First Impressions: Freshman Year of College

I’ve been in college for over a week and think it’s high time I updated my blog. After all, I am finally actually Katy IN College. To begin with, I’d like to give an overview of my experience so far, or all of my first impression here.

Dorm Life/Roommate

I am extremely lucky. My dorm seems to be twice as large as everyone else’s in this residence hall, since I’m on the far end of the hallway next to the stairs. There is enough space for all of our things, plus a nice little seating area for lounging around. My roommate and I both have our beds lofted (the height is similar to us having bunk beds – except without a bottom bunk) with our desks underneath. This gives us that much more space to work with!
The downside would be that I’m on the fifth floor and I tend to take the stairs (it seems that every time I decide to use the elevator on my trip up to my room, it’s out of service – what are the chances?!). Also, the lofted bunk beds definitely required an adjustment. Have I mentioned I’m terrified of heights?

But I’m also extremely lucky in the roommate department. I can be pretty awkward and as an introvert, I’m slow to reveal my sense of humor, etc. immediately. So the first couple of days were like a delicate, polite but awkward dance around each other. Now I can honestly call her my friend. We’ve had the weirdest, funniest conversations. At some point, we clicked. And that’s a great feeling, since we have to live together for the next several months at least.

Food

Not bad. There are enough options to keep me content. If nothing else, I can opt for a nice salad or a slice of pizza. One night a few of us just had pizza delivered. And I have a fridge stocked with fridge, of course. There are plenty of options. (Freshman Fifteen is a definite possibility, honestly)

Freshman Week

Terrible! It was exhausting and stressful and Saturday-Wednesday of scheduled Freshman activities was entirely too much. I’m so glad classes have started. After years and years of yearning for college, that week made me doubt my decision to even go to college. I thought it was too much. I thought I should’ve at least taken a gap year. And then it ended and I realized this is exactly where I want to be.

Classes

  • Spanish Grammar and Composition – I like the professor (which is good, since he’s also my academic adviser) and I made a really great friend in that class! Except I’ve debated going down a level. After having my own internal struggle, discussing it with nearly everyone around me willing to listen, and even going to meet with my professor/adviser to discuss taking a placement exam, I’ve finally decided to just stick it out. So far I’m keeping pace and I have a good friend to stick with and study with and be silly with – so I’m certain I want to stay.
  • Intro to Linguistics – FASCINATING! Actually, I’m not even sure if the subject is truly interesting (I think it is…?) but the instructor is amusing and his infatuation with the subject shows and it makes the class more interesting. Plus, I have a sassy text book. I’ve laughed out loud doing reading assignments – multiple times. I think it’s going well.
  • Exploring Religions – I’m excited to delve deeper into the class and learn about the religions because it’s something that has always interested me…but so far, I’m not too impressed. I dread taking reading quizzes every day- I read and annotated the assigned chapter and still didn’t do too hot on the practice quiz we took in class. Wow. Still, I really like the professor and think once we get into the real business it will be a great class.
  • Jazz – I have no idea what the full, long name of this class is. It’s about jazz, though. I’ve only had this class once so far and I’ll have it again tomorrow. It’s a large lecture, which I didn’t expect because my school is fairly small and typically prides itself in having small classes and also because I didn’t think so many people would want to choose jazz over the other options. I don’t have much of an opinion formed of this class, honestly. I think it could be interesting. I do love music. It could also be boring. It’s not just a class where we listen to music for an hour. I guess we’ll find out what I think of it later.
  • College Algebra – I had the wise idea to not try very hard on my placement exam for math. I’m terrible at math anyway, I thought. I should start at a lower level so I can re-fortify my knowledge, I thought. Little did I know that this class is online. There was no option. I have to take it online. I’ve spent a sum of probably six hours working on math so far and have only passed a single lesson (that’s 1.1a, by the way. I’m not even done with 1.1!) This is the worst. It’s horrendous, terrible, dreadful, icky, stressful, frustrating, infuriating, boring, and pointless. 0/10, would not recommend, down with math!

General opinion

I love it. I had high expectations of college. And it is exactly what I knew it would be. I’ve been fairly productive, I’ve been filling my noggin with knowledge, I’ve been making great friends, I’ve been having fun, and I’ve just really been so happy here. It’s only been a week – I’m sure the semester will bring about many trials and tribulations, a rollercoaster of emotions, etc… but I’m content. I really am.

Thank you for reading! I apologize for my tardiness in updating and I promise I have plans for the near future.

Dorm-Warming Gifts for My Roommates

Move In Day is nearly upon us! If you’re anything like me, you’re scrambling to pull yourself together to make sure you’ll have everything you’ll need for classes and dorm life ready to go (or you actually have your life together, for which I applaud you). But it’s also a good idea to take a breather and think of someone other than yourself: your roommate.

My Roommates
I opted to be randomly placed with a roommate, rather than applying to be with my friend who is going to the same school as me. This was for a couple of reasons: (1) I had applied for a dorm well before she got to that process, (2) I’ve been told it’s a great experience to put yourself out of your comfort zone in college to meet others, and (3) I’m super scared of the Roommate Curse where even the best of friends will outgrow and turn on one another after being caged into a dorm room. But that’s just me. (I might be paranoid…)
Anyway, Facebook has basically been the only means of communication with my roommate and two suite-mates (our rooms are connected by a shared bathroom; for future reference, they’ll probably just be referred to as “roommates”). But Facebook isn’t the ideal way to get to know someone, of course. So far, I must say that all three roommates have been nothing less than great to talk to (and I certainly do not foresee any issues or drama or anything unpleasant going down!) but I’d love to have a terrific experience and possibly a great friendship with my roommates. So I’ve got an idea!
How about a dorm-warming gift? Just a simple gift, a nice gesture, and a lovely ice-breaker. I can do that!

Dorm

Because this dorm needs to be warmed.

The Gifts
I spent just over $5 at Target for everything. I filled three little bucket tins with mini notepads, post-it notes, and various candies and gum. Admittedly, this would be a better idea if I knew their predilections or preferences for both colors and candy. But in the end, the gifts are small, easily contained, cute, inexpensive, practical, yummy, and very simple ice-breakers. How could I not?

That’s all I got, folks!

Thank you for reading and please share your thoughts in the comments below to join the conversation!

DIY Dorm: 3 Simple Ideas for Organization and Decoration

It’s amazing how much blandness can squeeze into the cramped space that is your college living space. So I’d like to share with you a few DIY projects I’ve tried that should keep my dorm tidy – and a bit more aesthetically appealing.


 

My inspiration for these projects! (Source: Pinterest)

1. Memo Board (10 minutes)
Supplies:

Plus some string or ribbon to hang it and you're good!

Plus some string or ribbon to hang it and you’re good!

Metal cookie sheet or pizza tin
Glue
Wrapping paper
Ribbon or yarn
Magnets
Instructions:
Just as you probably suspected, all you have to do is glue your wrapping paper to the magnetic surface of your choosing (I used a pizza tin because I wanted it to be circular). Honestly, cutting the wrapping paper to fit the circle used up most of the ten minutes I spent doing this. Then, attach the ribbon or yarn so your memo board can hang from the wall.  

Voila!

Voila!

2. Organization Board (90 minutes)
Supplies:

All the  things I'll put on the board.

All the things I’ll put on the board.

 
Non-flimsy poster/presentation board
Wrapping paper
Velcro (recommended) or hot glue
Picture frames + paint (optional)
Print outs of whatever you’ll need to keep organized (schedule, calendar, etc)
Dry erase board
Mini basket or bucket + Dry erase markers to fill them
Instructions:
After gathering your supplies, wrap the poster board to make it more decorative.

I used two different types of wrapping paper on the poster-board and attached it with tape.

I used two different types of wrapping paper on the poster-board and attached it with tape.

Next, I painted my picture frames – this took a while, hence the longer amount of time (and I did this project so gradually that I just have no clue how long it took to dry so I did not include that, sorry). Then I filled them with my class schedule, final exam schedule, and school year calendar. Maybe you’d prefer a weekly calendar, or just photos of your friends to give it a touch of home – whatever floats your boat! I then used velcro to attach everything to my board for ease of access, but you could use hot glue or whatever you find that works. I got the inspiration from Pinterest and my finished version looks quite a bit different.

This is the original...and a much better quality photo than mine!

This is the original…and a much better quality photo than mine!

Mine

I really am sorry about the quality of this picture. It doesn’t do my masterpiece justice!

 3. Hanging decoration (60 minutes)

Supplies:
Clothespins
String
A) Photographs
-OR-
B) Construction paper
Glue
Markers
Your favorite quotes
Instructions:
Admittedly, this has little to no organizational value, but it’s ridiculously simple and might hide some of the blandness in a dorm. Anyway, find your supplies and put them together. Seriously. Hang your favorite photographs on the string with the clothespins and put it on the wall in your dorm.
OR you could choose to do quotes, like I did. Hint: This is why the project clocks in at about 60 minutes. Write your quotes on construction paper, add designs, go crazy.

A few examples.

A few examples.

A few more examples.

A few more examples.

Do whatever you want because you’re Doing It Yourself, of course.

How simple was that?! Answer: SUPER.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts – do you like these ideas? If you tried them, how did it go? Just leave comments to your heart’s content.