Do you ever look at your wallet one day and think “WOW-I have a lot of money this week” and then 3 days later you’re broke? It happens all the time, and then we think to ourselves, “WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO?”
There are some easy ways to keep track of where your finances . . . → Read More: Budgeting Your $$$$$
College social life is not all about the wild parties that can occur. There are other ways to have fun. Here are some easy, fun and cost-friendly ways to have fun:
1. Movie Night-Invite some friends to your room and ask friends to bring some movies over. Then, have a fun time eating pizza and . . . → Read More: Social Life–to party or not to party?
It the most wonderful time of the year….or is it? Thanksgiving and Christmas are great times to go home, take time away from school, and to refocus. Going home is a great time to reconnect with friends from high school and enjoy new friends you have met over the semester. Home is also a time . . . → Read More: Home for the Holidays
It’s that time of year when we start to think about the courses we will take in the Spring semester. It is important to indulge your own interests in college too. My biggest tip for course selection is this: see if ANY of your courses can DOUBLE COUNT for two requirements. The biggest regret a . . . → Read More: Course Selection
It is almost Thanksgiving time; which means you have survived more than half of the first semester, midterms, and homecoming. By now, you and your roommate should have a good understanding for each other’s preferred lifestyle. For some your relationship is one that is great, while for others you may be at your breaking point. . . . → Read More: Maybe it wasn’t meant to be
Welcome back to the iRA blog! Hopefully this semester has been a great one, so far. College classes can, and usually are, a lot different from high school courses. Just like high school, your professors want you to succeed! If you grades have not been what you expected, utilize your professors office hours. All professors . . . → Read More: Mid-Semester Check -In
Well I have about one week before I move back into the dorm for my last year as a RA. I cannot believe I have been in college for almost six years and a RA for five of them. I guess you could say that I have been around the Res Ed block a time . . . → Read More: Advice to Freshman from an Experienced RA
Final exams are quickly approaching. Hopefully you wont have to cram the last 14 weeks of information into your brain. However you study, or whatever type of final exam you have, here are some tips to help you prepare for exams.
1. Check out the Freshman Survival Guide’s Study Budget to help you figure out . . . → Read More: Finals Study Tips
Many of you may not have declared a major yet, and that is okay. It may seem harder to plan what classes you’ll want to take for next fall when you are unsure of your degree, but that’s when you can focus on your general education requirements. If you have a major declared, it is a little . . . → Read More: Is it Sophomore year already?
It is almost the end of the first year. For some this has been a great learning experience, a time for growth, and self-discovery. For some this has been a time of trial and error. Whichever path you took consider giving back to the next group of freshmen about to join the college ranks. There . . . → Read More: Giving back to freshmen
When you are trying to figure out where to live for your upcoming year, you may not realize it, but you are making one of the biggest and most important decisions of your upcoming year. As you approach the end of your freshman year, you have started out on a new path of independence that . . . → Read More: Where to Live?!
It is now almost a month into the Spring semester, for new roommates the honeymoon phase is nearing the end, and for continuing roommates you getting back into the swing of things. By now, you should have a good understanding for each other’s preferred lifestyle. For some this may be working out perfectly, while for . . . → Read More: Roomies
Love is in the air, because tomorrow is February 14th! Valentine’s Day! The Day of Love! … or Single’s Awareness Day! Or to the more counterbalanced individuals among us, it may just be Thursday! Regardless of the holiday you find yourself celebrating tomorrow and who you are celebrating it with, be it a boyfriend, girlfriend, . . . → Read More: Love Advice from Our Favorite Winged Archer
It is currently February. You have been back to school for about a month and you have probably already taken your first exam. If you are like me you are ready for a break, spring break. Spring break is known as a March/April mid-semester break. This maybe a time for you to catch up on . . . → Read More: Spring Break Ideas
Let’s start out the new year with a story, shall we?
Once upon a time, there was a recent high school graduate going away to his first semester of college at a university. His orientation day went great, and he signed up for all general education classes for his first semester. Come second semester, . . . → Read More: A Major Dilemma
Congrats you made it through the first semester of college and it is time to go home. If you went home during Thanksgiving, your transition at Winter Break may come easy. If you did not go home for Thanksgiving, there will be a few things for you to consider.
For the last few months you . . . → Read More: Winter Break
That’s right. FINALS.
Finals will always be the hardest time of the semester for students because you have term papers to write, tests to study for, projects to create, speeches to memorize, Power Points to recite, the list is seemingly never ending!
Now, I certainly wish I could list off ways to make . . . → Read More: The “F” Word
Managing your money in college is a cardinal life skill that is borderline essential to learn and master during your years in college as, just like so many skills and lessons in college, it will carry with you after you have graduated from college and have stepped out into the real world . . . → Read More: Operation C.O.U.P.O.N.
Yes; it is hard to believe it is one week until Thanksgiving. For some students this is the first time you will return home since leaving in August/September. Some of may have new body art, new vocabulary, or even a new outlook on life. Your family will remember who you were when you left and . . . → Read More: Going Home
You are now about two months into your first semester at school. By now, I am sure someone has caught your attention or perhaps you have been on a few dates. Dating in college is much different than dating in high school. In college you do not have parents to monitor your relationships, you do . . . → Read More: When dating think about?
Alcohol in college- it is prevalent theme in about 98% of any college movie. Epic parties every weekend, tons of beer and alcohol, shots, and hangovers. While movies tend to sometimes over-exaggerate what college is like, alcohol in college is a real issue that, chances are, you will encounter at some point in your college . . . → Read More: Sober Sundays, Wasted Wednesdays, and Everything In-between
As you continue to grow professionally and personally, you will start to realize the importance of giving back to the community where you live and where you come from. Giving back does not have to be a long labor intensive project, but every little bit helps and counts. There are offices on campus dedicated to . . . → Read More: 75 Ways to give back
Academics serve as a big part of college life, but extracurricular activities also account for a major part of college life as well. As a student you want to aim to have a well-rounded college experience. Too much emphasis on academics may not give enough attention to developing social skills and too much emphasis on . . . → Read More: To Join or not to Join? That is the question!
Most semesters have started already, but there are still things you can do to prepare for the first weeks of class.
1. INVEST IN A PLANNER/CALENDAR–Write down ALL of the due dates (in pencil-so it is easier to change). You then have the opportunity to plan your own mini-deadlines for big projects.
2. WRITE DOWN . . . → Read More: FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!
Dear Class of 2016,
This is the time to explore yourself and figure out exactly who you are. This is a time where you will be meeting all kinds of new people that look, act, and live a completely different life from you. Do not shy away from these different people. Open yourself up to . . . → Read More: Dear Class of 2016,
The time has come and school is starting soon. Here are some tips to start your year off right. Before you arrive: Do everything you can to prepare for school. Try not to wait until the last minute and make the most of your final weeks at home. Be sure to review all of the . . . → Read More: Going to school and getting adjusted
When you’re buying things for college, it can be easy to over buy. I’m not saying you should move in with NOTHING, but be careful what you get. Make sure you check your college website to see what is allowed and prohibited in your dorms. Here are some staples of college dorm life:
Pillows–Don’t go . . . → Read More: Do I REALLY need 20 pillows?
In about a month you, a college freshman, will be leaving home and moving to college and living in the dorm. Dorm life can be the best experience of you college career or it can be a nightmare. Whether you live 5 minutes or 5 hours from home there is one thing you will be . . . → Read More: Roomie Love
Soon after arriving on campus, many freshmen realize they need real help in making a smooth transition to college life. In researching The Freshman Survival Guide, it became clear that some students didn’t feel comfortable approaching their local resident assistant on staff for any number of reasons (e.g. their issues felt too personal and they were embarrassed, they were afraid of getting in trouble, they simply didn’t like their RA etc). While we believe it is best for students, in general, to avail themselves of their local support staff, we also realized that it could be helpful for some students to have the option of contacting an experienced RA anonymously with some of their more delicate issues. The Interactive RA (iRA) is our attempt to bridge that gap. . . . → Read More: We’re looking for a few good RAs
It’s hard to think about taking summer courses while we want to relax. However, taking summer classes may work toward your benefit. At my alma mater, the amount of credits you had helped you register for your courses and housing. Working can also work towards your benefit, allowing you to make money to use during . . . → Read More: Figuring out your summer plans
As you have finished your first year as a college student, I’m sure you’ve picked up tips and tricks along the way. Becoming a mentor to new freshmen would be a great way to pass along your knowledge.
See if your college has some sort of peer facilitation or orientation leadership program. These are great ways to . . . → Read More: Mentoring Freshmen as a Sophomore
The semester is winding down, finals are here, and summer is lurking nearby. These are normally good signs as it indicates you have made it to the end of the semester/quarter and for most you’ve made it to the end of the year.
Sophomore year is a chance to do-over and redo the things . . . → Read More: The end is near….
I see dollar signs. As we wrap up the final few weeks of the Spring semester, most people think of finals, moving out of the residence halls, scheduling classes for next semester, graduation, and summer fun. I agree I too think of these things but with all of these changes comes the idea of MONEY!!!!
As students . . . → Read More: $$$
You’re probably thinking to yourself–WHY DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MY RESUME? I’M ONLY A FRESHMAN! See, it’s better to start early and continuously work on it, versus rushing as a senior and forgetting what you’ve done in college.
As a freshman, unless you are applying for a full internship, don’t worry about a resume setup . . . → Read More: Start Early with your Resume–It’ll save you time!
Midterms of the Spring semester have begun or will begin soon. This is a clear indication that the school year is coming to a close. Now is the perfect time to start considering your living arrangements for next year. There are a number of things to consider.
What is your current living arrangement? Are you . . . → Read More: Onward and upward
It’s the end of the month of February. I know as a senior, I’m battling senioritis. This is especially hard because I have less than the minimum amount of credits this semester, so I have A LOT of free time. How do I battle procrastination? In my case, I try to read ahead for my . . . → Read More: Let’s Check in…
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened
February is nationally known as the month for love. What started during the Roman Empire as a way for young men to find their maidens has evolved into a $15 billion dollar industry. Valentine’s Day is a great way to celebrate . . . → Read More: Valentine’s Day is for Who?
So you’re involved on campus and you’re doing well academically. How else can you make an impact? Well, you can start getting involved in the greater community. Here are some easy ways to get involved.
1. Volunteer at a local nursing home, homeless shelter, YMCA, etc. Many of these places enjoy volunteers to come in . . . → Read More: Getting Involved in Your Community
As most colleges and universities Greek Life will be starting, or have started, their Spring recruitment, it is important to keep in mind some aspects about going Greek or not going Greek in college. I asked some of my friends what they thought about pros and cons were about going greek. These stories are from . . . → Read More: Go GRΣΣK or Not to Go Greek, That is the Question.
It is the start of a new year and if you live anywhere north then it is pretty darn cold outside; this is also the time when people are feeling a bit blue and may need some cheering up. So here are a few pointers for battling the Winter Blues:
Exercise- Getting to the gym, . . . → Read More: How to Beat the Winter Blues
Uh Oh. It’s Flu season! Staying healthy at any point in life is extremely important, but getting sick in college can really affect you. Getting the flu means missing school, not being able to hang out with friends, and the overall feeling of being ill. To say it’s no good is an understatement, but there . . . → Read More: Flu Season Is Here!
You are almost one week into the new year and can now officially say you made it through your first semester and by now you should be reflecting on your grades. For some, all of the hard work has paid off and you are basking in the glory of your achievement. For some, you are . . . → Read More: New Semester…New You!!!
Finally the day has come…the end of the first semester! Congrats you made it through the first of many semesters. Now what… well now it is time to go home. The only problem is you are not the same person you were when your parents dropped you off at the beginning of the semester. For . . . → Read More: Going Home…A New You!
IT’S THE END OF THE SEMESTER ALREADY?! I STILL HAVE SO MUCH WORK TO DO!
We’ve all been there. No matter how hard we try to be productive, our best friend–procrastination always comes knocking at our door asking to play. How do we manage?
Check out this awesome link with 12 tips on aceing our . . . → Read More: Dealing with Finals and Holiday Stress
For most organizations, programming is probably done for the semester however, that doesn’t mean you can’t become involved for the spring. Attend an event or meeting hosted by the organization you want to become active in. Talk to a member on the E-board and see when the meetings will be and how you can become involved with . . . → Read More: Is it too late to get involved?!
Registration for the Spring semester may have already passed by, or could be approaching quickly. If you ask any upperclassman you know, or even us here on the iRA team, we could tell you numerous stories about registration scares and successes. I always seemed to get the classes I needed with no trouble. However, that . . . → Read More: Is it time to choose classes already?!
At this very moment you are probably indulging in leftovers from the holiday. While now is a good time to enjoy the break from school, this is also a good time for you to reflect on the semester. When you first arrived to campus you must have had some sort of expectations, a picture, or thoughts of what . . . → Read More: Where you want to be
Thanksgiving is next week…can you believe it?
Going home can be fun and relaxing, but it can also be stressful. Often times you can be pulled in many directions that going home can result in not being as enjoyable as you’d hoped. Mom and Dad want to spend time with you and see what you have . . . → Read More: Home for the Holidays
With the holidays arriving, everyone can imagine that feeling of being entirely way to stuffed with food, yet we all somehow mange to eat a piece of pie or have a dish of ice cream. Sometimes, our college lives can get just as packed as our holiday stomachs. From personal experience, I have always had the . . . → Read More: I’m so FULL…taking TOO much on your plate
Are you still undecided and more than half way through your first semester of college? You’re not alone! It is OKAY to be unsure during the first part of your college career. Many students end up changing their majors several times. Many students even graduate with a completely different degree than when they started. I . . . → Read More: Undecided Major?
Sometimes we begin friendships in college and suddenly they seem to be falling apart–always around the most stressful time of the semester too, mind you. So what do you do when your friend the hall stops saying yes to grab a meal and the guy from your Chemistry class stops wanting to study? REASSESS! It sounds . . . → Read More: But I thought you were my friend!?!?!?!
Halloween as a college student is no longer the cute and sweet holiday you remember has a kid. Now it is about raunchy costumes and partying. So as a college senior and RA I am making a few suggustions on how to deal with this new aspect to a favorite holiday.
First ladies put some . . . → Read More: What Would Grandma Do?
Great news… you have survived the first weeks of college. This is a big feat to be proud of; some students have not made it this far and wished they had.
I encourage you to take an honest look at how you are progressing. Evaluate how you have been spending your time (too much or not enough socializing?), . . . → Read More: Halfway there….
Sometimes college can get really stressful. With full course loads, managing new friendships, old relationships with family and friends back home, dating, along with the various other aspects of college life, it’s no wonder that college aged students get stressed out. It’s something to keep our eyes out for. When we start to see the . . . → Read More: Don’t Fall Under Stress
Well September is finally at its end. You’ve made it through your first month (or so) of college! What are your reactions? Do you love it? Are you having difficulties?
Write your responses and we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.
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You have now been an official college student for a few weeks now. There are several things suggested you try that have been mentioned throughout the book and our blog. Here is a checklist let’s see how far you have gotten and what still needs to be done.
____1. Get all of your books. You . . . → Read More: How are you progressing?
I’d love to hear about what has been going on these past few weeks for everyone. Has school been what you expected? Are you stressed? How are you adjusting to college life?
Comment with your concerns and we’ll do our best to help settle them.
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It is probably safe to say the honeymoon is over. You have been living with your roommate for a few weeks now. By now, you should have a good understanding for each other’s preferred lifestyle. Everything from cleanliness to study habits to sleeping patterns have been discovered. It is after the first few weeks when . . . → Read More: I want out!
It is probably right about now the workload from your classes is starting to pile up. Stress is setting in. First quizzes and assignments are due. You got your first assignment graded and did not do so well. You think to yourself “I am in way over my head.” If you are having these . . . → Read More: I’m out of here…
Hello Everyone! So I hope your first few weeks of college are going well. By this time you have figured out where your classes are located, know whats good to eat in the dining hall, and maybe even had your first exam. So a very important part of college is how you are going to . . . → Read More: Financial Aid and Work Study Tips
There are a lot of activities, stresses, worries, and anxieties as freshmen move onto college campuses. Here is a checklist of things you should try to accomplish these first few weeks of school.
1. Explore campus. Get to know the area–where the best dining halls are, the best way to get to class, etc.
2. . . . → Read More: Checklist of Things to Do in the 1st Three Weeks of College
In high school there were a limited number of clubs and activities one could participate in. There was drama club, math club, science club, band, choir, and sports. Of course there were always some other clubs sprinkled in there too, but those were generally the same from school to school. In college, there is a . . . → Read More: If you liked [_____] in high school, then try [______] in college: All about Clubs and Activities on Campus
It’s weird to think that the weekends, a time generally used for fun and parties, can actually be used to get some work done. This is going to be a shocker for some, so hold on to your seats! The key to getting the MOST out of ANYTHING is time management. I am a HUGE . . . → Read More: Weekends Have Daylight Too: Getting the most out of the weekend to work and have fun
As shocking as it may seem, not EVERY college student wants to go out and drink at night. If you happen to be one of those students, you are probably thinking to yourself, “There is nothing going on except parties. What should I do?”
Well, I have come to the rescue with a list of . . . → Read More: Late Night Alternatives-If going out isn’t your scene
As you go away to college in the next few weeks saying goodbye to your family friends can be the hardest part of leaving. These are the people who made you who you are today and it’s important not to forget that.
A fun way to say goodbye is having a going away dinner/party . . . → Read More: How to say Goodbye to Family and Friends
Fa-la-la-la-la-la tis the season. Everyone is going back to school and most of you are going to college. Whether you are going to college out of state, transferring, or commuting college is a HUGE step in your life.
Most people are leaving home for the first time and it can be kind of intimidating. I . . . → Read More: Pre-College Jitters-You Are Not Alone!
Tips and tricks from a college senior
So college books are REALLY expensive. If you have not figured this out by now…whoa. There are many options out there for college’s books to buying, renting, ebooks, etc. I will be talking mostly about book buying since that is my favorite option.
Your college most . . . → Read More: OMG books cost what???
I don’t mean THAT talk, although chances are parents will try and squeeze in a refresher on that subject before you depart for college. Everyone is different but sending a child off to college is a big deal for parents (whether they show it or not). It’s a mix of pride, excitement, anxiety and loss. . . . → Read More: Having “The Talk”
In high school, a lot of people waited until the last minute to read their summer reading books. Then again, there were times where I even have procrastinated in doing the summer reading. However, in college, a lot of professors try to incorporate the book for a couple of assignments. These assignments might be reflective . . . → Read More: Summer Reading-Does it really matter?
So bear with me on the title. I know “movin’ and groovin’” doesn’t sound all that appealing but it will really help you out in the long run.
At my school, there is a student who is a certified Zumba instructor. She teaches an hour long Zumba class 2x a week. It is the MOST . . . → Read More: Get Movin’ and Groovin’!
It is now August and most of you are preparing to start classes in just a few short weeks and a little over a month for those on the quarter system. Like you most students are starting to freak out and wonder how the last days of summer will play out, making sure you have everything . . . → Read More: Preparing for college
For many of us, there is a stereotypical view of what your college experience should be like. For some, this includes becoming a member of the Greek Life community at their school. Here are 10 things tips to keep in mind, if becoming Greek is something you are interested in.
1. Understand Greek Life on Campus
2. Think about . . . → Read More: Thinking about going Greek?
That time of year is fast approaching. You are probably scrambling around, making sure you have everything you need before you head off to school. School supplies, dorm room decorations, books, and more can make packing very overwhelming. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when you are packing up for school.
1. You can . . . → Read More: High Ho! High Ho! It’s off to school we go!
Recently I was skimming through my copy of “The Freshman Survival Guide” and I stopped at chapter 8: Mental Health. This is such an important and often forgotten about part of you time at college.
When you first go to college, even if you live on campus, off campus, or commute you will feel some . . . → Read More: Mental Health and How to get help
Here are some common symptoms of college burnout.
1. Loss of Motivation
2. Continual Lack of Energy
3. Complete Boredom
4. Inability to Concentrate
Burnout is caused by several things. Sometimes we are too overworked by our jobs, our coursework or by our extracurricular involvement. As a history major, psychology minor, and . . . → Read More: Preventing College Burnout
This is something I used to do with my freshmen peer students in their first year seminar. I created a scavenger hunt list and asked them to go around and take a picture of a member of their team in front of/with/at the location or person. For each type of picture there were a certain . . . → Read More: Take a Picture–It’ll Last Longer
Granted some degrees require more education and that is perfectly fine. It is also fine to NOT have an idea of what you want to do in life because in reality, not many of us know what we want to do. So here are some helpful tips to try and make things a little bit . . . → Read More: How to NOT spend 6 years to get a 4 year degree
It may seem like a “duh” or “of course” but locking your door in a dorm seems to be a rare occurrence. If you are going to class, dining hall, bathroom, down the hall you should always lock your door.
Here are some real life stories that I have seen happen to people who have . . . → Read More: Advice: Lock your door!
The iRA blog is a similar supplement to the advice in The Freshman Survival Guide. Our team of iRAs will be updating the blog regularly by posting important tips and insights from their own experiences as well as answering your questions. . . . → Read More: The iRA (Interactive RA) blog is here!
One of the most important things to try and learn as a freshmen is how to be organized. In my experience, there are three things that have made my college career a big hit: a small or medium size pocket datebook with weekly and monthly pages, a large desk or wall monthly calendar, and a . . . → Read More: How to be an Organizational Wizard
So your RA may seem kind of lame for being an upper classman living in the dorm. They enforce the rules of the residence hall and may always seem to be in your business.
As an RA we are a great resource for the university and life in general. We have been in your shoes . . . → Read More: Your RA. We are real people too!
Here is a tip that should be stated before we begin: Classes in college are different than in high school. You may be saying “Well DUH, I knew that” but it needed to be said again. Here are 5 generic tips that can be used from semester to semester.
1. Don’t be intimidated by what . . . → Read More: How to survive the First Day of Classes
Hello All! My name is Megan and I am one of the Interactive RAs. I work at Ramapo College of New Jersey as a Resident Assistant. At Ramapo, there is a list of 100 things students should do before they graduate and some of them can be applied to any school.
So, here is my . . . → Read More: Top Ten Things Freshmen Should Do During Their First Year