The Gym In College

7. Have an outdoor photoshoot. 

I used to hate taking pictures of myself in high school, but when I started blogging I began taking photos more and, well, sometimes I needed to be in them. Now I love, love, LOVE having photoshoots with friends and I always have so many ideas for them. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to fun photoshoots I want to do, and you don’t even need a fancy DSLR — an iPhone would be great for the job. You never know when you’ll need a really good photo of yourself!

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

8. Attend an outdoor concert. 

Check to see if there are any free concerts happening in your area this summer. I know in New York City, there are free concerts happening throughout the summer for various artists. This is a fun way to get to see a singer you really like without having to pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket. And afterwards, you and your friends can hang out ad grab a bite to eat at a local shop. Be sure to check out my concert checklist for tips on what to bring with you!

9. Have a pool party in your backyard. 

I recently got a lip-shaped pool float from my internship and it’s so cool and so pretty and I’m dying to get it in the water. I don’t know how to swim, so I guess it works for me. But if you’re just using an inflatable pool in your backyard, you don’t really need to know how to swim, and you also don’t have to drive to a public pool. Blow one up that’s big enough for you and your friends, fill it with water, grab some sodas or even some fancy *adult* beverages and chill.

10. Attend a conference together. 

I know conferences sound boring, but there are actually some really cool ones for millennials that you can look into. They’re great ways to hang out with your besties, meet new people, and forward your career while learning new things. Her Conference is definitely my favorite. I went last year and had a blast, so I’m obviously super excited for this year’s. Pick a conference together, but also remember that you may need to book tickets in advanced.

By the way, if you’re curious about my Her Conference experience, be sure to read my post on the 19 things I learned from it.

11. Go on a tour of your city. 

While I visit New York City more often than I visit (the dentist? my neighborhood library? office hours?) I still have never gone on an actual tour of the place. I’ve always thought those red double decker tour buses looked cool, but I’ve never hopped on one for sightseeing. This is a cool idea for you and your friends, especially if you don’t always go to your nearest metro city. You might even discover a few new favorites.

Related: The Awkward Traveler’s Guide To Manhattan Part One: Basics + Battery Park

12. Hit the highway for a road trip. 

A road trip can be anywhere from Brooklyn to Montauk, or from Vermont to California. It’s all up to you and how long you’re willing to tolerate all your friends in one cramped car. Just kidding. But a road trip would be the perfect way to catch up with hometown friends or make new memories with college buddies. All you need is a car, a friend who can drive, and the wind in your hair.

What are your ideas for hanging out with friends this summer? 

Follow me on Pinterest for more great tips and ideas related to college and lifestyle!

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

Thank you Hask for sponsoring this post and sending me products. As usual, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Macarons & Mascara possible! 

The summer months are probably what every college kid has been dreaming of since, well, the first day of the semester. While I love learning and taking classes that advance my skills, the summertime has always been an important time for me to completely unwind from the tension of the school year and rejuvenate. I know a lot of people mainly look forward to the summer to exercise and get toned arms and legs, but a lot of people forget that maintaining healthy is as important as maintaining a healthy body. It can be so easy to forget to treat your hair right when you’re so busy, and the hot summer weather makes it more annoying to manage your mane (especially if your hair is long and thick!) Personally, frizzy hair has been a struggle for me since I started combing it myself in middle school. You wouldn’t believe the number of YouTube tutorials I’ve watched, product research I’ve done, and half empty bottles I’ve tossed out in a disappointed manner. Over the years, I’ve found what works for me for keeping my hair healthy and free from frizz. Here are my tips for making sure you keep your hair as healthy as you can.

1. Keep the heat styling to a minimum. 

While I’m a frequent user of flat irons, I usually try to wear my natural curls during the summertime to give it a break from all the hot tools because heat styling can damage your hair by causing split ends and weakening the hair shaft. I’ve also gotten into the habit of letting my hair air dry after I wash it instead of blow drying it — would you believe that I haven’t used a blow dryer in almost three years?!

2. Massage your scalp regularly. 

You don’t need to pay money at beauty salons for a scalp massage — you can do it by yourself at home! Massaging your scalp increases blood flow to your hair follicles and strengthens your roots. In the long run, it can even prevent excessive hair loss. I don’t have much time at all during the school year to massage my scalp, so the summer months are the perfect time for me to get back in the habit. I used my fingers to work the Hask Bamboo Oil Strengthening SHINE® Oil into my scalp and roots. I also applied a little to the rest of my hair for some extra shine. Applying oil to the hair is a good way to reduce frizz and increase shine — a little goes a long way, especially since bamboo oil is thick and full of natural vitamins for strengthening the hair.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

One thing I learned from my mom is to turn the massage into an oil treatment. After working the oil into your scalp, grab a plastic bag from grocery shopping and cover your head with it. If you have a shower cap you don’t mind getting oily, this also works perfectly. This traps any produced heat and opens up the pores, and doing these makeshift “steam cap” treatments can improve the elasticity of your hair. I just keep the bag on my head for about an hour before I wash it off. It still makes it easy for me to move about and sit at my laptop blogging. You can also keep it on overnight for better results.

3. Concentrate the shampoo into your scalp. 

Sulfates help free your hair from oil and grease but too much can strip your hair and dry it out. A few years ago, I got into the habit of really concentrating my shampoo lather on my roots, which were greasiest. I applied very little to the rest of my hair, and even sometimes just let the lather run down my hair. I know that doesn’t sound ideal, but it has helped ensure that my hair isn’t too dry. If you want to stay away from sulfates altogether, try the Hask Greek Yogurt Repairing Shampoo with Blueberry and Acai and the Hask Greek Yogurt Repairing Conditioner with Blueberry and Acai. I have one word for this duo: HEAVENLY.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

A Greek yogurt formula is swirled with a fruit extract formula to add protein and moisture to the hair. Blueberries are not only great for eating; the antioxidants in them make them great for repairing damaged hair. My first thought after shampooing with this for the first time was I need to apply another handful! I didn’t want the shampooing to end because it smells so good and felt so rich. A lot of shampoos I’ve used in the past left my hair feeling stringy and sometimes even a little crunchy, but this worked so well and left my hair feeling soft. The conditioner was also like a dream — super thick and creamy, and my hair smelled wonderful after using it. If you’ve ever had a smoothie bowl with blueberries, that’s literally what this smells like!

4. Avoid color treating your hair. 

I am an avid lover of hair dye and self-expression through hair color. I’ve dyed my hair pink, blue, silver/gray, blonde (accidentally), red, and copper, and I was always fully aware that color treatment is damaging. Let’s just clear this up once and for all, people. If you lighten or dye your hair with bleach, ammonia, peroxide, ammonia-free boxed dyes, and other chemicals, your hair WILL take on some sort of damage. You could experience some hair fallout, split ends, or overall extremely dry hair. You CAN work to minimize the damage and repair the hair through proper care. For the last eight months, I’ve been working on simply giving my hair a break from dye and color. I notice a lot fewer split ends and my hair has become far less dry. If you have an event coming up that you really want to dye your hair for, take steps to do it safely and work to start taking care of it immediately after.

5. Deep condition your hair regularly. 

Deep conditioning is one of the ways you can care for your hair after dyeing it. Deep conditioners are more moisture rich than regular conditioners, and you’re meant to leave them in longer before washing them out. The Hask Greek Yogurt with Fig & Honey is a great one to use, especially because it leaves your hair packed with gorgeous natural shine. I applied it to my hair after using their conditioner and left it on for 10 minutes. I think their Greek Yogurt collection is perfect for anyone who really likes hair care products that emphasize the benefits of fruit. And if you want to get on this charcoal beauty trend that everyone makes videos about, try out the Hask Charcoal with Citrus Oil Purifying Deep Conditioner to absorb any impurities from the hair. You don’t have to deep condition your hair daily or even every other day; once per week is just enough to give your hair a healthy shine while repairing any damage.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

6. De-tangle your hair from the tips to the roots. 

It literally hurts to see people yanking at their hair with a comb. It hurts even more to see them pull out a clump of knotted hair bigger than my breakouts during that time of the month. Always comb through your hair starting from the tips and work your way up to your roots. You’ll de-tangle your locks much quicker and easier this way, especially if you work in sections. If you comb through your hair while it’s still wet, be extra careful because your hair is more fragile when it’s wet.

7. Avoid washing your hair every single day. 

Your hair produces its own natural oil to moisturize your strands. So while you want to wash your hair to get rid of excess oil and buildup, washing your hair daily will completely strip it from the oil and dry your hair out. This is especially important to note of curly hair, which craves moisture in order to stay frizz-free. For this reason, I only wash my hair once a week. It helps me maintain my hair’s natural moisture while still ensuring that it’s clean. Try it out! If you think you might need something to keep any greasy strands at bay, try the Hask Monoi Coconut Dry Shampoo. This is unique from other dry shampoos I’ve tried because it also uses light coconut oil to keep your hair looking vibrant and bouncy. Just quickly spritz some into your hair before styling. By the way, it also leaves your hair with a luscious coconut-y smell!

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

8. Don’t straighten your hair while it’s wet. 

I used to be super guilty of this without realizing how bad it is for my hair! Okay, my hair wasn’t soaked when I did it, but some strands were still slightly damp. Either way, you’re hurting your hair if you straighten it while it’s wet. The sizzling sound you hear when you do it is scary enough, but to make things worse, you’re increasing the likelihood of hair breakage by weakening your shaft. Always let your hair completely dry before using any hot tools.

8 Tips For Healthy, Frizz-Free Hair This Summer

What are your secrets for maintaining healthy hair? 

Related: The Collegiate’s Ultimate Guide To Skincare, 10 College Beauty Essentials

How To Improve Your GPA For Next Semester

how to improve your GPA for next semester

So the semester’s finally over and you seem to have made it through in one piece — until you crumble at the sight of your new GPA…maybe this wasn’t your best semester yet (it’s OK, things happen) but instead of kicking yourself in the ass over and over for it, you need to get ready to give your average the comeback you know it can make.

Whoever said college is easy was without a doubt lying and I’d like to smack them across the face. Whether you’re studying biochemistry, engineering, history, journalism, psychology, or others, you WILL have at least one difficult semester. You may not do as well as you would have liked to, and while grades aren’t everything, there are still some pros to maintaining a good GPA such as:

  • Being able to rush sororities/fraternities
  • Scholarship qualifications
  • Study abroad applications
  • Membership in honor societies
  • Postgraduate education (med school, law school, etc.)

Take it from someone who once had a horrible semester and received a D in a class that brought down her average — it can be difficult to rebuild those numbers. But I didn’t say it was impossible. The glorious thing is that you don’t even have to wait until next semester to start improving those numbers; if you’re on summer break (or winter break if you’re reading this in December) you have a treasure trove of resources to give your GPA a makeover.

1. Set a reasonable goal.

If you currently have a 2.9, no way in hell will your GPA be a 3.7 by the end of next semester! Understand that making huge leaps of improvement will take time. This is somewhat because the credits for your classes will be weighted differently. For example, a 4-credit class account for more of your GPA than a 2-credit or 3-credit class. So if you get an A in your 4-credit class, you’ll be in a really good position for doing well that semester. But if you get a C in said class, you might not be satisfied with what you see, even if you get a few A’s in 3-credit classes.

Setting reasonable goals makes it easier for you to define your progress, which in turn can help you continue to reach your desired GPA. If you currently have a 2.9, aiming for a 3.0 or a 3.1 is pretty reasonable. 

2. Speak to an academic advisor.

More likely than not, they can tell you what classes you should take if you want to start making progress with improving your grades. They can make recommendations that fit you if you actually go see them. I know you’re super busy, but making some time even just once per semester to sit down with an advisor can make a huge difference. In the past, I have had advisors give me suggestions about the best class sequences for me so I don’t overwork myself. They’re actually a valuable college resource that often gets overlooked.

3. Take a summer class. 

If you can afford it, taking a summer class or two is a good start for improving your GPA. You’ll still be taking classes applicable to your major or school’s curriculum, and it’ll help boost your GPA if you do really well in them. I know people get annoyed when their average is boosted from like a 3.0 to a 3.09 after one summer class, but every decimal counts. If you’re feeling adventurous, try taking your summer class in another country by studying abroad! I have a bunch of blog posts all about studying abroad that you can check out, but my favorite one is probably things to consider before you leave.

And if you’re considering taking a class during the winter session, I also have a post for surviving those, which you can read by clicking here.

 4. Take a summer class at another university. 

This is like the ~pro tip~ version of the one above. Sometimes, universities in your neighborhood offer the same course you need to take for less money AND the course itself may be easier. This is good to keep in mind because, first off, summer classes are intense because you typically have six weeks to learn five months’ worth of material and get tested on it. Second, if your college is notorious for making classes more difficult than they need to be, this is a good way to still earn credits for the class while boosting your GPA. Always check with your college first to make sure the credits will transfer AND be calculated into your average.

5. Consider changing your major. 

I am in no way condoning giving up and quitting (all the time) but maybe the reason you didn’t do so well is because you weren’t studying something that you’re actually good at. I was actually in this boat and I’m so happy I changed my major — I suck at science and math, but I’m a beast at writing (if I do say so myself). I wanted to go to med school and be a doctor, but chem lab and bio were kicking my ass, and I was sick of doing just okay in my classes even though I worked so hard in them. I ended up realizing that the field just wasn’t for me and that writing was my calling, and I’d be truly happy as a writer. Maybe you’d make a terrible Business major, but a great Environmental Science major. Explore your college’s degree programs and see what stands out. 

Related: What To Do If You Want To Change Your Major

6. Change up your study habits. 

Maybe studying from midnight to 4a.m. didn’t do the trick for you. Perhaps actually sleeping during those hours and studying in the morning until class will actually help you more. It can sometimes take a while to figure out what study habits work best for you, but if after a semester of skimming chapters in textbooks didn’t help you, then try a more proactive approach like creating outlines or flashcards. You’ll perform better on exams when you know what habits work for you.

Related: How To Create An Effective Study Schedule, How To Have A Productive Library Study Session

7. Get a summer internship. 

A lot of college degree programs may require you to have an internship that you can receive college credit for. This in turn gives you a grade of “Satisfactory” on your transcript and depending on the college you attend, it could give your average a little nudge. Plus, during an internship you tend to learn things that you don’t always learn in a classroom setting. This is knowledge that you can bring to your homework assignments and exams, so don’t overlook the power of being an intern. 

8. Move forward. 

Life goes on whether you decide to cry about your GPA or do something about it. If you spend your time wallowing in your sorrows you won’t have enough time to make progress.

What are your tips for improving your GPA?

6 Things I Learned This Semester + Fall Goals

10 Things I Learned This Semester + Fall Goals

Last week, I concluded my junior year of college. My spring semester was insanely busy and full of stress, but thankfully that part is over. It’s so crazy to think that I only have one more year to do all the awesome, unique, fun shit that’ll be way harder to do after I graduate. It feels like I just discovered everything I was missing out on because I always played it safe and didn’t want to venture out of my comfort zone, and I’m kind of sad about that. But, I’m still really determined to learn from everything I went through over these last five months. The funny, upsetting, aggravating, and unique memories all surfaced at once, so I decided to write this post. And because I’m lowkey excited for the fall semester to start already even though I’ve only been home for four days, I also included some of the goals that I have for next semester. First off, here are the lessons I learned:

1. Some of the best experiences are the ones that happen spontaneously.

I know, this is one is a cliche but it was proven true for me over and over again this semester. I’m a very meticulous planner, and I don’t like straying from my schedule, but there were a couple of times when I randomly decided to do things, like make a quick stop at the beach to catch the sunset with my friends, and I always had so much fun. I have so many cool pictures from photoshoots and so many cool memories that I wouldn’t have if I stayed in my room bored out of my mind doing homework. Now I can’t tell if I’m still a crazy planner person or if I’m more go-with-the-flow. Is it possible to be a mixture of both?? What if I’m taking one of those personality tests and I can only pick one?? Maybe I’ll answer this question next semester…

2. Simply wanting something isn’t enough.

I always say I have an idea for doing something and then I rarely act on it. During the fall semester, I thought it would be cool to study abroad somewhere before I graduate, except it wasn’t going to keep on being just a thought for me. I took the necessary steps to learn more about the programs offered, talked to my parents about it, and did all the planning and research I could do for my study abroad experience (which turned out awesome!!) This semester, there were a lot of moments when I thought things like, wouldn’t it be so cool to have a fashion internship in Boston? I’d love to finally check out that ice cream shop everyone’s crazy about. Did I try to apply to said fashion internship? Did I make plans to visit said ice cream shop? No, and no. Sure, there will probably be more times when doing something turns out to be just a passing thought, but the next time I really want something, I’m going to put in the effort to plan for it so I can make it a reality.

By the way, if you’re thinking about studying abroad, check out my post on things to consider before you apply!

3. Having a good attitude will attract good people your way.

How you carry yourself is how people will see you — and remember you! This semester, my roommate told me that she remembers getting good vibes from me when we first met. We met for 15 minutes more than a year ago and she remembered me and liked me enough to want to be my roommate this year. This semester, one of my closest friends (who just graduated and is going to medical school!!) told me that he remembers first seeing me at a meeting for an organization we were both involved in, and he thought I seemed cool so he decided to talk to me. It felt so nice to hear that peoples’ first impressions of me were really good ones, but it was still a wakeup call to the fact that in the same way that you can be judged for the good things people see, you can also be judged for the not so good things people see.

If you think you’re doing a good job hiding the fact that you’re pissed about something, you’re probably not; someone is bound to notice and it may turn them off from you. Being more aware of this will definitely help me think about how my attitude affects the decisions I make and how I carry myself.

4. If you have even the tiniest feeling that you might regret not doing something, you probably will.

I think the only thing worse than regrets about the things we did are regrets about the things we didn’t do. Holy wow, I need to put that on a shirt or something. Anyway, ever since I applied to live my dreams of studying abroad in a foreign country, I decided to live by a new life philosophy: If you’re saying no because you can’t afford it or don’t have time for it, you’re probably holding yourself back. A tinge of fear or a love for being too comfortable is no longer an excuse for me to not do something. Five years from now, will I remember the time I sat inside in the air conditioning on a hot day, or will I remember the time I drove from New York to California with my best friend?

5. Sometimes great experiences are worth spending some money on.

Was studying abroad expensive? Hell yeah. Would I want to do it again if I had the money? Definitely. I’m probably biased but I think that any travel experience is well worth the money. You get exposed to something new, you learn a lot, and you make so many new memories. This can also be applied to attending a ceremony or conference you’ve wanted to attend for a long time, or signing up for a workshop you think is really cool.

Related: How To Be Money Smart While Traveling Abroad

6. But I also spend money frivolously sometimes…

I sometimes think I spend too much money, even when I think I’m buying something I really need. I sometimes forget that I should save my money for something that I really want, and then I feel bad once it’s spent. I’m definitely gonna work on this, though. If you’re in the same boat as me, be sure to check out my tips on how to save money in college.

Goals for next semester…

1. Go to the gym six days per week.

Towards the end of the semester, I got into the habit of attending the gym almost everyday. It was great because I was able to make some progress towards my fitness goals, I felt healthier, and it was something fun to do with my friends. Of course, there were some times when I didn’t feel like going because the weather was really bad and it was a long walk from the gym to my room. But next semester, my residence hall will LITERALLY be a three-minute walk to the rec center, so I don’t plan on making excuses for not going to the gym.

2.  Get my bartending certificate.

My college offers a bartending class (not for credit) that you can pay extra for. It’s a semester-long thing and in the end you can receive your bartending certificate. I’m not a drinker and I don’t know much about alcohol but I hope to use this class to learn more about mixing drinks and the unique qualities of each.

3. Make more friends in my new classes.

Friendships played a very important role in making this semester a successful one for me. So, I hope to keep the new friendships I formed strong and create more. At my college, there are so few journalism majors that it’s easy to walk away at least knowing everyone’s names. I hope to get closer to some of the journalism majors I didn’t get to talk to much in the spring. I also hope to make more non-journalism friends, too, which may be a little harder because I don’t have classes with them but we’ll see how it goes.

4. Keep posting at least twice per week.

Maintaining my blog got really difficult this semester because I was dealing with a class that ate up so much of my time, it was a miracle if I got two hours of sleep some nights. But, I made it through. There wasn’t a single week where I didn’t post, and I’m really proud of myself for that. I love blogging and getting to share things with you all on this site, so I definitely hope to keep doing that next semester.

5. Get straight A’s.

Getting A’s in your classes is such a great feeling. Grades aren’t everything, but sometimes seeing an A on your transcript for a class you know you really worked your ass off in can really be encouraging. I hope I can get those straight A’s, though it will definitely be difficult, more so than it was this semester. There were times when my brain was so fried that I couldn’t concentrate, but hopefully this summer will be a chance to get back on track and get focused for the fall.

6. Attend every football game at my school.

I’m not a huge football fan because I don’t understand the game sometimes, but I am a huge fan of college athletics. I love getting dressed up in red and going out to cheer on our teams while listening to the band, and possibly catching a t-shirt mid-flight. Football is huge at my college, and of course, so is homecoming, but everyone goes to homecoming. It’s gonna be my last semester getting to be a Seawolves Football fan unless I come back to visit as an alumna, so I hope to make the most of the season.

7. Work for the athletics department. 

Working for the athletics department is something I’ve always wanted to do. I adore our mascot so much that I even wanted to be the mascot when I was a freshman, but alas, I am far too short for the position. There was an excellent opportunity with the football team that would be perfect for strengthening my video editing skills, but the timing doesn’t work with my schedule, so I’m going to have to keep my fingers crossed for another upcoming position.

8. Actually use my financial tracker.

I made a financial tracker in my bullet journal last year and used it all of two times. I mentioned that I may have had a money spending problem this semester, so in the fall I hope to actually use my tracker to stay on top of my spending.

9. Start building good credit. 

While we’re on this real-talk, adulting thing, I might as well throw this one in there. Moment of truth: I don’t have my own credit card yet. *gasp* At least not one that’s completely my responsibility. I don’t use cards often at all because I probably wouldn’t be able to stop spending if I did. But I do want to start building good credit because I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now. I could be living at home with my parents; I could be on the hunt for an apartment in another state; I could be on the hunt for an apartment in another country. Good credit is important for many adult decisions and things, so better late than never, right?

10. Decorate my room really nicely. 

It’s my last fall semester in a dorm room, so I want to go all out with decorating. Well, not exactly all out. For my internship last summer, I wrote an article about two college girls who basically turned their dorm room into what I imagine a room in a palace would look like — I’ve never walked inside a palace, so I wouldn’t know for sure. Their room is goals AF but I doubt I can get on that level, but I still hope to create something that’s even half as enviable!

Thanks for reading this almost 2,000-word post! What are your goals for next semester?

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box Review

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box

Thank you Seventeen for sending me free products. As usual, all opinions are 100% my own.

Tens of thousands of you have been loyal readers who put up with my quirkiness, unforgiving sass, and totally annoying and uncalled-for puns. So, you’re probably already familiar with my undying love for magazines and the magazine industry. Seventeen has been one of my favorites since I was in middle school and I almost never miss an issue. I used to huddle over the magazine with my friends at lunchtime, careful not to get any gross middle school mac and cheese on any of the pages, and we’d bookmark beauty tips and cute looks for dress-down days. Now, fast-forward almost 10 years and I’m a member of the Seventeen Social Club!!! I was so excited when I received news on my acceptance, and I’m even more excited to get to tell you all about awesome events and products, which brings me back to the point of this post…

I recently received two great goodies that I’m going to share with you: Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Tapioca Dry Shampoo and Schick Quattro YOU™ Disposable Razors, which both happen to be perfect additions to your summer beauty bag this year. First off, let me say that in the past I have had great experiences with products from both of these brands, so I already had pretty high expectations for both products, and they didn’t disappoint!

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box Review

The Clean Freak Tapioca Dry Shampoo absorbs excess oil in your hair so you don’t have to squeeze in the time to wash your hair if you’re already running late for something. This semester, I found myself barely having enough time to myself because of my course load. Washing my hair often meant waiting several hours for it to air dry before I can style it, which then takes another two hours. When you’re running around trying to interview people and cover events for articles, time to yourself is never really guaranteed. I had the regular Clean Freak Dry Shampoo from before, and that has saved my hair from greasy days more times than I can count. The Tapioca Dry Shampoo is the exact same way, except it’s made from tapioca starch, which is natural.

Like with any dry shampoo, there’s no water necessary, and there’s no dry time to wait out. Just shake the can well and hold it a couple of inches away from your hair while you spray it. My roots always get greasy so quickly, especially since I exercise daily at the gym, so all that sweat makes my hair extra slick. I like focusing the spray on that part of my hair, and I usually comb through it, or use my hands to rub it in further to really create volume.

I don’t have any cons about this product, so I’m basically just going to tell you that first off, the smell is WOW. The scent is warm sugar and my hair literally smells like a sugar cookie after I spray this in. I was so pleasantly shocked by the scent when I first used the product because the other dry shampoo I had been using had no scent. I love when my hair has a yummy scent, and I don’t get that often because I feel like the scent from my conditioner disappears after I style my hair with heat, so the scent is definitely a plus for me. It’s very quick and easy to use and can fit into your gym bag for use after a workout session this summer. Obviously, you shouldn’t use dry shampoo as a total substitute for washing your hair, but this product is perfect for getting rid of those shiny spots until you’re able to wash your hair.

Seventeen Social Club May Beauty Box Review

Summer time is basically razor shopping season because everyone is planning trips to the beach, wearing dresses and skirts to the office, and donning shorts to the gym or a trip to the city. During the winter, I could get away with not shaving because, trust me, I wasn’t planning on heading out in waist-deep snow in a pencil skirt, but something tells me it may not be as easy to do that in mid-July. Like I said, I have used shaving products from Schick in the past and have always had pleasant experiences with them. My favorite one was definitely the Schick Intuition razors with replaceable soap cartridges, which gave me really long lasting shaves, so I was excited to try these ones. They came in a pack of four (yay!) and should offer a really close shave.

The pool at my college recently opened up after years of renovation, so I thought this would be the perfect time to test out the razors. I don’t usually use shaving creams because I often find that body wash and even my hair conditioner are more moisturizing and better at keeping my skin soft, so I just used the body wash I’m currently using. I lathered it onto my legs, wet the razor a bit and then began shaving. I got a smooth shave — no nicks or bumps — and it lasted almost to the end of the week for me.

I gotta say, I’ll be keeping these razors close by this summer. Especially because it already seems like it’s going to be a hot one and it’s not even June yet (I spent two days home from college and they have both had me sweating!) I really loved these products and I hope you’ll give them a shot this summer as well.

Have you tried these products before? What are your thoughts? 

10 Questions To Ask Before You Begin An Internship

10 Questions To Ask Before You Start An Internship

The semester has ended and you have moved out of your dorm room. If you aren’t studying abroad, taking a summer class, or working part-time, you’re likely interning somewhere. Internships are great ways to build hands-on experience in your desired career field, and they’re also great for networking and even making new friends. I had an editorial internship — my first internship EVER — last summer and I had such a fantastic experience. Of course, looking back, I found some things I could improve on, and I wish I had done a few things differently, but it’s a learning process, right? If you’re curious about what my experience was like, be sure to check out my post on What I Learned From My First Editorial Internship.  I didn’t know too much about what to expect, other than the fact that I was told I would take on the same assignments as full-time employees. I didn’t know anyone who already had editorial internship experience, so I was kind of like the guinea pig of my friend group. I didn’t know what would be considered appropriate office dress, and I pretty much didn’t ask all the questions I probably should have asked beforehand. Because I want to make sure you don’t stress on the inside as much as I did when I started my first internship, here are 10 questions to ask before your first day no matter what kind of internship you get. 

1. What time should I be in the office?

This is probably one of the most important questions that you can’t be shy about asking! I know you’ve heard of the average 9-5, but not every internship requires that you work during those hours. Some may ask you to come in a little later, and others may ask you to come in a little earlier. Some are even a little flexible and allow you to come in any time between, say, 8am and 10am. Usually, your hiring manager will tell you this info ahead of time, but if they don’t, be prepared to ask. Last year, I always tried to be in the office before my boss. Being late is obviously a huge internship mistake, but being there early will earn you a really good impression. Try saying something like, “what time are you usually in the office? Should I plan to arrive then, too?”

2. What is considered appropriate office attire?

Like I said, I didn’t know what was considered appropriate for the office on my first day because I failed to ask my hiring manager beforehand. I guess the question just didn’t occur to me, and I spent hours the night before combing through my closet looking for something decent. I settled on a plain button down, leggings and my favorite riding boots (it was still quite chilly at the time). I polished off the look with a statement necklace. My goal was to look business casual so that I was neither too dressed up nor too dressed down. And because it was still chilly, I brought a blazer with me so I was prepared either way.

The office dress code varies from company to company, honestly. Some are very laid back and will allow you to wear shorts, sundresses and jeans, while others will prefer it if you kept it more on the business casual side. Asking before you begin will give you enough time to buy any dress shirts if you need them, or invest in dress pants.

Related: 6 Pairs of Shoes You Need For Your Summer Internship

3. Should I bring my laptop or other materials from home?

This is yet another question I FAILED to ask…I didn’t even think about it, but not all internships will give you access to company computers. I just assumed that because it was an editorial position, I would have desk space and a computer to work on. Well, that and the fact that I was told during my interview that I would have a desk and computer to work at if I was selected. There may be times when having a laptop or even a tablet on you will come in handy, so ask to make sure it isn’t required. If you must bring your laptop, be sure to pack your charger and any other accessories you need.

4. Is breakfast or lunch offered?

Well, don’t ask it LIKE THAT…

At my previous internship, everyone in the office had access to the kitchen, so I could make myself a cup of coffee, have any drinks in the fridge, and help myself to bagels, pizza, and anything else that was catered or ordered. Of course, it’s always best to have some money for food on you at all times just in case. Also ask what the lunch policy is. If it isn’t clear if your internship offers you food, you can bring up the topic subtly by saying something like, “are there any great brunch or lunch places near the office?” Then, cross your fingers and hope they say something like, “actually, on Wednesdays we order pizza for everyone.”

5. Who can I contact if I have trouble getting inside the office?

It’s important to have contact information other than email of at least one person you’ll be working with. If the receptionist isn’t in and the office door is locked, you’ll need some way of getting into the office. Make sure you can call your boss and ask them to let you in if push comes to shove.

6. How does compensation work?

You’ll usually be told ahead of time whether or not the internship is paid, but make sure you understand how you will collect payment. Will it be deposited directly into your account once a month? Will you find a check on your desk biweekly? Also, become familiar with the person who deals with administrative tasks such as payments, so if for whatever reason you have a question about your money, or are confused, it’ll be a lot less awkward to go ask them.

7. Is there parking available? 

If you will have to drive to your internship, make sure you know whether or not you can use the company parking lot (or if there’s even a company parking lot!!!) Asking this will help you plan ahead in case you’ll need to leave home a little extra early to scout out a parking spot near the office.

8. What will a typical day look like? 

Say something like, “out of curiosity, what will a typical day for an intern look like? I just want to make sure I come prepared.” This way, you’ll know if you’ll be moving around a lot so you can avoid wearing the cute new heels you just bought. Plus, if you’ve suddenly got cold feet about your internship — which is perfectly fine and normal — hearing what your day-to-day will look like could calm your nerves and make you feel beter about it.

9. Who will I report to? 

Your hiring manager won’t necessarily be the person you submit your work and time sheets to. You’ll usually be told who you will report to after you submit any necessary paperwork, but if you aren’t, make sure you ask, and on day one, make sure you introduce yourself to this person.

10. Who can my career center contact? 

If it isn’t a paid internship and you must be able to receive college credit, make sure you ask what the company’s policies for credit are, and how your career center can get ahold of the hours and work that you log. Know ahead of time whether or not you’ll need a signature from your supervisor, or if you’ll have to submit a spreadsheet of your hours.

Good luck on your internship, everyone!

How are you preparing for your first day? 

7 Tips To Make Moving Out Of Your Dorm Room Less Stressful

THANK GOD THE SEMESTER IS OVER. I cannot tell you how many times I want to scream this from the rooftop and put it all over Twitter. It has been a wild semester and frankly I’m about ready to pack up and go home. Don’t worry, this post won’t be a rant about how dreadful these last five months have been. I promise, I’m going to tell you something useful. I’m actually going to talk about one of the most-stressful, most-hated, most-parents-yelling-at-you-because-your-stress-is-making-them-stressed times of the school year: move out day.

Move out day isn’t really a day, per se. You just move out of your dorm room after you take your last final exam, so this day is different for everyone. Move out day is usually less hectic than move-in day because on move-in day there are thousands of students moving in all at once. Last summer, I actually wrote a blog post on how to make move-in day less stressful and lots of people really liked it, so be sure to check that post out if you have the time and aren’t stressing about the end of the semester. And if you are reading this to procrastinate studying for any remaining final exams, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so here are my tips for moving out of your dorm smoothly.

1. Have your parents pick up non-necessities.

Over the course of the semester, you probably accumulated a lot of unnecessary items because in January you convinced yourself that you just needed a Keurig to make hot chocolate (ahem, me) and in March you had to take advantage of the massive online shoe sale. If you live close enough to campus that your parents don’t have to take a plane to see you, arrange to have them pick up a few things from your room. The other day, I sent my TV, a couple of storage bins and a whole lot of shoes back home with my parents. Items like these make a huge difference when packing. This will relieve the stress of trying to get everything to fit in your car.

2. Arrange a designated time to move out.

Figure out a time that works for you and your parents, especially if they work. Moving out doesn’t take all day, but it can take up a significant amount of time. If your mom has to be at work by 5pm, don’t arrange to start moving your things at 3pm because chances are, you won’t have enough time, and that’ll stress everyone out.

3. Pack as much as you can the night before.

All your clothes should be in your suitcase. Your mini fridge should be de-frosted and cleaned. All your books and desk items should be packed. Don’t wait until your parents arrive to begin putting things in boxes. I like to have everything packed and ready and moved into the living room the night before just to get it all out of my way.

4. Communicate with your parents.

This is honestly one of the easiest ways to ensure nobody stresses out over moving out. Your parents may not understand the moving process as well as you do, so you need to get them up to speed so everyone’s informed and aware of the next steps. This is especially important if your school makes you follow strict move-out procedures. Make sure they understand everything that has to happen every step of the way. They can also help you better if they know what you need to do.

5. Have your parents bring a hand cart. 

I have been using my dad’s hand cart to move in and out of my dorm room since freshman year, and, let me tell you, I don’t know how things would’ve gone without it. Hand carts help you save on the number of trips to and from your car. I can usually stack a couple of things on the hand cart and roll them through the hallway — it’s just so much easier! You can probably borrow a hand cart from your residence hall, but they often have limited quantities, so be aware of this.

6. Toss anything that can be thrown out. 

I hate bringing a binder full of lecture notes home because 1) it’ll weigh my bags down and 2) I don’t have any room for them at home. If you know there’s a really good chance you won’t need notes for a certain class in the future, just throw them out. Save the pages you think are most important and burn the rest of it. I’m kidding, don’t burn anything, but feel free to fling them in the dumpster.

7. Donate any untouched, non-perishable items.

Lots of residence halls tell students that anything left over will either be thrown out or donated. My building leaves boxes in the lobby for students to donate anything they no longer want. This can include clothing, canned food items that weren’t eaten, and dorm items that were gently used. When I moved out last year, I dropped off a whole bunch of extra items that I knew I didn’t want to have to deal with when leaving campus. This year, I’m probably going to end up donating non-perishable mac and cheese cups that I haven’t touched and other items. It’s a good way to save space in the car while helping others.

What are your tips for making move out day run smoothly? 

Related: 13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room And What To Bring Instead

 

 

8 Pro Study Tips For Acing Your Finals

Cue the horror movie music and screams of terror. Finals week is here, and as much as we’d all like to just fast forward to summer vacation, we’re going to have to get past this last level. As someone who easily gets distracted by so much as a piece of string on the table, I can definitely say that studying for exams is probably my least favorite thing to do. But when you have multiple exams coming up, you really start to feel the weight of crunch time. You can’t afford those innocent, little two-hour distractions, and you don’t want to be left thinking about all the things you should have done to better prepare for your tests. Finals week is especially important if you’re a graduating senior. We all get to the moment where we say, “it is what it is at this point,” but for some, there really isn’t anymore room to say, “fuck this” and let whatever happens happen. A good grade on your finals could be the difference between a D and a B- if you haven’t been doing so well during the semester. It can also be the difference between straight A’s and that one A- to kill your 4.0 for the semester. No matter what your situation is, here are my study tips to help you conquer finals week.

1. Change up your study spot. 

We all have that one spot on campus where we can study all day long. As much as I love sitting in the couches at Starbucks under the dim lighting, with an iced white chocolate mocha in front of me, the same environment can become very mundane. Maybe the 4th floor study lounge of the math building was a little too quiet and it drove you bonkers the other day. Maybe your room was a little too warm for you to concentrate. Make things a little interesting by moving your study group to different places on campus. If you study in the library on Monday and Tuesday, try studying in a college lounge or learning center on Wednesday.

2. Set a study goal for each day. 

Do you want to outline the first five chapters in your chem textbook today? Do you hope to start and finish your history class study guide? Goal-setting is a huge advantage because it helps you create a direction for your day. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have sat down knowing that I had to start doing work, but had no idea what I should get started on first. This will help things feel less overwhelming so you can get everything done — less time wasted on trying to organize yourself. In another blog post, I talk about how to create an effective study schedule, so you should definitely check that out for more tips.

3. Use highlighters. 

Forget about underlining with a boring pen or pencil. Highlighters add some color to your notes while helping the key information stand out to you better. So when you refer back to your notes later on, instead of reading every word from top to bottom your eyes will only glance over the highlighted aspects. And if you feel the need to highlight every single word in the textbook…you’re doing highlighters all wrong. Extra pro tip: create a color-coded key. Highlight vocabulary words or key terms in blue, key dates or formulas in yellow, key people in pink, and so on.

4. Come up with pneumonic devices. 

Pneumonic devices can often be clever, hilarious, and sometimes perverted, but, hey, whatever helps you remember key phrases from the textbook! I have relied heavily on pneumonic devices in the past. I also feel that they’re a more active way of reviewing information because you force yourself to think of ways to remember certain things rather than just repeating the information in your brain over and over again. What’s the silliest pneumonic device you’ve ever come up with? Let me know in the comments! 

5. Make up songs related to the material. 

When I was a Health Science major studying for my bio final, I needed to remember the Krebs cycle, but there were just so many steps to keep engrained in my mind. So, I looked up fun songs on YouTube and ended up finding the Krebs cycle sung to the tune of the infamous cup song! Mind you, it didn’t sing out every single small detail, but it helped me remember the major aspects of the cycle. Two years later, I still remember parts of the song by heart! You never know what will stick.

study tips for conquering finals

6. Email your TA. 

Your TA is a student just like you, and he or she was in your shoes just a year ago, so they know exactly how you feel right now. They also have the insider tips on doing well on exams. If you haven’t buddied up to your TA over the course of the semester, now would be a good time to reach out through email and start asking questions. Most TAs are extremely nice and will go out of their way to help their students. If you ask them to meet with you one-on-one, they’ll likely make the time in their own busy schedule. Your TA is a valuable resource, so make sure you actually get in touch with them before it’s too late.

7. Attend the review session. 

I know your days of sitting in stuffy lecture halls are over (for this semester at least) but sometimes review sessions can help you go from confused out of your mind to on your way to getting a solid A- on that final. Attending review sessions also gives you the chance to ask your professor any last minute questions you might not have thought about before. Extra pro tip: cover at least part of the material before the review session so you can ask for clarification on anything that came across as confusing.

8. Start the day off with a positive attitude.

Finals week may be a week of sleep deprivation, but always plan to start the day off in a good mood. If you have to head to Starbucks or take a long hot shower to put a smile on your face, go for it. This will help put you in the mindset for getting work done, and you’ll feel more like you can accomplish what you set out to do. One of my favorite things to do that instantly puts me in a good mood is listening to music while I shower or brush my teeth. I also have a post on how to make your mornings more exciting if you’re interested.

What are your tips for acing your finals?