Thursday, March 7, 2013

Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before You Move In

Your landlord can be quite an intimidating presence, and they can either provide a pleasant living experience or make your life a living hell. However, they are still human (most of the time), so there are plenty of things that could probably be smoothed over will a little good communication. In fact, here is a list of questions you should never be afraid of asking:

1.) Can I pay less rent? Rents are not typically negotiable, but other things often are. If your landlord isn’t willing to lower your monthly rent, ask about other things. Many times they legally can’t lower your rent (that’s set by different housing laws) but they are able to waive additional expenses. If you have a pet ask about forgoing the pet charges, or if you have an upfront parking space but ride the bus, offer to give up your parking space to have one of your utilities covered.

2.) Are there any health concerns? This should cover everything from lead-based paint to asbestos to mold. In a perfect world your apartment would have none of these concerns, but old apartments have old apartment problems, so you’ll want to cover your bases. And even if they say everything is golden, you’ll want to get an inspection notice confirming everything is, in fact, golden.

3.) Why did the last tenants move out? If they were arrested and evicted for drug issues, you’re going to have countless strangers stopping by in the first few months unaware that their dealer is in the slammer. Plus, not only will it give you a general idea of what condition the apartment might really be in, but it will give you an idea of what your landlord is like. If they were evicted for one noise complaint, you might want to move on to the next place.

4.) Can I make improvements? Landlords are extremely busy, with many of them often managing a number of residences. If you want to make some improvements, like repaint the god awful bathroom or start a garden in the backyard, ask! Many landlords will cover the cost of the supplies and might even give you a discount on your rent that month if you are improving the place.

5.) Do all the appliances work? And by work, we mean properly functions in the highest possible way. There are little things more frustrating than an appliance that just barely works, and you don’t want to find out sometime next week that your refrigerator only really works part of the time or that the heater works but only up to 62 degrees. Ask your landlord about all the cooking appliances, the dishwasher and garbage disposal (if there is one), the heating and cooling systems and the water pressure.

You got any other tips we missed?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Finding a Place to Live that Allows Pets

Finding a place to call home is one thing, but finding a place that you and your furry family members can call home is quite another. So before you resort to keeping Fluffy at your parents house for the next few years while you live in solitude, consider some of these tips:

1.) Plan ahead. House hunting for an apartment that allows pets is not something you want to put off until the last minute. Since many places don’t allow pets, your selection pool is going to be more limited, which means your timeframe needs to be more spread out. You might find the perfect place, only to learn that it isn’t available for another month. If you’ve done your homework, you might be able to find a way to hang around for a month before your new place is ready.

2.) Be honest. It’s never a good idea to try and sneak in your pet to a place that doesn’t allow animals. Besides the fines and possible eviction or legal action, you also make it more difficult to find another place after this one. People will be much, much less likely to rent to you after they receive a poor recommendation from your current landlord. Plus, if you are working with an agent that is searching for a place for you, this lets them focus on pet friendly options instead of wasting their time with apartments that would never allow it.

3.) Be ready to pay extra. Let’s be honest: pets do damage. Dogs and cats often chew, scratch and claw their way around a home, and it’s incredibly difficult to get animal waste products out of any carpet. In addition, dogs bark, cats meow, and thin walls mean everyone can hear it. So even if your pet is the most well behaved animal on the planet, you have to be understanding as to why a landlord might require a higher monthly payment.

4.) Introduce your pet. Allowing your landlord to meet your pet will help put their mind at ease. Having a well-behaved pet will do wonders in this situation. It will also give your landlord a chance to judge the size and potential damage of your family member. A small, old, well-behaved cat is not nearly as much of a risk as a large, out of control St. Bernard puppy.

5.) Use your resources. Your local animal shelter or humane society might have a list of pet friendly rental communities. Check with friends, family members or coworkers that have pets and ask them how they found housing that allowed animals. And don’t be afraid of looking on the internet; even searching Google for pet friendly apartments in your area is sure to yield some favorable results.

6.) Get it in writing. Your lease specifically says no pets, but you and your landlord have reached a verbal agreement. Good enough, right? Wrong. Get it in writing. All your landlord needs to do is cross out the ‘no pet’ line and initial next to it before signing. Otherwise you could face a serious headache when trying to get your deposit back later.

Do you have any pets?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Preventing Fires in Your Home

Did you know 1 person is killed every 2 hours in a house fire? It’s true! What’s even sadder is that many of these fires are completely preventable. So before you move into a new home or apartment, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from deadly home fires:

1.) Check your smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are your number one defense against a starting fire, so it’s essential that you not only have an adequate amount, but also that they’re in working order and placed in the right locations. Smoke rises, so your smoke alarms should be place in in high rise locations like your ceiling or high on walls. Smoke alarms mounted on ceilings should be at least four inches away from the nearest wall and smoke alarms mounted on walls should be between four and twelve inches away from the ceiling. Make sure each alarm has fresh batteries and can be heard from every room in the house. Smoke alarms that are over 10 years old or have been painted over should be replaced.

2.) Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Throwing water on a fire isn’t going to do much good when it really gets going, but a fire extinguisher might still be useful in this situation. The good news is that fire extinguishers are relatively cheap (around $30 dollars for a small one). Make sure the extinguisher is in proper working order (meaning the gauge should be checked to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged) and that it is in an easily accessible location. A fire extinguisher isn’t going to do you any good if you have to rummage through storage boxes in the garage to find it. It’s also important that everyone in the household knows how to work the fire extinguisher as well.

3.) Don’t overload sockets and power strips. With all the electronic devices in today’s world, it’s easier to overload a socket and not even know it. The television, DVD player, stereo equipment, video game console, computer, lamps and many other things will often be plugged into a single power strip. For newer homes, this may be acceptable, but in an older home it may be necessary to have a professional install a new outlet nearby.

4.) Watch your open flames. Candles are often outlawed in dorms, and for very good reason: an open flame can literally catch anything on fire! But if candles are allowed in your home, make sure they’re kept away from anything that could catch. Even curtains can be blown about when someone enters a room or a breeze comes in through a window. Pets and small children can also knock over a candle on accident.

5.) Use common sense. It may sound easy, but many people have fallen victim to this line of thinking. I’ve even come close to burning the house down when a blanket that was resting on the back of the couch feel off and landed on a heater while I was in the shower. I came out to a smoky living room and a severely scorched blanket. So keep your lamps and heaters free of debris, you never know what could catch!

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at!

Do you have any home fire safety tips?

Saturday, January 26, 2013 Monday, December 10, 2012 Friday, November 2, 2012

3 Safety Concerns for College Students in Winter

Well folks, November has finally come around, which means the snow and cold won’t be far behind (if it hasn’t hit some spots already), and with plenty of snow and cold comes a whole new batch of safety concerns. So read on, take notes, and be safe this winter!

1.) Cold related sicknesses. Sure, it seems like no big deal (after all, what’s a little cold every now and then?), but we’re talking more about something like hypothermia. Every year, I hear about some college student getting drunk at a holiday party, trying to walk home (or just walk to across the street) and then never quite making it and freezing to death in the bushes outside their house. It’s colder than you think out there, and you need to be smart. Not that walking around town drunk was ever a good idea, but keep a little closer eye on your friends this year.

And if you do lose your friend, find their phone. I recently just installed a “lost phone” app (called Find iPhone) on mine and my boyfriend’s phone. If he can’t find his phone, I use the app on mine and it makes his phone beep while showing me exactly where it is on a GPS map. So see, it’s convenient if you can’t find your phone, or if you can’t find the person that is probably with the phone.

2.) Car dawdling. This time of the year is a jackpot for predators looking to jump an innocent victim on their way to their car. Not only do people generally take longer to get into their car (clearing the snow off of the door handle, scraping ice off the windshield), but it also takes people longer to leave. They sit in the car until it warms up a bit. They text while their windshield thaws. Don’t do that! Your best idea would be to install an electric starter that you can use from inside. Your vehicle remains locked, but it’s warming up without you inside it. That way you unlock it, put the key in the ignition and leave.

And if you can’t install an automatic starter (I know, my car is too old for this kind of luxury), please be smarter about how you prepare yourself. Have someone out there with you to help you clear off the snow or ice. Do their car at the same time while you’re out there. Start your car, go back inside and watch from a window inside, and carry some pepper spray or a personal alarm on your keychain just in case anything does happen.

3.) Less awareness. Walking somewhere in the winter time gives a whole new set of challenges. Very often you don’t have the best footing (walking on partially frozen sidewalks), you can’t hear much between the hat covering your ears and the wind whipping by, and you probably aren’t focused on your surroundings; you’re focused on staying warm. Personally, I’m guilty of this all the time; I put my hands in my pockets, look straight down and walk as fast as I can in the general direction of my destination.

This is stupid: very, very stupid. Predators know how to spot an easy target from a mile away, and someone with their hands in their pockets that isn’t even looking 10 feet in front of them is definitely an easy target. Plus, it’s cold out. A predator might wait all night for the perfect victim on a warm summer’s eve, but in 10 degree weather in the middle of winter? They’re going to take the first bait that comes along. So don’t be an easy target. Better yet, get a ride.

And don’t forget to check out our store full of college safety equipment at

Do you have any additional winter safety tips?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Safety Questions Renters Always Forget to Ask

If you’re looking for a home to rent, chances are you know the general questions. You need to know how much they’re asking for rent, if it’s close to public transportation (but not actually living on top of a subway station), and you’re probably going to inquire about leasing guidelines. However, even after you’ve looked at the place (seen the size of the rooms, etc.), there are a few things you still might overlook. Here are some important questions you’d be sorry not to ask beforehand:

1.) How’s the cell phone signal? Nothing is quite as annoying as trying to carry on a conversation with someone while constantly moving around the house trying to chase a seemingly non-existent signal, even when your cellphone provider boasts supposedly “exceptional” signal strength. You’re going to want to know you can call 9-1-1 from anywhere in your home, including under the kitchen sink…just in case.

2.) How’s that elevator? Don’t be surprised if an apartment eight stories up brags about an elevator and then after you move in you find out it’s only for moving heavy freight. Or maybe it has an elevator, but it’s been out of service for three years. Or maybe it has a working elevator perfectly acceptable for people to use; it just moves at a snail’s pace. You might not think this even qualifies as a safety issue, but the first time you come home on crutches and try to navigate up eight flights of stairs, you’ll think differently about the value of that elevator.

3.) Who handles the maintenance? This includes both interior and exterior maintenance. If you live in a house instead of an apartment, you could be expected to do all of the exterior upkeep (like mowing the lawn and shoveling snow). If you live in an apartment, there may be a few different people that you need to call depending on the circumstances. A doorman may handle your mail, a super may handle basic maintenance issues or emergency issues (you smell gas in your apartment) and your landlord may handles more serious issues with your rental. Make sure you have a list of all the appropriate people you need to call should a problem arise, and don’t forget, if something comes up and you need help now, don’t bother calling your landlord, dial 9-1-1 and explain it later. 

4.) What’s the parking situation? Many places offer a free parking space out front or even in a driveway, but if you’re looking to rent in New York the issues of parking is a whole other ballgame altogether. Parking is not only incredibly expensive, but having a set parking space will save you hours of time trying to find one when you arrive home every night. Plus, having to park half a mile away from your front door puts you at risk! If you can get a place that has a garage or a private parking, do it. It means you can walk from your car to your front door in a safe environment.

And don’t forget to check out our online store (  for any necessary safety equipment you may need, like pepper spraypersonal alarms or the iWitness Smartphone Service.

Do you have any safety questions students/renters forget to ask?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to Find a Roommate: The Safe Way

Folks, I’m originally from a small town in western Montana. There, everyone knows everyone. If you need a roommate you simply tell a friend you need a roommate and within a week or so someone you know (or at least vaguely know) gets in contact with you saying their up for the roomie job. And forget about having to research anyone, you just ask your mutual friends how tough they are to live with. Bam: new roommate.

Most places are a bit different, especially in a new college town. You don’t know anyone, and if you’re planning on living off-campus (which I admit is can be a huge money saver), your roommate search might prove some interesting results. Here’s how to make sure you end up with a good one.

1.) Create a wish list. Before you even start looking you need to get an idea of what you’re looking for. Do you prefer a male or female roommate? Is there a certain age you feel comfortable with? A young college student might be up for partying every night of the week, while a 60 year old woman might prefer you to keep the television on mute after 4:00 in the evening. Are you (or your landlord) okay with pets? Think about these things before beginning your search.

2.) Look everywhere. There are countless places to look for potential roommates, so don’t limit yourself. Want ads in the newspaper, Craigslist, or even places you hang out. Spread the word around your local watering hole that you’ve got an extra room opening up. You also should post an ad (either in the paper, on Craigslist or on flyer’s around the city, whatever you can afford). In it, emphasize the good qualities of your apartment. So what if it’s tiny, does it have hardwood floors? Is it close to the university? Some great pictures (of your well-lit, clean apartment) should be included as well.

3.) Narrow down the responses. Chances are, unless you live in a dungeon (and even if you live in a dungeon), you’re going to get a decent number of responses. Go through and find the ones you think would make a realistic roommate and make a list. Then call them, and talk with them on the phone to narrow down the list further. After that, arrange to meet them in person, in a public place. After your in-person meetings you should have a handful of people that get to see the apartment (not after step 4 though).

4.) Research them. This may seem a little judgmental, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Google your potential roommate…thoroughly. Check their Facebook page twitter account. What are they posting about? What are their friends posting about? How do they spend their free time? Do they air out their dirty laundry on Facebook or are they respectful of people they know?

5.) Get your deposit. After you’ve found a good match and they agree to live with you, get your deposit. They might not work out, and you can always refund them if they move out, but you need to make sure you’re not stuck with the bill if they decide to do some impromptu remodeling.

6.) Be wary. No matter how much you’ve researched them, your new roommate still might not be a great match. So keep your valuables locked up and stored in a safe place until you really get to know the person you’re now living with.

What are some ways you choose a safe roommate?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What’s the Best Method of Self-Defense? Stopping Crime Before it Starts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “There’s an app for that.” And while that does ring true (as well all know, there is an app for virtually everything), the area of self-defense has been surprisingly silent. Well not anymore!

Introducing the iWitness Self Protection Smartphone Service! Never again will you have to feel completely alone walking across campus in the middle of the night (we’re going to skip the lecture and just assume you had no other option). So how exactly does it work?

Well first of all, it’s best to keep the app among your favorites for easy access. After you open the app, press the “ARM IWITNESS” button. This should be done at the first hint of danger (if you notice you’re being followed, or if it’s just really dark and you’ve got an “uneasy” feeling about something).


As soon as you press the “ARM IWITNESS” button, your phone is armed. It’s ready to take audio and video recordings as soon as you tap the screen. This is called “Capture Mode.”

The entire time your phone is in “Capture Mode” tapping the screen will automatically call 9-1-1. There is a 5-second delay (in case this was a mistake and you don’t wish to call 9-1-1), during which you are allowed to cancel the call. Otherwise, help will automatically be summoned. Plus, if an attacker should knock the phone from your hand, the movement will also trigger an automatic 9-1-1 call. 

Plus, anything you record is automatically being sent to a secure server, so if even if your phone is broken or thrown in a river the evidence is still safe. There’s simply no way around it; whoever chooses to harm you will absolutely be caught, and that’s a lot of incentive for a criminal to find another victim. 

The cost for this service is simply $29.99 a year (or roughly $2.50 a month), which is really nothing compared to the peace of mind it provides.

What do you guys think; will the iWitness App help to make college campuses a safer place?


Monday, March 12, 2012

On Campus vs Off Campus Living


Well, it looks like it’s getting to be that time of year again. That time where another semester is coming up (summer) and you need to figure out what you’re going to do until the fall. Do you stay on campus? Get a place with some friends just for the summer? Move back home?

Here, let me give you some ways to at least make an informed decision.

Living On Campus:

There are many pros to living on campus. For the most part, there’s the huge lack of travel expenses from getting to and from school every morning, including the extra 10 minutes of sleep you get when all you have to do is roll out of bed and walk across the quad to your first class. Plus, many students feel a better sense of community on campus. After all, you do all live only a few feet apart from each other.

And while most people would list this as a pro, I’m going to have to be honest with you and list it as a con. Living on campus, at every school I attended, was always more expensive. Plus, all that “community” you loved so much the first few weeks? It can get pretty old as the semester wears on, which is one of the biggest downsides of on campus living; a serious lack of privacy.


And of course, let’s not forget the rules. You want to kick back, have a beer and watch the game? You may not be able to if you live on campus. And if that game goes into triple overtime and it’s past 10:00 at night? Sorry, but you’re friends might get kicked out.

Living Off Campus:

Now when living off campus, there are definitely going to be some pros. First off, are the aforementioned ‘cons’ in the paragraph above me, mainly a little more privacy (not much, but some). And of course there’s the whole “rule schmule” bit where you really don’t have to abide by the rules of the university. Basically, you just need to act like an adult. Don’t blast music at 3:00 in the morning, don’t dance naked on your roof and don’t piss in your neighbors geraniums.

And if you can’t go a day without doing these things, maybe you are better suited for the structure of on campus living…or a psychiatric ward…


The cons? Well, the commute is the main one. It can be pretty tough finding a place relatively close to your school, and even then you still have to deal with traffic and finding a parking space (which often takes longer than the actual commute itself). And when you have a 7:50 a.m. class and all the parking spots are taken at 7:46, life can get a little frustrating. Plus, you might feel a little…how do I say it…”left out” from university activities. Maybe when you lived in the dorms you went to Improv every Thursday night, or had a Ping Pong tournament every Tuesday night in the game room. Now you’re just the sad sack looking in through the window as a single tear slowly creeps down your cheek…

The Verdict:

Honestly, it depends on your own personal tastes. Personally, I’m an off campus honey. I don’t do well with a lot of “rules” (I tend to break them out of spite), and I’ve always found off campus living to be infinitely cheaper (as long as you have a roommate). And sorry to say, but when you can throw your own 80’s party that goes till 4:00 in the morning…you really don’t miss the Tuesday night Ping Pong.


Which do you guys prefer? On campus of off campus living?

Monday, February 13, 2012

5 College Scams You’re Falling For Right Now and How to Get Around Them

I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Not me!” Ha, think again. I’m going to fill you in on a little secret: College is a business.

Now I’m sure you already known this ($500 for two textbooks?), but there are even sneakier ways of getting your money that you won’t realize until you’ve long gone and graduated. So here are some ways to avoid paying more than you should.

1.) Never declare your major before your junior year. Now hear me out. Most college recruiters will want you to declare as soon as possible, and why? Because very few students end up graduating with a degree they chose their freshman year. Most students change their minds a few times. By declaring, you’re instantly put into specialized classes that don’t count for crap if you change your mind. Take my example.

My freshman year I wanted to major in Engineering, and after caving to the pressure to declare myself as an engineering major, I found my first semester full of physics and drafting classes. It only took me one semester to realize it was the wrong degree path for me, but all those classes? Useless. Bam; the school just got an entire semester of tuition and fees and I’m leaving with no relevant classes to another degree program.

Better yet, take only general education classes your first two years. They count no matter what degree you pursue, and because they’re generic (Chemistry 101 and Psychology 101 are the same no matter what school you go to) most of your credits will probably transfer, meaning you won’t have to take the same class over again (and pay for it twice).

*Exception: Based on many of the comments I’m getting with reblogs, I admit I seem to have left out some exceptions to this rule, mainly if you’ve always known what you wanted to be. If you’ve wanted to be a chef since you were 6 years old, than by all means go to college, take the relevant classes and get on with your life. But if you’re unsure, don’t dive in headfirst.

That being said though, if you’re planning on coasting for a few years taking crap classes, get your head out of your ass. You should always be looking for a career path, but until you are 100% sure don’t declare your major. Get your general education classes out of the way and move forward from there.

2.) Take an internship first. Most degree programs won’t allow you to take get credit for an internship until you take 80% of your coursework. Now contrary to what your school might tell you (you need the training before you would be able to do the internship), the fact is that an internship is the most realistic training you’re going to get. If you were to do it at the beginning of the program and found you didn’t like it, you could change your mind, no harm done. But because they require you to take it at the end of a program, if you don’t like it it’s on you. They’ve already got your business for 80% of the program.

Instead, before you start any program, find a place in town that will let you job-shadow. It’s free, and 99% of the time you’ll be doing the exact same thing as a future internship. If you still decide it’s the job for you, than go ahead and sign up for some classes.

3.) Textbooks. Buying textbooks from the campus bookstore (especially the used textbooks) is an ENORMOUS amount of wasted money. Never, ever, buy books from the campus bookstore. Instead, I’m just going to say to follow these steps and say “You’re welcome.”

You’re welcome.

4.) Research housing and meal plans. If the cost of your dorm housing breaks down to $400/month or more ($1900 for a semester of housing? That’s $475/month!), there’s a pretty good chance you could be getting a much better deal living off campus. The most expensive (and niiiiiice) place that I lived in was $333/mo (with roommates), and my share of utilities definitely didn’t add up to more than $75 (including cable and internet). Many schools will drill it into your heads that on-campus living is the way to go (close to school, cheaper, built in meal plan), but the fact is if you don’t drive your own car, most university cities have public transportation that costs hardly anything.

Now each place is different, mind you, as living on-campus in New York might be infinitely cheaper than living off-campus, but that school in the Midwest might be picking your pocket.

Oh and meal plans? Please, you might as well just eat out at a restaurant everyday ($5 for lunch? $10 for dinner?) Or better yet, learn to cook. Learn to cook and go to the store and buy groceries. Believe it or not, that’s how adults save money on food.

5.) Take advantage of the “flat spot”. Sure, most schools are going to advise you against taking more than 12 credits a semester (“You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and get poor grades!”), but the real reason is because they don’t want you to take advantage of the “flat spot.” The “flat spot” is the area between 12 and 18 credits, where tuition is the same. It costs the same amount to take 12 credits as it does to take 18. That’s two free classes!

And if you’re worried about being overwhelmed, just make sure to choose wisely. You can still take 18 credits, just pair your easiest classes with your hardest ones. Need a physical education class (yes, some schools do require them)? Take Yoga 101 and you’ll have plenty of time to do your Chemistry homework. Need to take freshman Psychology and a Cultural Appreciation class? Ask around. The professor for American History might be brutal, while the Buddhism in American class is a walk in the park. This “flat spot” is a gift of free classes, take all advantage of it!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Roommate Wish List


Alright, ladies and gents, I’m in a fairly sarcastic mood tonight and I’m cracking myself up. While having a conversation with an old roommate we discussed the existence of a “Super Roommate.” It got a little heated and we ended up having a bit of trouble narrowing down our time 5 features. So between the 10 listed, please let me know what your top 5 Super Roommate characteristics would be.

Top 10 possible qualifications of the Ultimate Roommate:

1.) They can cook. Freshman year, fall semester, I had a culinary arts roommate. Her name was Emily and she watched Emeril every afternoon. She used to dream about one day having a television show called, “Essence of Emily.” She could make a full Thanksgiving dinner with saltines, canned corn and a bullion cube. She was amazing. I still wish she lived with me…and I can even cook!

2.) They’re rich. My roommate and I both lived with a girl who was beyond well off, and for graduation her parents gave her $800 to take all us girls out to dinner at the most expensive place in town. It’s still the one (and probably only) time in my life I’ve eaten a $52 steak. It was incredible. I still have the urge to save up the money and spend it on that damn steak…it’s like my heroin for crying out loud…

3.) They LOVE to clean. I mean looooove to clean. They would get annoyed if I cleaned because it would interfere with their “happy cleaning time”. Oh yeah, and did I mention this list can be made up of completely fictional characteristics?


4.) They can fly. Well if you didn’t know before, at least you do now. Yes, this was my addition. I want a roommate that can fly. It would be effin’ awesome.

5.) They’re a rocket scientist/inventor. So they make all kinds of sweet gadgets and gizmos. Talk about never having to study again, cheating on an exam would never be easier!

6.) They can play a musical instrument. Sorry it’s not anything that out of the ordinary, but you gotta admit, a guy that can wail on a guitar is…well…ahem, ya know, not bad to be around. My personal weakness is bluesy piano, so….I guess if they could…with the keys…oh yeah…I’m sorry what was the question? Kurt was looking at me…


7.) They own a pet sloth. Sloths are the coolest animals on the planet and I want my ultimate roommate to have one so I can pet it when I get home from class. All smiling upside down and stuff…so freakin’ cool!

8.) They always like the same tv shows I do. That way I never have to worry about fighting for the remote. Just plain smart, if you ask me.

9.) They’re friends with Mila Kunis and Christina Hendricks. They’re hot. Sue me.



10.)  They’re really tall. I’m kind of a shorty myself, so it would just be nice to have a really tall person around the house. Lame, I know, but if you’re tall you can leave this off your list.

So, if it were up to me, my top 5 qualities would be numbers 4, 6, 7, 9 and either 10 or 3. I’m short and I hate to clean so the last two are really a toss-up.

Reblog if you have some of these qualities ;).

So what do you guys think? Which 5 characteristics would make up your dream roommate?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Not sure why, but this room kind of reminds me of summer…

Though I think there are a few other things at I’d be purchasing to go with it, like this arch of the Eiffel Tower Wall Decal for sure:


It’s a pretty room, but I’d want to (personally) toughen it up a bit.

What do you guys think? Would you mind having a room like this?

Monday, January 2, 2012

College Resolutions Worth Keeping


If you’re like me, I’m sure every year is the same. You’re probably looking to start off 2012 with a bang, creating beneficial resolutions you’re hoping to stick to. Problem is, only some of those resolutions actually make a difference. So here’s the top five (gathered from various college students) that were actually worth keeping.

5.) Get Organized. Ah, organization. Personally, being organized is nothing short of a miracle, so every time I think of getting organized my brain goes straight to the vision of me frolicking through Staples, buying notebook dividers, comfort-grip pens and a various assortment of highlighters. A different notebook for every class! A divider for every category (syllabus, handouts, homework, notes, etc)! A daily planner! My home office (the corner of my room I’ve dedicated to Tumbling) will be an area of motivation and productivity!


Then I take a nap, wake up, eat some toast and decide I just don’t have the money.

Folks, stop doing what I do. Instead, make a list of things you need. Write down everything, even the awesome highlighters. Now, cross off what you already have (already have a green, blue and yellow highlighter? Then you don’t need any more). Find what you can from your roommates, like pens, pencils, or notebooks (everyone has an extra something, even you). Then go to the store for the rest; including paper. Bright, shiny, paper-smelling paper…ah that’s the stuff. Fill up your notebooks with dividers and get ready to be majorly productive.

Feel like your schoolwork doesn’t neet any organizing? Focus on your car, or your closet. Yes ladies, imagine how nice it would be to wake up to this (metaphorically):


And if you are looking to organize your dorm, don’t forget to check us out at! We’ve got you covered for the new year!

4.) Stop Procrastinating. Speaking of being productive, this is your year to stop procrastinating…or at least work on doing it less. This is a matter of sitting down and doing something, regardless of whether you want to or not. I know, I feel your pain; I’m incredibly skilled in the area of procrastination (as demonstrated here). But funny thing about it, the feeling of getting something done right away is pretty astounding, meaning you’ll actually want to do it again. I’m not saying you have to completely do a 180 and never procrastinate again…


but start off by being conscientious of when you’re doing it. Get the first assignment of the year and instantly think “I’ll do that tomorrow…” stop. Suck it up and do it now. You never know what might potentially come up tomorrow.

3.) Stop Being a Doormat. This is by far one of the most useful resolutions ever. Got a guy (or a girl) that is dragging you along? Maybe they’ll call, maybe they won’t, but you still sit at your phone, making sure you’re Friday night is completely clear (did homework ahead of time, right?), hoping they might send you a text? Maybe you should send one…just a short one…to remind them how awesome you are…

Or maybe it’s the friend that makes you feel like crap. You know, the one that brings you along everywhere and then gives you the not-so-secret role of the “grenade”. These people do nothing but drain your self-confidence, time, efforts, and basically everything else that you could be using for yourself.


So cut them loose. If they want to hang out with you, make them earn it. Your time is valuable, so treat it as such.

2.) Get Fit. Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is on everyone’s resolution list, but hey, it’s there for a reason. Now, in reality, pretty much everyone could benefit from a little more exercise and healthy eating, and college is notorious for replacing exercise with beer pong, and healthy eating with beer and pizza. So break out of the habit. Get a buddy and set a gym date. Write down your goals (something specific and measurable), and take it one day at a time.


A good way to do this is to set monthly resolutions instead of one for the year. Your goal is to get fit? Great. How are you going to do that for January? If you’re planning on workout out two times a week, write it down, then cross it off as you do it. Plan to run 15 miles in January? Great, now keep track of what you run. Whatever you hit (20 miles, 10 miles) set that as your goal in February, and once again, write it down.

And make sure you’re measuring along the weigh (word pun = awesome). Either by weight, body fat percentage, body measurements (waist size, hip size, etc) or fitness goals (I want to run a mile in 9 minutes). You can even make a sweet graph with gold stars and everything…you are going to be buying awesome school supplies later anyway, right?


1.) Have More Fun. This basically means say “yes” more often. Your roommate is going to that Shakespeare play she has to watch for her Art History class? Go with her! I remember going with a friend because she had to write a review about a dance performance. We went to see the BYU Ballroom dancing something or other, and it was the most awesome show I’ve ever seen. And yes, I’ve been to my fair share of rock concerts. The ballroom dancing, hands down, took the cake. So branch out and say “yes” when people ask you to come. Just make sure you get that homework done ahead of time. Think about it, no one ever looks back on their college career and remembers the times they got a really good night’s sleep; they remember the times they should’ve been sleeping and were out doing something else instead.


So this year, make some memories.

Reblog if you agree!

What do you guys think? What are your resolutions for 2012?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Anonymous said: Any tips for transfer students who aren't coming in as freshman & instead of beginning in the fall they start in the spring?

Great question!

Transferring can be pretty stressful, and on top of it, most schools schedule all that “new student orientation” mumbo jumbo for fall semester, so starting in January can seem a little more daunting than usual. For the most part, it’s not too much different than transferring at any other time: you’ll need to find a place to live and set up your class schedule, etc. But there are a few things you might want to consider:

1.) Set up your class schedule ASAP. Students are always able to register for classes far ahead of time, but it’s even more urgent to bear down and do it for spring. The reasoning is, students tend to wait till the last minute for fall semester. It’s summer, most students don’t even think about school until August. Spring is different though; the idea to register for classes has been drilled into students’ heads since October. If you’re transferring, you need to register as soon as you can.

2.) Search your job options. A great benefit of transferring for spring semester is that many students are graduating, meaning a lof of on-campus jobs open up during Christmas break. You might be able to land a job before you even move into your dorm.

3.) Research professors. Many schools offer an area for professor feedback, a la “Grade Your Teacher” (thanks, How I Met Your Mother). You probably already know that the quality of many of your classes at your old school depend on the professor, so its’a actually really important that you learn which professors are the good ones and which professors would be better to avoid.

In the end though, it’s important to know that transferring is not all that bad. I would know, I’ve transferred schools three times ;).

If you’re transferring, check out for new dorm decorations (both functional and awesome). Does anyone else have any advice for someone transferring spring semester?