August 21, 2014

Back to School Week: College Tips for Everyone

I wrote a post about tips for college FRESHMEN and those in turn can truly apply to any year of schooling but I thought that maybe I had some more knowledge of college as a whole. I mean, I was a freshmen four years ago and things have changed and I forgot a lot #postgradproblems. 

College is the best four years of your life, if you allow it to be. It's also a very unusual situation, I mean you're on your own, living in this little neighborhood of other 20 somethings--you go to class, hang out with your friends, go out on the weekends and manage your life on your own. 

That may seem normal but what's not normal is going to the bars on Tuesday nights or all the free food or the free gym that's provided. It's not normal that you can literally do anything you want whenever you want. It's not normal that if you want pizza and a movie at 2am on a Thursday, that's possible.

College is just weird.

I realized that at the end of my junior year, when I was finished with one of the greatest years of school ever and knew that it was all going to be over. 

But like I said, college can be the best four years if you let it. I think I've accumulated enough knowledge to let you leave college being a better version of yourself.

//Join organizations: I don't care if it's the newspaper, a sorority or the computer science club, join something! College is all about getting involved, there are hundreds of clubs and organizations that cater to your interests. I'm not lying when I say there is a club for anyone and everyone. Going to club meetings and events will allow you to foster relationships with people who have similar interests. If you don't get involved, you'll probably just end up sitting in your dorm room with your one roommate, watching Netflix and drinking Twisted Teas on a Friday night. I've seen it happen to a lot of people who end up hating college and transferring. GO GET INVOLVED! It's never too late, whether you're a freshmen or senior.

// Don't Buy Textbooks: Do not waste your money in the school bookstore. They are overpriced and a complete rip off. I know this because I spent $500 my first semester freshmen year. There are so many websites out there to rent textbooks from because after the class is over, there is no need to keep textbooks around. 

//Get along with your roommates: Do your best to get along with your roommate, no matter who it is. I've had great roommate experiences but I've also had not so great ones. Your roommate can be your best friend(I've had them!) or your worst enemy(had them too!) but it's kind of up to you. If something is bothering you about your roommate, approach them in the most polite way possible and solve the problem. In the same breath, pick and choose your battles in order to keep peace. You'll figure out how to live with people extremely different from you and some who are so alike it's borderline scary. Either way, learn how to keep peace because if not, your life will be hell.

//Actually study: Yes, college is FUN and you have meetings and events to run and attend but at the end of the day, you are there to get an education. Don't screw up because you were too busy with being the president of a club or because you were too lazy. None of that is really going to matter but if you don't graduate, that will matter. Go to the library when you have a test, ask your professors questions and go to their office hours and utilize study resources. Don't mess this up, it's the rest of your life. 

//Eat Right: Everyone is going to gain a few pounds throughout college. There are endless amounts of food and alcohol to be consumed. Your cafeteria doesn't have the healthiest of choices and the best pizza place in the college town is open until 4am. If McDonalds is on the meal plan(looking at you #GaelNation) and located three steps away from the local bar, you're in for trouble. Don't gain the Freshmen 25. Eat healthy during the day and splurge on a few late night drunk meals but don't forget to go to the gym. Take advantage of free yoga and Zumba classes because your senior year self will thank you.

//Maintain a GOOD reputation: Don't be that girl who hooks up with everyone freshmen year. Don't throw yourself at the entire football team. Please, I'm begging you. As a girl in this new college world you are going to get boatloads of attention from the male population. Do not get caught up in it because I've seen girls transform from the freshmen year slut to a sophisticated senior but people still talk about her welcome week antics. 

There are so many other pieces of advice I could offer but we'd be here all day. 

I hope you all have a fabulous year in school, make me proud :)

What pieces advice do you have for college students?

August 20, 2014

Back to School Week: Best College Books

I've said it before, I am a huge book worm. I've always loved getting lost in a story, an actual fiction story but once I hit college, I started loving memoirs and advice books. 

I enjoyed reading older people's stories and advice, it helped a lot while I was in college and while I was preparing to head off to school for the first time. 

Before I went away to school, I didn't know anyone who had gone away that I could turn too for advice and help. I didn't know about the blogosphere either so I didn't have any resources to get advice from. I'm huge on advice and hearing people's stories to form my own opinion on something. Maybe that's a bad thing but in this case, it was fine.

Over the past four years, for all types of situations, I've developed a little collection of "college books" that gave me great advice for transitioning from high school to college and also from year to year throughout my college career.

//UChic: The College Girl's Guide to Everything: This was my true saving grace the summer before freshmen year. It's a real book, it's not truly sugarcoated and it gives real advice on real situations. It was my handbook until I started feeling like an actual college student and not a zombie walking around in someone else's life. Since I was a freshmen in 2010, they've updated the book and now have a bunch of different versions. 

I also used UChic's planner freshmen year and it was fabulous--I'm kind of confused why I didn't continue using it.

Side Note: Check out this UChic Getting a Grip on Your Freshmen Year, sounds so cool and useful! 

//Penelope: This isn't an advice book but it's just such a fun, witty and clever novel about your freshmen year. I read this going into Junior year and it was just such a quick, fun read. It's a bit exaggerated but if you're in college mode, you'll enjoy it!

//The Freshmen 50: By your own College Prepster, Carly wrote this book a few years back and it's part survival guide and part memoir about her freshmen year. I'll read anything Carly writes and it's pretty awesome.

//Naked Roommate: I haven't read this book but I know so many people my freshmen year who did and they said it was pretty great. It's said to be the best selling college book for college bound freshmen so I'm sure it's worth picking up!

//All Work No Pay: This is Lauren Berger's (Intern Queen) first book all about how to get and balance an internship while in college. If you're a freshmen you probably won't need this book for at least another year but it's always good to be informed on what you should be doing to be advancing your career because that is the main reason you're in college. 

August 19, 2014

Back to School Week: Must Haves for College

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So the time has come. It's mid August and summer has come and gone so quickly. With Labor Day right around the corner, that could only mean one thing...back to school.

For the first time in my life, I am not going back to school and it's a struggle that is all too real. It's really sad that I'm not going back to college because shopping for back to school was always my favorite time of the year.

New pencils, notebooks and everything in between were my favorite purchases. School shopping got even more exciting when I went away to college and had to buy so many more things than usual.

From bedding to bath caddies to shoe hangers, dorm room shopping is unlike anything else. There are so many necessities that you're going to need because you're actually living at school. It's so different from what you're used too.

There are a lot of things I wish I knew I needed when I went away to school for the first time. When I would arrive on the first day, I would see all my roommates' belongings and think "I wish I would've brought that!" or "That is such a good idea!"

Well, here is a list of things that I wish I knew I needed in college so you don't have to feel silly like I did!

1. Power strips: These babies come in handy way too often. I used them all over my room and they're great because most colleges or universities don't allow extension cords. Put one near your desk or bedside and you'll have all the outlet space you need for chargers, lamps, and hair straighteners! 

2. Command Hooks: Hammering a nail into the wall won't do in your dorm room (you want that damage deposit back don't you?) so the next best thing are command hooks. They're great for hanging decorations on your walls but also use them for jewelry organization, coat racks, and stringing lights. 

3.Brita ® FilterThis is hands down one of my favorite items because tap water in the dorm rooms just don't cut it. I've never used a Brita ® Filter till I got to college but it's changed the way I think about drinking water. My freshmen year roommate brought us our first Brita ® Filter and we used it throughout the 4 years (replacing the filters every few months as directed, of course). If you're living in a dorm with no kitchen space, keeping a Brita ® filter in your mini fridge will help save money on bottled water. Having a Brita ® on hand is always an essential. (Brita ® Filters are available at Target)

4. Bath Mats: I didn't even think of a bath mat to place in the shower or a bath rug to put outside the shower when I was a freshmen in college. These are definitely essentials and I'm glad my roommates were smart enough to bring them otherwise it would've been a slippery mess.

5. Weekender Bag: I didn't have a sufficient weekend bag until Christmas break when my grandparents bought me a Vera Bradley duffel (#socollege). This made traveling back and forth to home during the semester extremely difficult because I was traveling with 3+ tote bags with all my belongings. Having a weekender bag or duffel will make packing for quick trips home or week long breaks a lot easier. 

These are things that weren't really on any packing list I looked at before I went to college for the first time so it was a learning experience.

College is the best time of your life, make sure you're fully prepared!
What is on your ultimate college packing list? Tell me in the comments!

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August 18, 2014

Back to School Week: Best Of Back to School Posts

I wanted to do a back to school week special with my best advice and tips for heading back to campus. I mean, I am a seasoned veteran and a fabulous(NOT) post grad so who better to take advice from?

Well, I sat down over the weekend and typed up a few posts but only to realize I wrote them all already. From first day outfits, to school bag essentials and things to know for freshmen, I've covered it all. I guess that just means I'm a washed up college graduate. 

In that same breath, I wanted to honor back to school season and give you readers advice, even if I'm not going back to campus this year.

So I will have some new posts with new advice but in the meantime, here are some of my favorite/best back to school posts from Royally Pink!

Letter to my 17 Year Old Self, for the freshmen in you

Residence Hall Linens, sponsored post on how to decorate your dorm

Boundless, don't buy your textbooks-rent them!

August 16, 2014

Links to Love

This is a day late and there was no post on Thursday. Between working, being sick and a few days spent with friends I haven't seen in a while, I've been super busy.

I didn't want to let a post go until Monday so I thought better late than never.

This week was chaotic but there were some fabulous things to read and watch.

Billy Joel sang "Uptown Girl" to his ex wife Christie Brinkley and it's just as adorable as you could imagine.

This is one of the best Robin Williams tributes I've seen so far.

Happy weekend!! 

August 13, 2014

Fashion for the Real World

I'm all about the real world nowadays (#PostGrad #BigGirlJobs) and it's really quite the transition. I am not taking it well but the world keeps turning, doesn't it?

I've always known that when I graduated and started my "real life" I was going to need a whole new wardrobe. Sorority t-shirts and leggings are not appropriate office attire.

Even though I am sort of protesting being an adult, the idea of dressing like an actual "grown up" always excited me. I always envied the women who looked effortless and chic when they went to work. There was just something powerful about the way they dressed but also remained fashionable.

That's exactly the kind of fashionista career woman I'd like to be.

In my industry, (Media/Mass Communications), the dress code is not as corporate. I probably will never have to wear a pants suit (thank God) unless I choose too. Dresses, dark jeans and slacks, pretty sweaters and statement jewelry are more that acceptable.

Even though there is a less strict dress code, that is not excuse for not looking your best. With the Fall season right around the corner, new clothes have me feeling some type of way. I could already tell you that J.Crew Factory and Express are going to be my go-to work wardrobe stores.

There are essentials that I think you need, no matter where you're working.

Here are some of my other real world fashions to shop!

August 12, 2014

Ultimate Wish List

I'm in the need for some massive retail therapy but I know my bank account isn't having all.

There are just some things that I've had my eye on and I can't help but daydream about them. Some are too luxurious for my liking and others I could afford once I have some extra cash.

As a girl, there is something nothing more that I love than buying something shiny and new, whether I need it or not.

Granted my birthday and Christmas are months away but I think I'll have to keep some of these in mind to ask for.

J.Crew Factory Novelty Quilted Puffer Vest: Isn't this on everyone's wish list? I think this is something I'm going to need to splurge on ASAP

Tory Burch + Fit Bit: I've been seeing these Fit Bit bracelets all around and I love the idea of them. I love that you'd be able to track all your food intake and physical activity. Some of the bracelets aren't the most flattering but then a few weeks ago Tory Burch came out with her own take on the Fit Bit and I'm obsessed. How gorgeous is this bracelet? You can't even tell it's  Fit Bit bracelet.

GiGi New York All in One Bag: I have wanted one of these clutches since I discovered GiGi New York. I see all these fashion bloggers with them and they look so adorable and chic. I'm a real bag lady but I've been experimenting with smaller bags so I think that this all in one clutch would suit me
really well. The fact that you can monogram it is just an added bonus.

Too Faced Hangover Primer: I saw a few reviews of this and I think it's a cool concept. It's a primer that hydrates your face and restores your skin to it's normal balance as if you were up all night partying. I've seen good and bad reviews on this but I don't really care because the name is 'Hangover RX' and I'd like to try it out for myself.

BaubleBar: I haven't bought myself a BaubleBar piece in almost two months and I'm really needing a fix. There are so many beautiful pieces that I have my eye on and I need them in my life.

What are some things on your ultimate wish list?