5 Things Under $10 that Every College Girl Needs

5 Things Under $10 that Every College Girl Needs

1. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens

These pens are the most amazing pens I have ever used. They come in a variety of colors and I have the neon pack. They are great for color-coding notes and your planner. These are a little over $8 and can be bought at stores like Target, Office Max, and even Amazon.


2. Planner

Planners come at all costs, but this one is great and under $10. Planners help keep all of your assignments and meetings organized in one place. You can even use the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens to write all of your assignments down. These 3can be bought almost anywhere, even the grocery store.


3. Pepper Spray

I wish this wasn’t on my list of things needed for college, but it is. Pepper Spray is a must for women at universities throughout the nation, as a form of protection and a mechanism that gives me an additional sense of safety on my walks around campus. These can be purchased at almost any store and if you can only get one thing on this list, this would be my pick.


4. Water Bottle

Having a water bottle on campus is a must because you need to stay hydrated and not have to use plastic water  bottles every day that are harmful to the environment. Moreover, this is more convenient for students because this water bottle can be hooked onto a backpack with a clip quiet easily.


5. ID or Card Holder

I have a key card and a student ID. Whether you live on campus or not, you will still have a student ID and you’ll need a place to keep it. This is something I have on me as much as I have my phone on me! These can be bought most places and several designers, such as Vera Bradley, have a variety of slightly more expensive options.


Hope you find these items help when planning your supplies for next year!




Giving Back

As the fall semester here at Fontbonne is halfway through, I’ve finally had a chance to start my volunteer service at St. Mary’s Hospital. I have to admit, when I first started the process to become a volunteer I felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information and a little unsure whether I could do a good job or not. The hospital requires two up-to-date TB tests, a flu shot during flu season (they provide free flu shots to volunteers), a volunteer interview, an orientation day, and a commitment of 12 months. It seems like a lot, but once you get started everything goes fairly quickly.

On my first day of volunteering I didn’t know what to expect. I had a lot of questions, but the other volunteers there were able to answer most of my questions and also help guide me through the different processes. I also met a lot of new people that came to the hospital to visit their loved ones. I was able to walk them to their destinations and chat with them a little. Each visitor seemed relieved to have the small help of navigating the large building. The visitors also had unique stories to tell. Each interaction felt like small gift in time.

During your time at Fontbonne I would highly recommend taking the time to volunteer in the community, if not at St. Mary’s, then perhaps with an organization that sparks your interest. There are perks to volunteering, like being able to put it on your resume for a master’s program or an addition to some scholarship applications. I think, however, that being able to give your time for a good cause is a reward all on its own. Now get out there and do something good for your community!

Cheers 😉

A Word of Advice

Hello, blogosphere! My name is Brooke Stochl and I am a senior here at Fontbonne University. I am currently pursuing a double major in Psychology and Sociology (Woo, Behavioral Sciences!). While at Fontbonne, I also dove head first into involvement. On campus, I have been involved in the Psychology Club, QUEST Leadership Program, the Orientation Team, Fontbonne Activities Board (FAB), and Griffin Gang. Wondering what all of those things mean? I’ll give you the low down on each of them.

Psychology Club – Psych Club is a student organization for Psych students or students interested in Psychology. Psych Club hosts various events on campus throughout the school year. A main focus of Psych Club is to serve others and raise money. (Blood Drive, Card Drive, Bake Sale, etc.) Not a Psych major? No worries! Your major may just have a club of their very own.

QUEST Leadership Program – QUEST has continued to grow over the past few years. Within QUEST, you will gain skills to help you achieve and succeed in personal development, professional development, and organizational development. (You’ll learn your strengths and how you can apply those in many different avenues, plus you’ll gain skills for time management, conflict management, and so much more!) This year, they added two new ‘peaks’ to the QUEST Phases. I personally have completed the first 3 Phases, but plan to finish the other two, if possible, before I graduate! Looking for more information on QUEST? Click here!

Orientation Team – Our orientation team is currently called the WING (Welcoming In New Griffins) team, but has been called FOCUS (Fontbonne Orientation Committee Uniting Students) in the past. Have you heard both of these around campus? No worries – they both mean orientation (aka my favorite time of the year). The orientation team is in charge of welcoming our First Year-First Time students to campus in the fall. We do so through energetic games, tours around campus, connecting with faculty, and a continuous list of activities that I could probably write about forever. Interested in being an orientation leader? Applications go live at the beginning of next semester – so keep your eyes open!

Fontbonne Activities Board – (AKA FAB) FAB is the primary programming board on campus. This year we have 26 events planned ranging from Movies in the Meadow, Concerts in the Caf’, Off Campus excursions, and so much more. This year is my second year as President and I honestly LOVE IT. My time spent with FAB has created some of my favorite memories at Fontbonne. I could go on and on, so I’ll save that for a later blog! Want more information on FAB or updates on what we’re doing? Check out our Facebook page!

Griffin Gang – Griffin Gang is the spirit initiative on campus. This student org is pretty cool because 1) its getting students engaged outside of the classroom and supporting athletics and 2) it’s SUPER YOUNG and SUPER SUCCESSFUL. Honestly, I was at Fontbonne when Griffin Gang was “born”. (Crazy, right?) Griffin Gang started up my sophomore year, which was when I was involved with the team. Since then, Griffin Gang’s numbers have increased and they are doing great things! Honestly… you should check them out. They have punch cards for their sponsored games and once you reach 10 punches – you get a free Griffin Gang t-shirt. (And who doesn’t love a free t-shirt?)

In high school, I was pretty disengaged and didn’t enjoy my experience too much. By the time graduation rolled around – I was ready to be out of that place! Four years later, I am happy little Griffin and refusing to count down the days until I walk across the stage in May. (PS I just did an online countdown generator – I still have over 200 days to enjoy on campus!) Do you know why I love this place so much? Because I am so connected. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Get involved! Find something that you enjoy and run with it. It will make your experience as a Griffin 174,859x better, I promise.

~ Brooke

Favorite Study Spot

When it comes to studying at Fontbonne, which is something I have to do a lot of, my location of choice is one of the corners of the second floor of the library. It really helps to be in the quiet atmosphere of the library in a secluded space. When I’m uninterrupted I can focus on my work very well and begin firing away at it. The environment has to be right for me to get into my work zone and the library definitely suits these circumstances. It also helps that the library is encouraged to be a quiet environment so I can always rely on it to be a positive work environment.

Tips for applying to Grad School

So if you’re a senior like myself and are considering going to graduate school to continue your education in whatever field you’d like, you probably haven’t had a whole lot of direction.  One of my professors just came to one of my classes on Monday to talk about it and didn’t even answer all the questions I still have brewing in the back of my mind.  So let’s break it down:

  1. MAKE A LIST: Normally, I’m not a list person, I’m not going to lie.  But since it’s gotten down to crunch time to getting applications and transcripts and letters of recommendations and test scores together, I cannot stress this enough. MAKE A LIST. Thinking about applying to a few different schools? MAKE A LIST.. Order them by top choice to considering but unsure. Thinking about all the things you want to look at when looking into schools? Programs, location, cost, etc. MAKE A LIST. School’s websites normally have lists of things you need to send and to apply to school, but are you going to keep that page as your desktop background? Probably not. MAKE A LIST. Have a bunch of schools you transferred from and need to send transcripts to all the places you’re applying? MAKE.A.LIST. Seriously this will help you out tremendously and keep things kinda organized, okay? Trust me.
  2.  WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT/LETTER OF INTENT/ETC: I still honestly don’t know what these consist of but among the 4 or 5 schools I”m looking at, they require these to apply.  Check out the schools application processes and see what they’re looking for in these letters and essays.  Some schools are picky about it and some just want the general information. Who you are, why you want to do what you want to, and why you are looking at the specific program at the specific school. The professor who came to talk to us on monday in my class, whose in charge one of the graduate program admissions, said to stay away from cliche words like PASSIONATE, LOVE, WONDERFUL, EXCITING, ETC. Schools already know that you’re passionate about it or love it ok you’re applying to the program. This doesn’t mean that you can’t put your story about your grandma being in the hospital for a long time or what got you into art, etc, just don’t make it a typically store. What makes you stand out.  The OWL at purdue has some great advice for writing personal statements and there’s also great information for letters of intents here as well as tons of other sources you can find from searching it on the web.
  3.  WRITE A RESUME: If you’re applying for a grad program, some schools and even some of the professors you ask for letters of recomendation will ask for a resume.  The typical resume is about 1-2 pages. This website has alot of great information on how to write one.  The kinkel center can also take a look at your resume and tweak it to be perfect.  I don’t suggest following a microsoft word template of a resume because they’re sometimes hard to work it.
  4.  ASK FOR LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Most often schools require you to send them 3 or 4 letters of recommendation from an advisor or professor.  Most schools prefer that you ask professors in your program because they often know what kind of things schools are looking for to hear compared to a boss at a job or your favorite person in the admissions office.  When you go to ask, bring a resume to give them an idea of what kind of things you do outside of school as well as a stamped and labeled envelope for them to just put the letter in and send off. Easy as that!! Sometimes it’s nice to write them a thank you letter too later on for writing a recommendation.
  5.  GET STARTED EARLY: Don’t wait until last minute to apply.  Grad school applications can take several months to process so it’s better if you get started early on in the fall semester.  Take the GRE (which is usually required for most schools) in the summer before your senior year or August or September before things get busy.  Most applications require you to send everything in by December or January and at earliest, you can hear from them by April or March.  I’m a procrastinator like nobody’s business, but getting this whole process started in September was the best decision I ever made.  It’s early October right now and I’m almost done with everything! It’s such a relief.
  6. TAKE THE GRE: What is this even? It’s like the ACT of grad school. A pain in the butt 4 and a half hour standardized test that costs an insane amount of money. ($195). But don’t let that scare you.  Some schools don’t require it for applications, but most do.  Do yourself a favor and take a class to prepare for it or rent a GRE prep book.  They’re inexpensive and will help you out when it comes down to test day.  Sign up for the test date at least a month from when you start preparing.  I know this seems like too much time to prepare, but trust me, you won’t regret it. There’s never enough time to prepare for this.  Have your schools in mind for after you take it. It asks you at the end what schools you want to send your scores to and it’s free to send it right then and there after you take it.  It tells you that you can send your scores later for a fee, but I don’t recommend it.  It’s $27 per school. Ridiculous, I know. It’s not like going to school is taking enough of our money already…Anyway, the test center will provide the materials you need as well as a locker to put your things.  You’ll have a ten minute break to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or eat some snacks you brought. Good luck!!

I could go on with various tips about applying, but I think these cover the majority.  Applying is a scary and expensive process, but if you have everything organized and prepared, it’s nearly as not stressful as it seems to be.

My favorite place to study

My favorite place to study is in my home office. I enjoy my office because it is quiet, relaxing and I can close myself off from the family to study uninterrupted. Everything that I may possibly need to study without leaving the room is in my office.  I have a refrigerator stocked with water, soda and snacks. I have 2 printers and plenty of paper (1 inkjet, 1 laser). I also have a lounger for relaxing while I read. I keep my office well supplied because I spend a lot of time there and it is my favorite place to study.

Why did you choose Fontbonne University?

Why did you choose Fontbonne University?  This can honestly be a hard question to answer at times for myself.  At first when looking at colleges I wanted to attend at university that had my interest of major at the time which was special education.  Though as I looked at schools there were more reasons as to why I did not want to attend anywhere else compared to Fontbonne University.  My top reason for choosing a school was that there had to be a Catholic atmosphere where I could participate in my faith.  So I looked at St. Louis University, Benedictine College, Franciscan University, University of Central Missouri, Truman University and finally Avila University in Kansas City in addition to Fontbonne University.  As time went on when I was looking at these schools I also went with my gut feeling as to how I really could envision myself living on campus at this institutions and I really couldn’t except for one which was Avila University.  Fun Fact: Avila University is actually one of the sister schools to Fontbonne University.  So when I narrowed down my choices to Avila and Fontbonne, I was deciding between two similar schools in terms of their foundation.

Though when it came closer to having to pick which university, I thought of factors such as: being close to home so I could drive back home within a few hours if something were to happen, campus life with a Catholic identity, my major, and familiarity with the university.  Now what I mean with wanting to be familiar is that either someone in my family had to have attended the school or else a close friend because then I could relate and have someone to turn to in times of certain need.  Well for Fontbonne my sister actually already graduated from there in 2009, so that was set.  But also Fontbonne is right by my house, within the same city, making it easier to commute to and from school.  Plus the atmosphere cannot be compared to a large university at all.  I honestly love that I can talk to my teachers about any subject in my life – such as a spontaneous family event that may occur in which I feel the need to drop all of my stuff and forget about homework for a few days where I get behind on schoolwork.  Now this did happen to a degree this year, but now I have caught up on my homework and am ahead in some subjects.  Though having such honest relationships with my professors helped me stay at ease and less stressed because by letting them know what was going on, in turn then, they were more understanding with any late assignment or test that I may have had.  Relationships are very valuable in college and can go a long way, and I know that there are several here on Fontbonne University’s campus.  Our teachers care about our success.

My Study Spot

In college there are a lot of distractions, be it electronics, or even other people. We all need a location where we can get away. So it is important to find your one location where you can really lock your mind in and focus on what needs to be accomplished. For me, it’s on the second floor of the library on either the leather sofa or loveseat. You will often find people napping or typing away on the furniture, so if you are lucky enough to see an open seat, make sure you snag it. Aside from the comfort provided by the leather furniture, you are in the library which makes it pretty easy to focus. Most of the time it is silent on the second floor, unlike the constant sound of the printers on the main floor. For me to really focus, I need silence and no distractions. This spot accommodates my needs perfectly. But the best part is the view. You get to look out the giant window and admire the beauty of the campus as well as view everybody else going about their business walking to and from the library. In the evening sunshine it truly is a magical spot to be and it’s where I can be found relaxing, getting homework done, and even writing this blog post. IMG_1518

Favorite Way to Study

It can be hard to study when all you want to do is go outside in the beautiful weather! While I do my best to find time for the things I love, when it comes to studying I find ways to relax and zen out (as best as I can) in the process of studying.

When I want to get in the studying “mood” I find a quiet spot at home with room to lay out my study materials. I get into comfy clothes, heat up a some water for tea and have a healthy snack before starting. I really enjoy any type of tea… trust me, there’s a tea out there for everyone! My current favorites are Trader Joe’s Herbal Fall Blend tea & Celestial Seasoning’s Tension Tamer tea. These teas both contain chammomile and other herbs that I find help promote relaxation. It’s currently midway through the semester, so things can get stressful! I choose herbal teas because they don’t contain caffiene. Caffiene works wonders for some, but for me personally I find if I drink too much of it, my heart starts racing and it becomes counterproductive to getting more work done. If you prefer the caffiene- try labels that say: black tea, oolong, green tea, and white tea and see what works best for you! Snacks that give me energy for studying include apples or carrots with peanut butter, avocado slices on toast and the protein pancakes from my previous blog post!

Here’s a picture of my snack & tea of choice for my current study session:

“Take Chances, Make Mistakes, Get Messy!”

Oh my gosh, Junior Year – is this real life?  I cannot believe that I am more than halfway through college.  I can still remember freshman year for the most part but I will say that of course I was not a fan of it – yet who is a fan of their freshman year in high school or college?  Looking back I can say that I am proud of myself for making it this far, for the material and content that I have learned thus far, the person that I am continuing to become while in college and much more.  I would say that for new students in college, be open to possibilities – be open for new chances that may not seem like the kind of chance that you would take but sounds interesting enough to try out.

College is the place where you can take risks, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes even before going into the big world, which is great!  Take advantage of the time that you have and explore new areas that you may not have expected from yourself before.  Example, I did not think that I would change majors at least three times like I did, but if I had not thought about different possibilities then I would not be where I am today.  Lastly I want you to think about what Ms. Frizzle said from the show “The Magic School Bus,” which I hope that most of us watched as a kid or else I will really feel odd at this moment: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”  Though when we get messy, really remember that we need to pick ourselves back up again and that is what our professors, close friends, and family are all for – to help us through the journey of life especially in college with finding ourselves.

Ms. Frizzle

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