Top 10 things to take away from my blog posts

Photo found on

Photo found on

In case you did not know, the reason I wrote this blog was because one of my journalism courses required me to. However,  I have greatly enjoyed working on this blog and may continue to write posts in the future. For now, as a way of saying good bye, I would just like to outline a list of 10 Commandments I hope you’ll keep with you as you continue on your journey through college!


1. Thou shalt attend at least one social event a week, whether it be a party, ice cream outing or sporting event.

2. Thou shalt treat roommates with respect (even if they are sloppy and loud and unbearable to live with). 

3. Thou shalt attend all classes, except when circumstances absolutely keep you from going.

4. Thou shalt avoid excessive amounts of fats, alcohol, sugar and lack of rigorous physical activity to ward off Freshman 15.

5. Thou shalt be open to meet and spend time with different types of people.

6. Thou shalt study and complete homework assignments.

7. Thou shalt call home no less than once a month.

8. Thou shalt be mindful with money.

9. Thou shalt learn to do laundry.

10. Thou shalt remember the main reason to attend college: to obtain an education and degree to be successful later in life.

Good luck! blog pic


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Filed under College, Freshmen Year, Success

How to stay safe on campus

No matter how safe your campus appears to be, one should always take precautions to avoid anything dangerous.

Be sure at least one friend is with you when walking back to your dorm at night. Photo found on

Be sure at least one friend is with you when walking back to your dorm at night. Photo found on

Do not walk walk by yourself outside at night.

This is a key point to staying safe while in school. A lot of perpetrators seem to target college students at night,

especially during weekend nights after most college students have been partying/drinking. Always take a friend with you if you need to leave your dorm or other campus building at night.

Lock your dorm room. 

While you should lock your dorm room consistently throughout the school year, the period of time before the holidays is a prime time for theft. Even if you’re leaving your room for only 10 minutes, lock the door.

Pepper spray is an easy, affordable tool to use when practicing safety on campus. Image found on

Pepper spray is an easy, affordable tool to use when practicing safety on campus. Image found on

Be prepared to protect yourself. 

Every college student should have some form of protection when it comes to warding off perpetrators. Consider a baseball bat for your dorm room and pepper spray for when you’re outside the dorm.

Watch your drink.

Date rape does happen frequently. When you’re attending a party, always keep at least one hand on your drink.  Also, be careful when accepting drinks from others; inconspicuously slipping a drug into a beverage is remarkably easy for a person to do.

Don’t take college safety lightly. 

Many of us have the mentality, “That would never happen to me.” However, campus crime is extremely common; I myself can think of three incidents in which one of my friends has found him- or herself in a dangerous situation. While college is a time for earning a degree and having fun, college students need to be sure to make safety a priority, as well.

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Filed under College, Freshmen Year, Safety

Handling parents over Christmas break

You love your parents to death, but let’s face it: after a few months living out of the house, adjusting to pre-college life

Your parents may drive you crazy over break, but at least you're only home for a few weeks! Photo found on

Your parents may drive you crazy over break, but at least you’re only home for a few weeks! Photo found on

with the ‘rents can be difficult to do during Christmas break. Below are a few things to remember during the long

holiday vacation:

  • Prepare to take on chores again.  Just because you’re a college student probably doesn’t mean your parents won’t expect you to take out the trash or empty the dishwasher once you arrive back home.
  • Expect to re-gain a curfew.
  • Don’t be surprised if your parents still treat you like a child when you return home; your parents probably aren’t sure how they should treat you now that you’re out of the house. More likely than not, going away to college is as new and different for them as it is for you, especially if you’re the oldest of your siblings. Just be patient, and don’t ruin the holidays by losing your cool when you don’t get your way with Mom and Dad.
  • Respect your parents’ wishes. Just because you’re enrolled in a university does not mean your parents’ rules don’t still apply when you arrive back home.
  • Expect your parents to be nosy! They haven’t seen you in awhile and are probably curious as to what you’ve been up to. If they ask a lot of questions about your goings-on at school, they’re simply showing they care (and probably making sure you’ve been staying out of trouble!)

mean girlsRemember, parents can be a little overbearing when you’re home for the holidays. Practice patience, and realize their behavior is probably a result of them missing you a lot!

(Photo [left] found on

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Filed under College, Dealing with parents, Freshmen Year, Household living

How to prepare for finals

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Final exams can come in many different forms: most teachers prefer to hand out actual tests while other professors like to assign final papers or projects. The following guidelines are mainly for exams that cover all the material learned throughout the semester (i.e., “comprehensive” exams or “cumulative” exams) but can probably apply to end-of-the-semester projects and papers, as well.

1.) Begin studying two weeks in advance.

This may sound like a long time to prepare, but comprehensive exams do, in fact, contain a lot of material. Study a little bit each day, and you should be in good shape by the time the test rolls around.

2.) Start from the beginning.

Study in a progressive manner; begin with the first things you learned during the semester. For example, study all concepts from chapter one on Monday, all concepts from chapter two on Tuesday, all concepts from chapter three on Wednesday, etc.

3.) Look over and correct past exams and quizzes.

A lot of teachers simply use questions from past tests and quizzes when they type out their final exams. Be sure to look over any old assignments, tests and quizzes and correct any questions you’d answered incorrectly. If you still can’t find the right answer, ask a classmate, a TA or your professor for help.

Photo found on

4.) Stay motivated.

By the time the end of the semester arrives, many students feel drained from a long semester of school work. Try your best to stay motivated and to set apart a time each day to study. Do not procrastinate: your final exams are will make up a large chunk of your final course grade.

5.) Get a lot of rest the night before the exam.

I don’t mean to sound like your mother, but this really is great advice. Your brain will be sharper, and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed if you get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep the night before the test.

6.) Don’t over-stress.

Personally, I don’t believe finals are as huge of a deal as everyone makes them out to be; in essence, they’re just longer-than-normal tests that cover all the material  you have already been quizzed over and should know. Just take time to review any material you may have forgotten, and you’ll be in great shape for the exam.

Good luck!

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Filed under College, Final exams, Freshmen Year, Study tips, Success

College dating: part two

Dating in college is a wonderful experience, but you must keep certain things in mind, as well. Photo found on

Top eight things to remember about college dating:

1.) Typically, college couples spend more time together than high school couples. After all, parents are no longer around to set a curfew or to make sure you are sleeping in your own bed at night. While college students may revel in this newfound freedom, remember that “too much togetherness” can have detrimental effects on any relationship. Spending time away from your significant other is not always a horrible idea: each of you needs that time apart to hang out with friends or finish homework assignments. Just because you have the option of spending every waking minute together does not mean you should; most likely, you will only end up getting on each other’s nerves.

2.)  The easiest way to meet somebody special is to step out of the dorm room. Socialize with the people who sit next to you in class or live in your residence hall.

3.) Dating someone who lives far away is difficult to do, but long-distance relationships can and do work. Do not let the fear that he or she will find someone else put a damper on the relationship. Weekends and vacations (such as Thanksgiving break) are great times to visit. The distance will make it hard to hear from each other on a regular basis, but Skype, Facebook and your iPhone are great tools that will help you remain close.

4.) Don’t feel afraid to try dating different types of people. Now that you’re in college, you’re probably surrounded by students who are vastly different from the people you grew up with–and this isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. Stepping out of your comfort zone and dating someone you’re attracted to but may not have been your “type” back home may open yourself up to great opportunities.

5.) Be careful whom you decide to live with sophomore year. Most schools require only freshmen to live on campus, so if you’re trying to decide where to live and whom to room with next year, think twice about living with a boyfriend or girlfriend. This goes back to the “too much togetherness” effect–you may start to find each other annoying if you are spending large amounts of time together. Plus, if you break up, you have two options: 1.) deal with the hassle of finding a new place to live, or 2.) continue to live with your ex…who may or may not move on to someone else.

6.) Take advantage of all the fun dating ideas your campus has to offer. A lot of universities hold  events that may serve as fun and inexpensive dates: free outdoor concerts, sporting events, dances, movie showings, etc. Keep your eyes and your ears open for ways you and your partner can have fun together on campus–you don’t have to feel confined to hanging out in each other’s dorm rooms.

7.) Don’t forget to let your roommate know if you plan to invite your boyfriend or girlfriend over. Be considerate, and ask for your roommate’s permission first.

7.) I’m not Dr. Ruth or your mother, but if you do decide to have sex with your significant other, please be careful. Finding methods of protection is not that challenging, especially on a college campus. Condoms are available at the local drug store (some schools, including MU, even have condom dispensers in the residence halls), and birth control can be prescribed in a private manner without your parents finding out. An unwanted pregnancy or STD could ruin a college career, so don’t take this issue lightly. It really does only take one time!

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Filed under College, Dating, Freshmen Year, Meeting people

College dating: part one

Unlike your class mates in high school, your college peers probably aren’t people you’ve known since kindergarten. This wave of new prospects can make dating  on campus fresh and exciting. Photo found on

Dating in college can be a whole new concept compared to dating in high school. Below is a look at some of the similarities and differences:

How dating in college is similar to dating in high school:

Most likely, you met the majority of your high school boyfriends/girlfriends through mutual acquaintances. Perhaps you met them at parties, or maybe they were siblings of your best friends. Usually, college is the same way– people tend to form relationships with those they meet through mutual buddies. Unlike high school, you probably will not know the name and reputation of every single person you go to college with, so mutual friends commonly form that initial connection that eventually leads to a campus romance.

But it can be different…

The main difference between dating in high school and dating in college is the lack of parental supervision. Now that you’re in college, your parents are no longer there to tell you when you need to be home or where you should spend the night. Because of this, university couples tend to spend a lot of time together, forming close relationships early on.

Typically, dating in college is more serious than dating in high school. While this doesn’t ring true for everybody, many college students hope to meet “The One” while at a university. They think more seriously about the quality of their relationships, and they actively search to find that special someone to spend the rest of their lives with.

However, dating in college often goes the other extreme, as well: hooking up is a common activity across many campuses, thanks to newborn freedom away from Mom and Dad. A lot college students are looking for nothing more than a fun time with no inclination of diving into anything too serious.

Unlike high school, you will not know the track record of every man and woman you meet on a university campus. Because your college peers are not people you grew up with, dating someone in college can be new and exciting because you don’t know everything about the person’s past.

Throughout the next couple weeks, I will go more in depth of what dating in college is like. Stay tuned!

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Filed under College, Dating, Freshmen Year, Meeting people

Avoid the Freshman 15

Definition: Typical amount of weight gained, in pounds, during the first year of college. Varies from school to school. (Example: We at Mizzou have the “Mizzou 22.”)


  • Unlimited dining hall food.

    Don’t let unlimited dining hall food turn you into this!Photo by

  • No parent supervision.
  • Late-night snacking.
  • Partying (and everything that entails).


  • “My parents aren’t around, so I can eat whatever I want.”
  • “I don’t have time to eat, so I’m just going to grab this candy bar and run.”
  • “I’m too busy to work out.”
  • “I need this sugar-laden, caffeinated soda to stay awake.”


  • Gym/Recreational memberships.
  • Work-out buddies.
  • Intramural sports.
  • Healthy eating habits.
  • Long walks to classes.
  • Low-calorie beverages.
  • A high dose of self-discipline.

Make time for a healthy fitness routine, even if classes and other activities are keeping you busy. Photo by

Advantages to the defenses:

  • Boosted energy.
  • Higher grades.
  • More attractive to that special man/lady.

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Filed under Freshmen Year, Healthy living, Uncategorized