How to Prepare for Freshman Year

Ahh…it’s the summer after you’ve graduated high school. It’s time to sit back, relax, and never get out of bed again until August, right? WRONG. It’s good to rest and have fun, but it’s also important that you don’t waste your summer. There are plenty of things you could and should be doing to prepare yourself for the year that’s coming up.

Preparing For College The Summer Before Freshman Year

EARN MONEY

First things first, there’s never a reason not to apply for scholarships. Whether you’re paying for college yourself or your parents are, why not get free money to help relieve some of the financial burden? Try applying for a scholarship once a week and see what you can get! Weekly college expenses can add up too so it’s good to have some extra spending money. Take up a part-time summer job to save up a little.

STOCK UP

Do a little research and get some dorm inspiration online then slowly start accumulating your dorm decor. I’ve found it way easier on the bank to just pick up things here and there than to buy everything in bulk. You won’t find everything you need in one store anyway! Don’t wait until the last minute to do this either, stores start their dorm sales as soon as high school graduations are gearing up, don’t miss out on them!
Related Post: Top 5 Places to Buy Your Dorm Decor

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Have you picked a major? Still undecided? Do a little snooping around your college website and dig into the stuff you’re interested in. I’ve picked Cognitive Science as my major and every now and then I go on its homepage and see what research is going on there and which professors have the closest relationships with my major. On there is also an alumni page that shows where graduates have gone on with this major. It helps me have a better idea of what I could be doing after I graduate and who will be teaching me while I’m in school. It’s also great to plan out your courses ahead of time so you have a solid plan when it’s time to schedule them. You can never be too prepared!

IMPROVE YOURSELF

How can you improve yourself this summer so that you go into college feeling more confident and ready to tackle the year? Things like blogging, working out, reading good books, doing yoga, or listening to podcasts are all little things you can do that will better your quality of life and your mindset. Starting your freshman year on the right foot is all about the kind of person you are going in. This is your future, take charge of it.
Related Post: What They Don’t Tell You to Bring to College

GET A HEAD START

If your college has some sort of system like a Facebook group page where you can connect with others, don’t hesitate to do so! These are your future classmates and it’s quite fun to get to know some of these people during the summer. Doing this will allow you to not only get a feel of your class vibe, but you’ll also have some built-in friends who you can hang with on that first week of school.

STAY ON TOP OF THINGS

You’ve probably gotten a myriad of forms to fill out online and papers to mail up to your college. Stay on top of those due dates! In addition, make sure you’ve gotten your last health check up and that your shots are up to date. Don’t be the kid on the Facebook group saying things like “oh..that was due?” A little bit of honesty here: Inability to get these things done out of laziness or inattentiveness is a projection of how you will fare in your college classes. 

You’ve got your work cut out for you. However, none of these things take forever to do. I still encourage you to have as much fun and as much sleep as possible this summer while you still can! You’re in that transition period where you still have one foot in your old life and the other in college. Make memories with your high school friends, have crazy fun experiences, and go on adventures in your town while preparing yourself for these next 4 years and getting pumped for them!

Why You Should Be Blogging as a Millennial

Why You Should Be Blogging As A Millennial

I’ve been blogging on and off for about 4 years now. I’ve done everything from fiction writing to lifestyle to fashion, and finally college/lifestyle blogging. No matter how far I stray from blogging, something always draws me back.

If you’re a millennial, which is loosely defined as someone born anywhere from the 1980s to the 2000s, I seriously recommend blogging as a creative outlet. There are truly an infinite amount of positive outcomes that are a direct result of establishing a presence online.

DEVELOP A VOICE

Whether you’re 17 or 47, you have a voice, an extremely important one, too. Opinions originating from our age group are very easily trivialized by those who are older and seemingly “wiser” than us. Writing online and speaking up through blogs and other mediums have allowed millennials to be heard. Once you start blogging, you might have the power to influence thousands! Seize the opportunity to share your perspective on the world. We’re listening.

GAIN CONFIDENCE

It can be a little scary putting yourself out there at first. But, once you do, I promise your confidence will skyrocket. Your blog is a safe space where you can allow yourself to flourish. And yes, you might be a little anxious knowing that it’s a public space, but I strongly believe that if you can overcome this obstacle, you can overcome just about anything that threatens your confidence.

Putting together an entire blog with content that you’re proud of can do miracles for the mind. It’s a great feeling getting positive feedback from your blogging peers, and even greater being able to look at something you created with pride and knowing that it was all you. You’ll learn to trust yourself and your abilities more than most people. This will help you in school, the workforce, and many other areas.

Why You Should Be Blogging as a Millennial

LEARN RELEVANT COMPUTER SKILLS

If you truly invest in your blog, it becomes almost necessary to pick up a few HTML and CSS skills along the way. Additionally, you’ll learn all about typography, a bit about aesthetics, and photography. Needless to say, my school projects were always amazing because of this. And, you won’t be alone! There are tons of blogs out there that are dedicated to helping you figure this stuff out. Station Seven is my go to blog for all of the behind the scenes work that goes on in my blog. In this day and age, these skills are invaluable and you might just become a rare commodity in your workplace or class.

CONNECT WITH OTHERS

When I first started fiction blogging the summer before my Freshman year, I didn’t anticipate meeting my absolute best friends. I met some pretty incredible girls from across the United States. Two were right in my state, Texas, but 2 hours away in Austin (yes, I have visited them a few times). One was also in Las Vegas, another in California, and the last in Virginia. We probably have a world record for most texts sent in a group message. I don’t think I would’ve made it to where I am today at all without the connections I’ve made through blogging. These girls encouraged me, pushed me, and supported me through everything. You’ll find these friendships in the blogosphere, too. It’s full of people ready to meet new people. I think this opportunity is something that will only appear in this environment. You won’t make priceless relationships around the world with a click of a button anywhere else.


Are you sold yet? I hope so! In short, I really really want you to get into blogging if you’ve ever considered it. Take a leap, I promise you’ll make it. If you want to make a blog right now, check out Station Seven’s post on starting your blog(without all of the rookie mistakes).

My best advice: Don’t ever let blogging become a burden. Do it because you want to, and because it’s fun for you. A lifetime worth of memories are in store for you if you follow this rule.

-Lots of Love, Lola

 

Top 5 Places to Buy Your Dorm Decor

“Would string lights be a good accent for my dorm, or would they clash with my succulents? Should I spend a month’s paycheck on a PBteen duvet or find a bargain on one that will tear after one late night romp in bed? What the hell even is a duvet? Forget it, I have a date with a new season of Orange is the New Black.”

-Diary of a Mad College Freshman

top 5 places to buy dorm decorWe’ve all been there. Some of you are even there right now. One of the most exciting parts about college (aside from getting an A+ education, of course) is finally getting that first ounce of freedom by being able to decorate your dorm room exactly how you want it. The power to go with an all white, minimalistic chic space or a cozy abode with fairy lights and fluffy throws is all in your hands. With so many possibilities, it can be difficult getting started and finding good, affordable places to shop.

Decorating your dorm can quickly become an expensive and complicated venture without proper planning and knowing the right stores. Since I’ve been obsessed with decorating my dorm since I got accepted to college, I’ve done my fair share of research and have compiled a list of my top 5 stores that abound in the perfect dorm decor without breaking the bank.

DORMIFY

Dormify takes the cake when it comes to getting inspiration for your dorm and shopping affordable decor. Their store comes with a free design plan that allows you to take a quiz and shows you really cute rooms that they think would best fit your style. You can then shop the products shown in the rooms. I easily identified a color scheme and theme for my room from the quiz. Even though I didn’t buy all of my decor from there, it helped me narrow down my search by far. My favorite products on there would be their decorative pillows (which come already stuffed) and their tapestries.

MODCLOTH

If you’re into the more mature, authentic living, New York apartment meets nature vibe, this is the store to shop. They have really unique decor that will transform your dorm from heavily used closet to Instagram-worthy hangout spot. Their duvets and quilts are on the cheaper side compared to their counterparts such as Urban Outfitters and Free People so I would definitely splurge on one here and it will last all 4 years.

URBAN OUTFITTERS

Although more on the expensive side, even their smallest decor items are sure to pop in your room. If you’re chill and feeling the boho look, I’d definitely look here for some inspiration. They definitely have more mature-looking products that will make your dorm feel more like a nice apartment than a borrowed room. The great thing about UO is that they’re always having sales and you get a 10% off student discount through UNiDAYS so their products can quickly become affordable.

ETSY

Etsy has hundreds of great stores in their fold, and they’re often buried beneath the more mainstream mega-stores like Target. There are so many cute handmade and vintage items that you can purchase from Etsy vendors who make their products with love. A lot of the time you can get things personalized too! Take a look through there and you’ll find a lot of what you need without feeling like your money is disappearing.

IKEA

Ikea is your one stop shop for buying all your dorm basics. Things like duvet and pillow inserts, storage, and hangers will all be here for extremely affordable prices. Not much needs to be said about this place, it’s a must on your shopping list.


 

There are still way more stores to shop at that you should definitely stop by like Target and PBteen, but you should be able to get most of your decor shopping done with these 5 stores. The best strategy is to spread out your shopping among different stores and watch out for sales to get the most unique and affordable look! Speaking of looks, what is your dorm theme going to be this upcoming year? Tell me in the comments below!

 

 

 

What They Don’t Tell You to Bring to College

What They Don't Tell You to Bring to College

It’s a week after my high school graduation. The house that once reverberated with the sounds of flowing champagne and high spirits has trickled to an eerie quiet. Everything is finally over. There is no more being swept under the ocean of college applications, superfluous tests, and fears of social ineptitude.

I am left alone with my thoughts, just mine. And, what do I find there? A mess. I’m not exactly sure where the influences of the people who once surrounded me end and where I begin.

I think to myself, I can’t go to college like this.

College is a new frontier, a representation of a bright and shiny future. I don’t want to enter this future being the same person I was in the past.

There is one thing that does not appear anywhere on a dorm checklist. You won’t find it between the mountains of forms one has to fill out before even stepping on campus either. However, it is something that is absolutely necessary to bring– a sense of self.

Much of our generation has missed the opportunity to develop a sense of self early on.

High school was about trying to look picture perfect. We hustled to make the right grades, ran to this club meeting or that extracurricular, and joined the right volunteer programs. Most of us had one thing in our vision, getting into our dream college with the perfect resume. In the process, we forgot how to be more than walking bulletin boards of our achievements and honors.

Now, I’m not trying to talk down on this sort of strategy. For many of us, all of the sacrifice and extra work yields miraculous results in the form of an acceptance letter. Additionally, academia is one of the things that actually do make us happy.

Still, a little more diligence is required in piecing together who we are in order to make the most out of the next 4 years in college.

If you’re anywhere near college age, you’ve probably heard the saying “what you put into college is what you get out of it.” This statement applies to more than going to classes and capitalizing on internship opportunities.

The direction of your success and development as a person is dependent on who you put forward those 4 years.

If you want to get the best out of your college experience, you need to go with your best and most authentic self brought forward. By doing this, you’re giving yourself the perfect opportunity to grow and be successful in your own skin. college preparation

Having an idea of the kind of person you are and who you want to be before stepping foot on campus can protect you from being easily persuaded and making ill-advised decisions.

In college, you are free to choose what you are passionate about and what ideologies you subscribe to. What you value is yours to value alone. That’s a lot of pressure for someone who just grew out of being told what to do everyday of their life.

If you don’t develop a strong sense of yourself, your life can end up feeling extremely shaky when strong influences come into play. And there is a lot of that in college.

You’ll make more discoveries about yourself throughout college. But, the most important things you’ll learn will be built on the foundation you have laid for yourself beforehand.
Want to know what kind of discoveries you’re in for? I’ve made a list of bloggers’ posts that share what they learned in their first year of college. Scroll to the bottom to find it!

Once you understand yourself, you’ll know how to take opportunities that fit you best. You’ll have friends who better suit your personality. You’ll capitalize on your own strengths, and be able to acknowledge your weaknesses.

How can you figure out yourself?

Take this summer to really do some soul-searching. No, you don’t have to spend hours meditating (although meditation is a great way to center yourself).

  1. Solitude: If that word made you go “ugh!” inside, boy do I have a post for you! I wrote all about the benefits of choosing to be alone, and how it can actually help you figure out who you are. You can read it here. To summarize, spending some quality time without external influences can cause your true self to emerge and it often results in a more confident and self-aware you.
  2. Make Goals: Part of knowing who you are is establishing where you want to go. Write down substantial goals that will lead you towards self-improvement. For one, once you’ve accomplished the goal, you’ll know the new and improved you. Second, you’ll know your abilities. This results in a stronger understanding of yourself. Make sure you’re writing these goals down too. You are 42% more likely to complete a goal if you write it down.
  3. Document: Sometimes it just takes journaling and allowing your opinions and thoughts to form concretely. Write about what you like and dislike, who your friends are, etc. It’s even more important to look back on what you’ve written in the past to connect the dots. You’ll start to get a better sense of your personality and ideals by doing this.

There isn’t a surefire, step-by-step way to finding yourself. As long as you’re taking the time to be aware of your actions and thoughts and truly process the why behind them, you’ll know yourself more and more.

Freshman Year Experiences

Endless May: “The Most Important Lessons Learned Freshman Year”

Mostly Morgan: “44 Things I learned My Freshman Year of College”

Love Megan June: “50 Things I Learned My Freshman Year of College”

The Classic Brunette “Tips and Advice for College Freshmen”

As Told by Sunny “5 Things You Should Know How to Do Before College”

Society Being: “What I Learned My First Year at Community College

 

What has been your experience going into college? Tell me about it in the comments!