Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dorms vs. Off-Campus Living

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How do you choose between living on campus in dorms or off-campus living? Many college students ask this very question, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. It is important that you weigh your options before making a final decision.

Dorms

The Pros...

Easy Access to School – As part of your on campus living package, you have so much access right at your fingertips! Just think about it... You won't have to deal with traffic because you are within walking distance to class, and rushing to find parking. You will have on site access to the computer lab and library when you need to study as well.

Better Social Life - If you are a social butterfly and enjoy meeting new people, dorm living is ideal for you. You will meet a diverse group of individuals that come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. And, most likely - you'll meet a couple of lifelong friends!

Simplicity – If you live on campus, you don't have to worry about paying a utility bill or insuring your place. Generally living in a dorm is about $3-5k less per year than renting an apartment.  You can also add a meal plan to your package for an additional $3-5k. The only limitation is that you're restricted to specific times to eat at.  No late night snacking for the night owl types! 

The Cons... 

Little Privacy – When living in dorms, it can be difficult to get any sort of privacy. Which is especially tough during your bathroom moments where you just, well you know "need" it. If you're lucky, you may live on a floor with private bathroom. Generally that's not the case though. In time, you get used to it but the first month or so can be a tad daunting. Good luck with that... ;0) 

Limited Space – Most dorms are very tiny and just enough for the two twin beds, closet and a small desk area.  Be wise with what you bring with you to campus. You have to be creative and utilize your space. For tips on how to utilize your dorm space read our article:  Make The Most Of Your Space! 

Off Campus Living

The Pros...

Independence – When living off-campus you have no rules to follow. Many residence halls have lots of rules and Resident Assistants to help keep those rules in order. So living off campus you can have the peace of mind of knowing you don't have anyone watching your every more in your living quarters.

Privacy – Living off-campus means that you will have the privacy of your room. You might even have your very own bathroom, depending on the size of your apartment.  Ultimately, this means you will have a place to step away from your roommates and quiet time to study.

Sense of responsibility -- Living off campus will help you be more responsible.  You will be in charge of paying your bills, cleaning, cooking and even grocery shopping. You also don't have to travel all the way to campus mail center to get your mail either. Everything now comes to your door!

The Cons...

More costly – When living off campus you now have to take into consideration that rent may be more expensive and not included with your tuition. A good rule of thumb to follow is to expect to pay any where from $500-$1200 per month depending on where you are located at in the country. Also, there are additional utility and cable costs to keep into consideration. 

Seclusion – Face it!  We enjoy the privacy, but nothing is worse than feeling isolated especially if you're off campus apartment happens to be a good distance from campus. Which could result in you not participating in as many college activities you would like to.

Conclusion Time

When making the final decision to live on campus or off-campus be sure to weigh out your options. Make your list of pros and cons. Make sure you check with your campus about off-campus living. Especially, if you are an incoming freshman. Most colleges require first-year students to stay on campus unless they are living with family. Always remember to be involved if you decide to pledge in a sorority or fraternity you might have the option of moving into one of the houses!


Best of luck with your decision!

Karey

(c) All Rights Reserved To Dorm Room Movers, LLC

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How To Party & Make Good Grades!

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You are an incoming freshman and the first thing you want to do is get in on the fun right? However, let us not forget that college is the blank canvas of our future. You can make it whatever you want. 

How that image is going to appear when you graduate all depends on you. 

The first thing you want to get for yourself even though it may seem old school, is get yourself a day planner. Yup, I said it... A real actual daily planner that you can write in! Don't worry about it being fancy, all you simply need is some way of tracking your schedule and the assignments associated with the classes you're taking. If writing this all down sounds mundane, try downloading a daily planner app for your smartphone or tablet. Tip: A few great note taking and managing apps are Planner Plus, iStudiez Pro, and To-Do List.

Once you are settled in to your classes, you should already have an agenda of what your school work load is going to be like. If you're going to be working part-time or full-time while taking classes make sure you give yourself time in between so you are not drained.

To give you an example, here's a simple breakdown:

To make this as realistic as possible... Let's say you have a job and work three days a week part-time.  We all want to have Saturday’s off, but in this example we are going to work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11AM – 3PM.  You have three classes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 8AM –10AM, 11AM – 1PM and 2PM – 4PM with hour breaks in between classes and Thursday you have one class from 6PM – 8 PM each class is three units. Which means your semester is packed full. 

So, my question to you is... How in the world are you going to have time to study, work AND most importantly play? After all, that's a huge part of college, right? ;0)

Despite how overwhelmed you may feel with it all. The solution is actually pretty simple...

You can study in between classes and you can squeeze lunch in between each hour break for 45 minutes leaving you 15 minutes to get to your next class. This also includes time before work and after work. Always allow at least a total of two to three hours of study time Monday – Friday. 

Be sure to save the weekends for some down time...  If you have nothing going on then take advantage to catch up on your studies.  Tip: Sleep is key. Avoid staying up late on class nights or cramming all night to study prior to exam. Lack of sleep will make it harder to retain information.


Ultimately, keep it simple and you will be alright! College is going to open a lot of doors for your future. Also, if you've ever considered going Greek, be sure to do your research. If the association aligns with your interests sign up!  Not only will the Greek program open up many opportunities it will help you succeed not only through college, but your future.  Plus, going Greek means awesome parties! 


Good luck and have fun!

Karey


(c) All Rights Reserved To Dorm Room Movers, LLC

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5 Tricks To Surviving Dorm Life


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 Now that the initial shock of moving out of your folks home and into a 12x12 or if you're lucky 14x14 box shaped room has worn off, we figured you'd need a few (or more) tips to survive living in the dorm halls.


In an effort to ease the pain, below are 10 tricks to surviving dorm life.

#1: Hide 'n' Seek
Unless you're one of the lucky few who gets a dorm room all to your self, one of the first things you realize about living in a dorm is that lack of privacy you have. Meaning, you don't have any. Shy or not, you quickly get over your concerns and live for the moments where you get bit of alone time. It's a case of hide-n'seek with your dorm mates. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Tip: Learn your dorm mates schedule so if you need down time and the room to yourself, you can take advantage of those moments when they're away.

#2: Volume Control...
Noise is the number one complaint to adjusting to life within the dorms. With over 200+ people on each level, the volume can quickly escalate. Tip:  Invest is a few good pairs of ear buds and headphones. The ear buds will help with sleep and cancel out any noise your roommates may make and the headphones will cancel out the remaining 199 people on your floor when you need to zone out and study.

#3: Border Control...
Surrounding yourself by other people 24/7 is bound to create tension sooner or later. No one gets along all the time, especially if your confined in close quarters. The key to keeping the peace is staying diplomatic and maintaining an open line of communication. Tip: Some articles suggest weekly meetings and others suggest creating a rule book. At the end of the day, you know what works best for you. So go with your gut... Either way, 'when in doubt talk it out'. If something is on your mind that your unsure about or that is bugging you let your roomy know - rationally. No sense in burning bridges over spilled milk.

#4: RA & Peers...
Regardless if you're shy or not, social calls with your RA or other dorm peers are a good way to help stay motivated and survive the semester away from home. Especially if it's your first. Don't lock yourself up away from friends and sunshine. Tip: Get active and know who you share your hall with. If you're a tad on the anti-social side, schedule some time with your RA so you can't bow out of it.

#5: Always Apply The Golden Rule...
Remember that 5th grade rule your teacher taught and referred to under any circumstance? No... well I do, and I am happy to give you a refresher... The saying goes something like this, "do one to others as you would have them unto you." Rumors and gossip spread like wild fire within the hallways of the dormitories. The best way to avoid drama is not partake in it. Tip: Don't like drama? Then don't start it, spread it, or partake in it.
“do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” - See more at: http://www.thecollegesurvivalhandbook.com/2011/09/9-tips-to-survive-dorm-life.html#sthash.p5V1jvld.dpuf
“do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” - See more at: http://www.thecollegesurvivalhandbook.com/2011/09/9-tips-to-survive-dorm-life.html#sthash.p5V1jvld.dpuf

Now that you have a better grasp on how to navigate the dorms, get back to your classes.

Best of luck in the semester ahead,

Miki