Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Getting Free Stuff

Money is tight in college, and no matter what, you never seem to have enough clothes to last you until laundry day. Fortunately, college is one of the easiest places to get free stuff. So here are some tips:

1. During the first few weeks, go to the activities the campus hosts. In addition to free entertainment, they will often supply you with pizza and soda. The same is true for interest meetings, and it is good motivation to get involved.

2. On Facebook, become a fan of your favorite stores and products. They will often let you know about coupons and such. E-mail lists are good for this too. Also keep a look out for T.V. commercials offering free samples of new products.

3. Stores like Sam's Club and Costco always have a ton of free samples, so check it out. Just make sure you buy something when you go to shop, do not sample it if you have had it before, and occaisonally buy a product that you sample.

4. Campus-wide activities such as homecoming are a free-for-all for free stuff. T-shirts, keychains, food, anything to get students out of their dorms and coming to the parade. So check it out.

5. If a friend offers food at moving day, don't turn down something like Ramen. I know they have expiration dates, but I've eaten my share of expired Cup o' Noodles, so I don't think there's too much to worry about.

6. Consider what resources at your school you can make use of. These aren't technically free, you are paying for them in your tuition. This includes things like performers, tutoring, and the printing paper in the library. So take advantage of it when you need it.

So never worry about going hungry or shirtless while at college. Now, if they would just start handing out free socks and underwear, we would probably never have to worry about washing clothes between breaks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

RIP Robert C, Byrd

I am from West Virginia, a place that has Byrd's name all over it, and for very good reasons. He was a great asset to this whole country, but the people of West Virginia are particularly indebted to him. He served as an advocate for a part of the country that often gets ignored.

On top of that, he was often faced with disagreement. He spoke out against the War on Iraq at a time when most people would not and he never changed his position. He even wrote a very critical book against the president, during Bush's term. And, likely, throughout the later part of Byrd's term he often heard that he was too old to serve and that he was no longer capable.

I didn't go into to much detail, but I would recommend looking up more about him.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Graduates, Don't Give up Hope

As everyone knows, the economy is at a low point. If you have graduated, then you may have hoped that the job market would improve by the time this point in your life did. If you are giving up hope on finding a job, though, you may want to rethink that. While it is true that most companies are hiring less than in the past, some are actually looking to increase their numbers. And some are looking especially for recent graduates. Check out this list from and see if anything sounds like a possibility. Then spruce up your resume and hit their websites.

Note: There is some good news if you are looking for a non-profit job.

Sorority Convention

So before in the post I left on Monday I said I would talk about some of the stuff that happened at my sorority convention.

We stayed at the Sheraton, which was great, but I think they are used to conventions. Nothing was comp. We bought all the food, minus what was paid in registration.

Overall, it was a great experience and I'm grateful to have had the chance to go. Already,I am planning to volunteer at the next one in two years. I met alumni and past national staff who have been coming to these for as many as fifty years. My sorority made business cards so I feel like we did a good job of networking. The best part of the trip was meeting people who have always appeared to me as distant figures who just barely exist (and certainly would never be able to help with my chapter) and getting to know them. Now I feel much more confident in going to them and encouraging my sisters to go to them for help. I also enjoyed meeting so many of my sisters and getting an idea of what kind of organization we have.

We did a philanthropy party where we put together baskets to donate to the Ronald McDonald house, and it was a huge success. Everyone who came donated items and we put together 175 baskets.

Also, we had several speakers, including an alumni, and two alumni from other Greek organizations.

It was a great trip and it inspired to make my sorority the best that it can be. If anyone has the chance to do something similar, please do it. I'm not saying that there weren't fallbacks; especially when it came to procedures during general session, and I left feeling extremely tired. But it was all worth it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Free Tuition?

Apparently, back in 2007, several Washington State colleges managed to make higher education free for low-income families. Here is the article:

I'd be interested in how this is working out so far, and if other schools and states would consider similar programs. I will keep you posted if I learn more. Likewise, if you know anything about this, please say so in the comments section.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3

Let's all be honest here: how many people college-aged or older people (i.e. adults) saw Toy Story 3? How many more of you wanted to or are going to see it while it's in theatres?

I'm in the second party. Toy Story is a great movie series, and Toy Story 2 was one of the best Disney Sequels. Someone told me that it was the first sequel Tom Hanks did and when I thought about it, realized she was right. That's got to count for something, right?

Why is Toy Story so great? I think because it is about something we all thought about as kids: that our toys were real and could move and talk. As a kid, my toys were more than just friends. That's why I named them. Also, I think the timing of the releases has something to do with it. They are spaced out, so we aren't overloaded, but we haven't had enough time to loose interest.

Anyways, I for one am looking forward to seeing it.

Going on Free Trips

It may sound crazy, but there will be quite a few chances to travel while you are in college, at no cost to you, especially if you are willing to get your hands dirty while you're at it. Many schools offer alternative spring breaks. For example, my school once took interested students to Nashville, TN to volunteer with homeless organizations.

Other campuses groups, such as greek organizations and Student government, send their members to annual conventions. I personally have been to Chattanooga, TN, Philidelphia, and North Carolina for activities conferences, and in a couple of days I am going Birminghan, AL for a sorority convention.

These chances are once in a lifetime. You will not get to have this much fun on a free trip after college, so take advantage of it while you can.

Friday, June 18, 2010


We all know the party schools, there is even a list of the top ones. Other schools have a reputation for being filled with geeks or artsy students. Others are seen as more conservative or liberal.

What is your school's reputation and did the reputation affect your choice? Do you think having a reputation helps or hurts the school overall?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Grad School

I'm looking for some advice for students who plan to go on to grad school. So please comment with any advice about taking the GRE, your search, applications, and when you should start the process. What do you wish you knew when you started? And what were some suprises you ran into? Who helped you most in your search?

Also, if you would care to, share what university you decided to attend and why. What was your program, both undergrad and graduate?

Finally, what was your main motivation for continuing your education?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is there such a thing as a useless major?

Back in the early days of Facebook, when only college students and a select few high school students were on it, there was a rather popular group. It was called "I picked a major I love and one day I'll be living in a box." This was a chance for people who loved their major to poke fun at themselves for it. (The group may still be in existence, but I don't see it pop up anymore.)

Almost everyone has had that moment when they asked someone what their major was, and upon hearing the answer felt the response "What are you going to do with that?" slip from their lips instinctively. If not, then you have probably been asked that dreaded question. You have probablysaid this in response to answers like philosophy, religious studies, or maybe theatre. Some majors seem like their only use is leading to the life of a professional student.

However, in my opinion, no major is "useless." After all, you still come out with an education and a college degree. And no degree guarentees you a job or entrance to grad school. An unusual major, if nothing else, teaches you how to think differently and will make you stand out in a pool of applicants.

What are some of the majors out there, and what problems has it lead to? And on that note, how has your major specifically helped you succeed?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Smoking Bans on Campus

My school is far from smoke-free. All of the residence buildings have several smoking floors, and the only limitation for smoking outside is that you cannot be within 25 feet of an entrance, which of course, no one follows, including faculty. The problem with smoking bans is that they are nearly impossible to enforce. Campus cops usually do not have the power to give tickets.

I am not a smoker, but I do believe that people have the right to smoke, as long as they are not interferring with anyone else. In other words, smoking outside, and in your dorm room is permissable, community buildings are not. However, students who smoke are costing themselves money and their health, so any thing that makes students more reluctant to smoke is good thing. Social stigma, like the following article credits, inconvienence, and programs for students that wish to quit are, in my opinion, much more effective than rules.

Budget Cuts

Due to the economy, colleges and universities everywhere have been forced to cut back on spending. In addition to that, Joe Manchin, the govenor of West Virginia has asked schools not to raise tuition this year. Those that have complied may be facing larger increases in the years to come as well as the need to cut spending students and faculty alike may consider necesary, such as later cafeteria hours or free coffee during finals.

How is your college adapting to smaller budgets? How do you see your self being affected?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't Do Too Much

I saw a great piece of advice in my facebook news feed about how to be productive from Entrepreneur. However, when applied to college, this advice will not only make you more productive, it will also make you less stressed and therefore healthier. You might already know what it is, it's that simple: Do less.

While in school, we may be told the exact opposite. You have to have a job, an internship, and volunteer activities in order to be appealing to your future employers. But you also will need to take the toughest classes and ace them, meaning you must study at least two hours for everyone hour of class (please please please tell me I am not alone in never having done this in my life.) Then of course, there are the things you want to do, like go to the occaisonal party, go out to eat, join a few clubs, and date. Oh, don't forget to stay in shape by getting nine hours of sleep, planning all of your meals (at least three a day, with snacks in between, kids!) and exercising.

Well, some of that is easy. First, you will not want to be in as many clubs as you thought you wanted after you attend a few interest meetings, so don't worry too much about that. Most college kids only have three meals a day when they're home, and like that just fine. As for the exercising, combine it with something else, like walk to class or the store, or do some active volunteering. And just forget the nine hours of sleep, you will adapt to getting less. And there is no shame in taking one class a semester that you can pass simply by showing up and raising your hand from time to time. As for the rest of your classes, plan when you will take them in advance so you will never have a heart attack over the amount of work.

The fact of the matter is, some things you are told you must do while in school aren't all that necesary, so figure out what is really important, and what you want to put you soul into to get the best results.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


While we may complain that we never have enough time to get everything done, that is probably a lie at least some of the time. The fact is we like to procrastinate.

Its the bane of every student's existence. I'm so bad at it that I cannot function unless I'm in crunch time, even if that means my work will suffer. However, has a list of useful strategies to beat the reasons why people put things off. Read the article here:

Empathy is Dead.

According to a new study, we as modern-day college students have as much as 40% less empathy than our counterparts in the 80s and 90s. When I think about it, that may be true, but I don't think its necesarily that we care less.

I consider myself a pretty empathetic person. I feel bad when bad things happen, even if it is to bad people, or someone I don't know at all and I know other students, or recent students, who are similar but to a different degree. However, it doesn't get me all that far.

Think about when a society asks for donations, which is usually every day. Do we see the results of the donations we do make? Most likely all we see is the suffering continueing, or that same organization asking for even more money. Or we see just as valuable causes fall by the wayside for more popular one. And we've all witnessed administration get in the way.

When we try to be empathetic, is it returned? Or do we have poor empathy role models who show us that it is not worth the trouble?

So yeah, we're less empathetic than some former college students when they were our age. But maybe its because we had to enter the real world before graduation. After all, are working adults so much better?

Here is a link to the article and one psychiatrists theories about how it happened:,2933,593832,00.html

Making the most of Summer

Back in high school, summer was a time for a break, when we could hang out with our friends. all that changed when we started college. It becomes a time to take on even more work, and our buddies are scattered throughout the country. Here's how to get the most out of your work when the days are long and the nights are hot.

If you are like most students, you will either get a job, or take classes. Both are good ideas. If you take classes, take the ones that you think will require the most work. You won't be distracted by friends or organizations, and you can put in more time than you would during the fall or spring since you won't have to worry about so many other classes.

As for a job, make sure its something that will help you with your career and think resume building. See if you can get a job or internship with a company you would like to work with after college.

Just because something doesn't pay doesn't mean you can't get a lot out of it. Look into volunteering or an unpaid internship if you cannot find a paid one. It will help you develop needed skills and you may find useful networking opportunities.

Also consider taking the time to research. If you will be graduating next year, see if you can visit the graduate school you would like to attend or a city you are considering living in.