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Dorm Cooking: Tips and Recipes


When I went to college, I was a bit on the shy side. I didn’t eat in the college cafeteria. I didn’t know anything about the dreaded freshmen 15 epidemic, which seems to worry students. I walked everywhere and ate moderately. I placed a video down below, called “Avoiding the Freshman 15” by Well Cast. I found it interesting, informative, and worth sharing.  I had canned tuna and the standard starving student meal, “Ramen Noodles.” Which can be quite delicious if you put a dash of good soy sauce and sesame seed oil. These flavors give this modest simple meal, a touch of gourmet.


Yes it’s true! Always go grocery shopping on a full stomach. I recently found a little gem, for those occasions when I want some cake and don’t want to make too much. It’s made in the microwave and in a mug. It’s called the Duncan Hines, Perfect Size for 1. There are many varieties of these single serving cake/muffin type of desserts to choose from. Don’t forget to buy mainly non processed foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. They will keep your mind sharp and alert. It’s better to stay healthy so that you can be mentally fit for your tests. I know that when my diet was weak, I felt weak, tired, and unfocused.  When in doubt, always make sure to always consult your doctor for a diet that is right for you.


Many dorms have a kitchen which you can reserve. You can easily prep a weeks worth of meals as well as snacks. I reserved the kitchen on several occasions. I would take advantage of being able to use a stove and I would boil a dozen eggs. I would have the protein that  I needed during the week. Bento boxes, also known as compartment containers make meal prepping convenient. You can find quite a variety of Bento boxes on Amazon. Make sure you get the right size for you and make sure it will fit your mini fridge properly.  Nonperishable foods can be stored in a cool dark place like your closet/pantry.  Below, I have added a YouTube video by Mind Over Matter called, “Bento Box Lunches 2.” You’ll find tons of healthy and very simple recipes to lunches that you can take with you. I put a link below for bento boxes on Amazon.


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Credit Cards and the College Student


Congratulations. You are an adult now. Probably living alone for the very first time. Don’t be surprised to one day find yourself, being enticed  on campus, to signing up for a credit card. I thought it was crazy when it happened to me. I was a lowly starving student without a job. If you must do it.  Signing up for your first credit card, make sure if you are going to use it, know what you are doing, and please make sure you will be able to make the payments. Don’t become chained to credit card debt like most Americans.


It is so much better to know credit and credit cards explained. I have attached a few videos that I found that unveils the mysteries of credit cards. I am happy to say, I don’t have any credit card debt. I am not chained and enslaved by it. Yes have I have a great credit score but it was not so, long ago but I learned. Learn now so you don’t regret it later.


You need credit in order to purchase a car (w/o cosigners), a house, etc. Even though I detest credit cards, they have given me my credit score. When you don’t really need to use your card, use this rule of thumb: “If you have it (money), buy it (whatever it is that you want to buy), if you don’t…don’t (use a credit card).” I use this advice.

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Studying Tips


How many times have you heard the basic studying tips, “Been there, done that.” The YouTube video below is very interesting and will give you ideas on different types of studying tips which you might find helpful. It’s called, “8 Advanced Study Tips” by Thomas Frank.





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Getting Straight A’s In College


Four years sounds like a long time to commit to getting good grades in college. I can assure you that it goes by fast. Stay committed to making the best grades and surrounding yourself with friends that want to do well in college and study.  You can motivate each other and study together.


Be friendly to the students in class that sit by you and always attend. You can both benefit by sharing notes if one of you miss class. Study groups before a midterm or final are wonderful. Generally most college libraries have study rooms. You can reserve on in time for your group to get together and study.


When I saw the YouTube Video called, “The Secret To Straight A’s” by YesReneau, I had to share it with you.  It’s filled with strategies that I too used in college.

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Note Taking Techniques


My favorite noting taking technique has always been the Outline Style note taking method. I also recorded many of my lectures and went back to my notes to see if I wasn’t too clear on what was said. This way, if you didn’t understand something that may have been vague, you can meet with your professor during office hours and have your question clarified.

Below is a wonderful YouTube video by Thomas Frank that give your five ideas on a note taking technique. You might find a better way of taking notes.


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Dorm Room Revisited


If you have recently graduated college and you were one of thousands of students who couldn’t wait to get their degree and get the heck out of Dodge. Chances are, you won’t be visiting your old campus or dorm room anytime soon.

Some of us, still wake up in cold sweat. Fearful of not having the assignment thats due. Or the midterm or final exam which your unprepared to take.  Don’t know about you, but it was about a few years when I started missing living on campus and going to class.

In high school, I was not the best student. I hung out with a friend whom didn’t like school and didn’t want us to look like two “school girls.” We were snazzy dressers, well groomed, and flirty. I was much like Mary Poppins. I stayed out of trouble but did manage to go out on lots of dates. Once I went to college an hour or so away from my hometown, I began to make better grades. I didn’t see many people that I knew around campus. I loved living on campus although, I didn’t love living with roommates. I went from Mary Poppins to a toned down version of Emmanuelle.

If only my old dorm room walls could talk.  The conversation would be pretty boring. They would primarily speak of lots and lots of study time and coffee. I took very challenging classes so I didn’t do too much more than studying. I had lots of fun but I just knew when to not let it get in the way.

Watch the video below and reminisce and relive life in a Havard dorm room with Mark Zuckerberg. If I had been a fly on his dorm room, I would have seen lots of geeky action. 🙂


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College Freshman Advice


The goal for this bit of college freshman advice, is to provide some helpful tips on making college an easier transition. College can be an intimidating place, when you are clueless.

 Remember that college is not high school. In high school, you may have been the smartest and best looking student in your class. In college, you’ll find that there will always be someone faster, prettier, and smarter than you. Take college classes seriously and stay humble.  When meeting your roommate or fellow classmates, try not to be too full of yourself.

Before classes begin, go looking for your classrooms. On a planner, which is a must-have when staying on top of assignments and test, write all of your class information. If you get a syllabus before classes begins, write all of the assignments, quizzes, and test dates in your planner. Remember, everything is subject to change so have some type of “white-out” product handy. Great for making changes to your planner.

When it comes to textbooks, before schools starts, email your professors to ask if you can use a later edition of the required textbook. You may find that some won’t mind. You just have to ask. Buying the earlier edition will save you lots of money.  Check out and see how much you will be saving.  If you don’t hear back for them, generally the professors will tell you if they will require you to purchase the required book. Many times they don’t because they will provide all of the important information in their lectures.

Think about sitting in the first couple of rows in class. Ask your professors questions before or after class. If you are not understanding your assignment, make use of your professor’s office hours and write that information somewhere in your planner.

Make sure to save all of your assignments on either Dropbox or Google Docs. You won’t have to be afraid of misplacing or losing your thumbdrive ever again. With Dropbox or Google Docs, you can upload your assignment on to your colleges web application (i.e., Blackboard or Campus Portal ) or you can print your assignment from any computer.

Getting aquainted with the people in your class is extremely important and helpful.  If one of you forgets their textbook, you can share and since you already have already introduced yourselves, it won’t be awkward. This is true about sharing notes too. You never know when you’ll miss class. Also, before a test, you can ask them if they want to get together to study. Many colleges have study rooms in their libraries. Some are for one person and others are for alarger group of people. You just have to reserve the room at the front desk.

College is filled with a diverse class of people. Many come from different parts of the world. Don’t shy away from getting to them. You’ll find that people from other parts of the world or country, have some very interesting conversations, ideas, and points of view. Afterall, everyone’s environments and experiences are not the same. When you interact with other groups of people, you become a well-rounded person. Your eyes will see the world differently.

In summary, take college seriously; find your classrooms ahead of time; write your class information in a planner; don’t buy your textbooks before you know whether or not they are required; if you have questioons, visit your professor during office hours; use Dropbox or Google Docs for saving your assignments; and finally, get to know your classmates and a don’t be afraid of getting to know a deverse group of people.



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Essential College Dorm Room Items


Many colleges and universities, require freshman to live on campus during their first year. In my own personal experience however, I lived on campus all four years of my undergraduate college life. To be specific, I lived in four different dorm halls; with eight different roommates (one at a time)! Having lived four years in a college dorm room, I am able to recommend some essential college dorm room items for you to bring.


Before purchasing any dorm room appliances, call your residence hall or look at their website. Check to see if there are any dorm room restrictions on appliances and other items. For example, many colleges will not allow George Forman grills, halogen lamps, or hot plates in dorm rooms. Some items pose safety issues, so it’s just a good idea to follow the rules.  Don’t bring any unapproved items. When in doubt, always check. In the long run, it will save you time and money.


Here’s another useful piece of advice, “Travel light!” Your dorm room space will be small and confined so choose your clothing and shoes carefully. Comfortable shoes are a must, depending on the size of your college, your classes may be located far apart. Consider purchasing plastic bin organizers for your closet or for under your bed. Organizers are an essential dorm room item for keeping your room uncluttered. When it comes to clothing use common sense, if it’s winter, take appropriate clothing. If it rains a lot, bring rain shoes and an umbrella. Don’t take every shoe or piece of clothing that you own. Learn to coordinate a few clothing items in your wardrobe.


Whatever you do, do not take expensive items or jewlery to school. You are just asking for trouble. Even if you know your roommate, you don’t always know the people that are invited into your room when you are away. Consider purchasing a safe box for your room. It is a great item for keeping your values, such as credit cards, money, or passport from being stolen.


Many people will suggest that you call your future roommates.  To introduce yourself and to discuss what appliances you will each agree to bring, so that you won’t have two of everything.  I will speak to you through my own college experiences and I say, “Bring your own appliances.”  What happens if your roommate decides to drop out of school or decides to move into another dorm? As I mentioned earlier, I spent four years living in a college dorm room and was glad that I had my own microwave, mini refrigerator, and tv.  Roommates came and went; I never had to go without any appliances.


I listed some of the most essential college dorm room items below. However, I did not list the more obvious items for you to bring, such as, makeup or hair supplies.  As I mentioned earlier, before making any purchases, check with your college/university for approved appliances.


APPLIANCES– Check with your Residence Hall

*Coffee Maker
*Microwave (Bowls, Cups, Plates, silverware, Water bottle)
*Mini Refrigerator


*Mattress protector
*Throw blanket


*Portable Batter Charger


*Alarm Clock
*Desk Lamp
*Laundry Basket
*Over the door mirror
*Organizational bins
*Safe (protect your valuables)
*Small Television
*Surge Protector Strip
*Trash Can


*Binders & Loose Leaf paper
*Calendar (desk and wall)
*Graph paper
*Index cards
*Paper clips
*Pencils (Refill & Sharpener)
*Sticky Notes
*Stapler and Staples
*White-Out Strip


*Shower shoes
*Shower caddy
*Towels – Body/Facial


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Dorm Room Makeovers


Dorm room makeovers are easy when you get great ideas. Sometimes it’s difficult to image all of the ways you can decorate your dorm room. Especially when you haven’t yet seen the layout or size of the room. Before moving into your dorm room, you can begin your purchases with the appliances (that are allowec), bedding, electronics,and shower items. Generally, dorm room beds are Twin XL (extra long) but always make sure to check with your residence hall. Better safe than sorry. Whatever you do, purchase a mattress protector. You might not have a clue where that bed has been or who has been on that bed.

When adding another piece of furinture, such as a bench for extra seating, take measurements of the space where it’s going to be placed. The last thing you want, is to bring a bulky piece of furniture to your extra small dorm room. You might end up with a very upset roommate.  So this is probably the best time to get a hold of your future roommate and ask what they are bringing to avoid future conflicts.

Dorm room walls are painted some type of white color. Nailing things to the wall are a no no. Make sure to bring Command (or similar product) no-damage hooks or strips, to avoid damaging the walls.  The right product can make it easier for you to hang anything from light weight tapestries to wire photo displays.  Anything that will make your room a little homier and comfortable.

Watch “Dorm Décor & Essentials – IKEA Home Tour.”  You can get great visual ideas about how you too, can decorate your room. has a wide selection of IKEA products. So click the link below to get started today.  


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